Process helps garment makers find the perfect fit

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 August, 2007, 12:00am

Alvanon, a six-year-old New York-based company, uses the latest technology to help manufacturers, retailers and brands update their perceptions of women's bodies to help the apparel industry save billions of dollars a year.

The company offers a process involving software and X-ray machines that measures a body to calculate 'Alvaspecs' or measurements so that mannequins (Alvaforms) can be made.

The company helps the industry better understand and serve its customers through more accurate and standardised measurements as opposed to using more traditional ways of measuring.

'This technology takes the garment industry up to the next level,' Alvanon managing director Jason Wang said.

Vendors equipped with better tools to access customer needs could benefit by being able to carry out self-assessments of customer needs. This could save time and reduce costs because fewer samples needed to be created.

'Without scanning there would be no accurate data to rely on to understand the target market. We provide the industry with a tool to understand the exact fit of a target market,' Mr Wang said.

The company's goal is to create a standard of fit through understanding of the body shape of customers. This is done by duplicating the fit of target customers then creating a consistency of fit throughout the supply chain.

Every year, the apparel industry loses money because of inefficiencies in the supply chain.

Common problems can be reduced through the use of visualisation technology, allowing companies to work more efficiently.

'Alvanon saw a need in the garment industry because there is no standard of clothing fit in any country. Manufacturers had no idea who the customer was and we saw the need for data compilation,' Mr Wang said.

Alvanon accomplishes data mining though millimetre wave scanners, which are similar to airport X-ray machines.

Unlike high-resolution scanners that are more precise but require subjects to remove their clothing, a low-resolution scanner is used to take body measurements without a person undressing. Mr Wang said it was an effective tool for data mining. The technology develops fit specifications and grade rules to provide the best fit for the customer base.

The company combines technical design, analytical skill and its global body measurement and shape database to redefine product specifications and apply anatomically aligned grade rules.

Jeff Cheung, general manager of Alvanon HK, said: 'We can break it down to almost any target group by looking at demographics, lifestyle and geography. Our goal is to better serve the customer.'