Body measurements for use in pattern and apparel construction of black children in the North-West Province aged 10-14 years : a comparison with the measurements used by the industry
Mbhenyane, Charlotte Misaveni
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Good fit of clothing is crucial for consumer satisfaction irrespective of age, gender or ethnic group. Up to now little attention was given to the clothing needs of the black consumer in South Africa, despite the fact that the black population group is the biggest and that 60%-70% of all spending is done by them. As a result of historical development, most South African manufacturers and retailers use European measuring charts. It is known, however. that anthropometric measurements, including measurements for pattern design and clothing construction, for one ethnic group cannot automatically be used for other ethnic groups. It is therefore of vital importance that the industry must reconsider and update their sizing charts to cater for this up coming market as well. The aim of this study was to determine whether significant differences exist between the measurements used by the clothing industry and the body measurements of young black children aged between 10 and 14 years. The sampling for this project was done in consultation with the Statistic Consultation Service of the North-West University. A list of schools was obtained from the North-West Department of Education. A total of 44 schools in rural as well as urban areas was randomly selected and within each school a sample of each age group was randomly selected. Children from 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 years old were included in this study. Measurements were taken from a total number of 718 black children of which 293 were boys and 425 girls. Various girth and length measurements were obtained. Almost 69% of the black boys' measurements in all age groups were smaller than those used by the industry. The black girls' results show that 15% of their body measurements in all age groups were smaller than those used by the industry. Across all the girls' age groups four to five of the measurements (31%-38%) showed a significant statistical as well as practical difference from the measurements of the industry. The neck base measurement for all age groups of the boys and girls was statistically larger than the measurements used by the industry. The shoulder length measurements of all age groups of the boys and girls showed no statistically or practically significant differences from those of the industry. It is concluded that the measurements used by the industry for each age group do not represent those of the black children aged 10-14 years in the North-West Province. It is recommended that the industry should take this into account in revising their size charts to ensure a better fit of garments for black children of all age groups.
- Health Sciences