Traditionally, garment patterns are developed from gender specific blocks with darting and shaping reflective of a given niche market. Skirt and pant waist darting requires four, six, or eight darts depending on the drafting method the block is developed from. Similarly, tailored suit jackets are designed for figures either with breasts (female) or without (male). The downside to traditional drafting methods is that the darting will suit one particular demographic better than another but no one method is suitable for all demographics.
For mass garment customization to become viable, computer aided design programs must be able to customize a pattern to body scanned measurement data regardless of gender or shaping requirements.
Traditional pattern drafting methods have failed to achieve this. Traditional drafting methods allow for generalized width and height customization but do not offer a systemized method for applying the customized shaping that can mimic that nipping and tucking of bespoke seamstresses, tailors and couturiers. The solution to mass garment customization then is to develop gender neutral fitting methodologies that can adapt the non-customized shaping, inherent in traditional drafting methods, to fit bodies of any shape and size.
Gender neutral fitting involves shaping for fit reality (actual shaping requirements) and fit preference (preferred shaping requirements) with no need to identify gender.
To do this the “key fit area” of a block must be defined. The key fit area identifies a base girth measurement from which shaping to accommodate body weight and height distribution may be added or subtracted. For example, the key fit area for the upper torso is the highbust. When drafting a base sized block for the upper torso, the area above and below the highbust is developed with reference to this key fit area. This allows the block to have breast mound shaping added, waist shaping subtracted, and girth increased or decreased with regard to all of the above. Similarly, the key fit area for a pant block is the thigh area. When drafting a base sized block for the lower torso, the area above and below the thigh is developed with reference to this key fit area. This allows the block to have buttock shaping added, waist shaping subtracted, and girth increased or decreased with regard to all of the above.
Patterns created with traditional drafting methods can easily be adapted for gender neutral fitting. All that is required is that the shaping that is inherent in the pattern be identified in a Fit Profile™. Once identified, the Fit Profile™ of the garment design is compared to the Fit Profile™ of a client so adjustments can be identified and the garment design can be customized for a client.
Automated 3D virtual garment design and virtual draping technologies can successfully offer customization to bodies that are closely shaped to fit model bodies but have difficulty fitting outlier figures.
With outlier figures, current methodologies fail to produce patterns that reveal a substantial fit improvement over similar ready-to-wear garments. The missing ingredient required to create custom garments with a substantial fit improvement lies with the reasoning that is used to determine pattern adjustments. Customization at this level relies on sequential nested logic that must be able to build from a starting point and suggest adjustments with regard for how any one adjustment effects all others. The starting point for gender neutral pattern customization is the key fit area.
In essence, the key fit area is the first area that is fit with all other areas fit sequentially from this starting point. With traditional drafting methods, the key fit area was not important because the drafts were created and customized for very specific demographics. The key fit area only becomes important when one wants to computer automate pattern customization regardless of gender or body shape.
Gender neutral fitting allows for gender neutral garment design. Naturally gender will continue to have a roll in fit preference but garment fit should not be inhibited by gender. With gender neutral garment design the tailored white shirt, once only customizable for men, will no longer be inhibited by breasts. Using the highbust as the key fit area, breast mound shaping can be added and side seams and darting can be customized to body scanned measurement data.
Intelligent Shaping™ makes gender neutral fitting and shaping a reality.
Standard sized front and back garment darting is an outdated practice.