Women’s knitwear for a ‘growing’ population. Sub title: Digital Knit to Fit; challenges and solutions in fashion knitwear for larger sizes.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Abstract

The following paper is centred upon practice based research, developing a capsule collection of custom fitted knitwear for the individual body shapes of a cohort of British women over UK size 16 (Eu 44), with parallels to other European female consumers. The intent of the research has been to develop a new knit system offering minimally extensible knitted garments for larger size women, producing tangible knitted results which exemplify a theory. The 2003 SizeUK survey established that the average woman in the UK is a size 16 (Allen et al., n.pag); since then further body size surveys have been carried out in France, China, Mexico and Brazil. Recent studies show that 36% of the female population in the UK could be obese by 2020. (Press Association, n.pag) Thus a significant amount of the female population falls into the plus size clothing market. Despite this trend, research has concluded that larger women experience dissatisfaction with clothing fit. (Chowdhary and Beale, p1; Kind and Hathcote, p323; Shim and Kotsiopulos, p1038) Fashion abhors fat and the ageing process (Evans, p94); thinness symbolises wealth, youth, beauty and power. (Nussbaum, p5) Average women can have up to 38% body fat by middle age (30% when younger) whereas models with as much as 22% less than average body fat are the ideal for whom clothing is designed. (Wolf, p192) As a woman’s socio-economic status rises she acquires the financial ability to achieve this ideal. (Arnold, p89) Through this social mechanism, larger size, which often correlates with low income, is relegated to ‘low fashion’. (Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults the Evidence Report) This research seeks to redress this by improving the fit of commercial knitwear. Spanning three main areas: clothing fit, larger body shape and knitwear manufacture, this participatory, user centred research has adopted a case study method derived from Yin (Yin, p46), to enable working with real bodies of real women. Interviews plus an online survey have gathered contemporary socio/psychological data on larger size women’s clothing choices, shopping, body image and cathexis specific to this research. Protocols have been established in body measurement and knitwear design for larger sizes by adapting traditional methods and embracing new technologies. Sophisticated digital knitting equipment has been core to the development of garments, which are based on manually acquired and 3D body scanned data. In order to achieve final garments, objective and subjective evaluation of prototypes have informed serial re-designing involving wearer participation. (Rasband and Liechty, p62-63; Watkins, p241) This research concludes, as its contribution to new knowledge, that improving the fit of fashion knitwear for larger women by removing the fit-by-stretch factor (which up until now has been a major style and psychological drawback for these consumers), enhances their wearing experience, and enthuses the wearer towards the garment. There are some indications that this engagement potentially encourages longevity of use, which may absorb the increased cost of customisation. The template library derived from the research offers a direct route into future industrial developments of the process, which includes scope to consider communication of data straight from body scanner to knitting machine. Response from the mass production knitwear industry has so far been positive and further work in this direction will be pursued.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2010
EventGlobal Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal - Portugal
Duration: 12 Nov 2010 → …

Conference

ConferenceGlobal Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal
Period12/11/10 → …

Fingerprint

clothing
mass production
body image
industrial development
beauty
online survey
evaluation
indication
new technology
experience
low income
Brazil
Mexico
France
China
participation
industry
communication
market
ability

Keywords

  • knitting
  • knitwear
  • body shape
  • women
  • clothing
  • apparel
  • outsize
  • plus size
  • Shima Seiki

Cite this

Haffenden, V. (2010). Women’s knitwear for a ‘growing’ population. Sub title: Digital Knit to Fit; challenges and solutions in fashion knitwear for larger sizes. In Global Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal
Haffenden, Victoria. / Women’s knitwear for a ‘growing’ population. Sub title: Digital Knit to Fit; challenges and solutions in fashion knitwear for larger sizes. Global Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal. 2010.
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abstract = "The following paper is centred upon practice based research, developing a capsule collection of custom fitted knitwear for the individual body shapes of a cohort of British women over UK size 16 (Eu 44), with parallels to other European female consumers. The intent of the research has been to develop a new knit system offering minimally extensible knitted garments for larger size women, producing tangible knitted results which exemplify a theory. The 2003 SizeUK survey established that the average woman in the UK is a size 16 (Allen et al., n.pag); since then further body size surveys have been carried out in France, China, Mexico and Brazil. Recent studies show that 36{\%} of the female population in the UK could be obese by 2020. (Press Association, n.pag) Thus a significant amount of the female population falls into the plus size clothing market. Despite this trend, research has concluded that larger women experience dissatisfaction with clothing fit. (Chowdhary and Beale, p1; Kind and Hathcote, p323; Shim and Kotsiopulos, p1038) Fashion abhors fat and the ageing process (Evans, p94); thinness symbolises wealth, youth, beauty and power. (Nussbaum, p5) Average women can have up to 38{\%} body fat by middle age (30{\%} when younger) whereas models with as much as 22{\%} less than average body fat are the ideal for whom clothing is designed. (Wolf, p192) As a woman’s socio-economic status rises she acquires the financial ability to achieve this ideal. (Arnold, p89) Through this social mechanism, larger size, which often correlates with low income, is relegated to ‘low fashion’. (Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults the Evidence Report) This research seeks to redress this by improving the fit of commercial knitwear. Spanning three main areas: clothing fit, larger body shape and knitwear manufacture, this participatory, user centred research has adopted a case study method derived from Yin (Yin, p46), to enable working with real bodies of real women. Interviews plus an online survey have gathered contemporary socio/psychological data on larger size women’s clothing choices, shopping, body image and cathexis specific to this research. Protocols have been established in body measurement and knitwear design for larger sizes by adapting traditional methods and embracing new technologies. Sophisticated digital knitting equipment has been core to the development of garments, which are based on manually acquired and 3D body scanned data. In order to achieve final garments, objective and subjective evaluation of prototypes have informed serial re-designing involving wearer participation. (Rasband and Liechty, p62-63; Watkins, p241) This research concludes, as its contribution to new knowledge, that improving the fit of fashion knitwear for larger women by removing the fit-by-stretch factor (which up until now has been a major style and psychological drawback for these consumers), enhances their wearing experience, and enthuses the wearer towards the garment. There are some indications that this engagement potentially encourages longevity of use, which may absorb the increased cost of customisation. The template library derived from the research offers a direct route into future industrial developments of the process, which includes scope to consider communication of data straight from body scanner to knitting machine. Response from the mass production knitwear industry has so far been positive and further work in this direction will be pursued.",
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Haffenden, V 2010, Women’s knitwear for a ‘growing’ population. Sub title: Digital Knit to Fit; challenges and solutions in fashion knitwear for larger sizes. in Global Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal. Global Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal, 12/11/10.

Women’s knitwear for a ‘growing’ population. Sub title: Digital Knit to Fit; challenges and solutions in fashion knitwear for larger sizes. / Haffenden, Victoria.

Global Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal. 2010.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

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N2 - The following paper is centred upon practice based research, developing a capsule collection of custom fitted knitwear for the individual body shapes of a cohort of British women over UK size 16 (Eu 44), with parallels to other European female consumers. The intent of the research has been to develop a new knit system offering minimally extensible knitted garments for larger size women, producing tangible knitted results which exemplify a theory. The 2003 SizeUK survey established that the average woman in the UK is a size 16 (Allen et al., n.pag); since then further body size surveys have been carried out in France, China, Mexico and Brazil. Recent studies show that 36% of the female population in the UK could be obese by 2020. (Press Association, n.pag) Thus a significant amount of the female population falls into the plus size clothing market. Despite this trend, research has concluded that larger women experience dissatisfaction with clothing fit. (Chowdhary and Beale, p1; Kind and Hathcote, p323; Shim and Kotsiopulos, p1038) Fashion abhors fat and the ageing process (Evans, p94); thinness symbolises wealth, youth, beauty and power. (Nussbaum, p5) Average women can have up to 38% body fat by middle age (30% when younger) whereas models with as much as 22% less than average body fat are the ideal for whom clothing is designed. (Wolf, p192) As a woman’s socio-economic status rises she acquires the financial ability to achieve this ideal. (Arnold, p89) Through this social mechanism, larger size, which often correlates with low income, is relegated to ‘low fashion’. (Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults the Evidence Report) This research seeks to redress this by improving the fit of commercial knitwear. Spanning three main areas: clothing fit, larger body shape and knitwear manufacture, this participatory, user centred research has adopted a case study method derived from Yin (Yin, p46), to enable working with real bodies of real women. Interviews plus an online survey have gathered contemporary socio/psychological data on larger size women’s clothing choices, shopping, body image and cathexis specific to this research. Protocols have been established in body measurement and knitwear design for larger sizes by adapting traditional methods and embracing new technologies. Sophisticated digital knitting equipment has been core to the development of garments, which are based on manually acquired and 3D body scanned data. In order to achieve final garments, objective and subjective evaluation of prototypes have informed serial re-designing involving wearer participation. (Rasband and Liechty, p62-63; Watkins, p241) This research concludes, as its contribution to new knowledge, that improving the fit of fashion knitwear for larger women by removing the fit-by-stretch factor (which up until now has been a major style and psychological drawback for these consumers), enhances their wearing experience, and enthuses the wearer towards the garment. There are some indications that this engagement potentially encourages longevity of use, which may absorb the increased cost of customisation. The template library derived from the research offers a direct route into future industrial developments of the process, which includes scope to consider communication of data straight from body scanner to knitting machine. Response from the mass production knitwear industry has so far been positive and further work in this direction will be pursued.

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KW - knitwear

KW - body shape

KW - women

KW - clothing

KW - apparel

KW - outsize

KW - plus size

KW - Shima Seiki

M3 - Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

BT - Global Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal

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Haffenden V. Women’s knitwear for a ‘growing’ population. Sub title: Digital Knit to Fit; challenges and solutions in fashion knitwear for larger sizes. In Global Fashion:Creative and Innovative Contexts, (11th-13th November 2010), Centre for Population , Economic and Social Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal. 2010