Researchers in the LSU College of Agriculture’s Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising are using body scanning technology to study how body shapes change during weight loss.
Casey Stannard, an assistant professor in the department, said this research will help the apparel industry determine how clothing patterns must be graded to correctly fit a particular body shape in a range of apparel sizes.
Stannard said this information could also allow the industry to move into purchase-activated manufacturing.
“With purchase-activated manufacturing, apparel is customized to the size and fit of the customer and manufactured after purchase,” Stannard said.
Purchase-activated manufacturing can reduce waste in apparel manufacturing and give customers better fitting garments. But before the apparel industry can move to this model, technical issues related to pattern grading for various body shapes must be solved, Stannard said.
Stannard and Laurel Romeo, another assistant professor in the department, are recruiting participants for their study. Men and women 18 years and older who are engaged in a weight loss program can participate.
“Participants will receive a 3-D body scan with each 10 pounds of weight loss,” Stannard said.
The body scanner uses infrared depth sensors to record 400 measurements in less than 6 seconds. The entire session takes about 15 minutes, Stannard said.
Participants will receive a printout of their measurements along with a 3-D computer-generated image of their body shape and size. This can help them track their weight loss progress.
Stannard said all data collected will be confidential. “Each participant will be assigned a number, and the data will be associated with a number and not a name,” she said.
Stannard and Romeo also use the body scanner to collect data on people not in a weight loss program to help better understand current human measurements. The scanner is also used for custom pattern drafting.