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What are the key factors which you need to optimize in your clothing business? The answer is 3Ms which are Man, Machine, and Materials. In this clothing study, we will cover one of the important parts of Materials. It’s primary material but it plays a very important role in customer’s buying decisions. This secondary material is called dress form and mannequin for sewing.
We all have seen dress forms and mannequins in different sizes in a shop used to display garments to attract customers. Have you ever think why shop owners spend money on these dummies rather than just hang them or why they are in different shapes and sizes? Its only purpose is not to display products. The main purpose to have them in the shops is to show customers how a particular dress will look on different body types. Also clothing business owner you must make sure you are targeting the average body measurement of your target market while making the pattern of any garment. To make sure that you cannot hire a model to stand by in your sewing line. It will be a waste of your resources.
The best choice would be to use the dummy in different sizes so that before bulk production you know the pattern you are making will be a perfect fit for your target customers. In this clothing study, we will discuss details about dress form & mannequin for sewing and how this can be used in your manufacturing process with perfection.
Our team is working for a long with few very well-known apparel brands like Macy’s, Ralph Lauran, H&M, Next, K-mart, and so on. From that experience, we have analyzed their fitting and design patterns. Every brand has different types of fitting for different product lines. So in this article, we are going to describe to you which is the idea to have a different fit, how this can be a fine touch in your clothing brand, and how Dress Form & Mannequin play role in here.
History of Mannequin & Dress Form for Sewing
Can you guess how old history does mannequin and dress form has? Some evidence shows that there was a mannequin in the era of King Tutankhamen but that was not for display cloths. It was made to preserve his body measurement for eternity. Historians have found evidence of usage of a mannequin from the 15th century where fashion clothes have been displayed.
Finally, in the 18th century, commercial production of mannequins started with the beginning of industrial revaluation. France was the first mover in this industry and won appreciation from the rest of the world. Professor Lavigne was the designer of one of the first patented mannequins which were used only for tailoring. Later in 1850, he started to manufacture dummies with head, legs, and hands with his student Fred Stockman. After 1850 dress forms & mannequins for sewing and displaying clothing started to get popular in Europe & America.
Fashion stores gradually started to face a very critical issue. The heat of the window started to hurt the measurement of dummies. In the 1920s a French firm, Pierre Imans arrived as savior. Their dummies made with heat-resistant material started to gain popularity quickly.
The shape of the dummy changed almost every decade due to changes in fashion. This is very much understandable as fashion is correlated to fitting, so once you change fitting you need to correct dummies also. Even in the last couple of decades, lean models ruled in fashion and no one has imagined plus size models. But now there’s a huge demand for plus-size dummies as there is a change in fashion and demand. More and more feathers will be added to the fashion industry, the more variations we will see in dress forms and mannequins for sewing.
Difference between Dress Form and Mannequin
Dress Forms are usually soft which can hold pins and is Torso shaped but Mannequin is made of hard materials which include limbs, head. If you are a fashion designer or garment maker or you have a tailoring service to make custom-designed garments then choose Dress Form. On the other hand, if you own a clothing shop then to display your collection buy Mannequin considering your product line. There are different kinds of a mannequin which serve different purposes.
Types of Mannequins
There are different types of mannequins and dress forms designed to serve a different purpose. For small clothing brands, you may need 3-5 dummies depending on your need. For the beginners of clothing manufacturing, we recommend you not to buy more than 2 dummies for fitting purposes. Simply, choose an average measurement rather than buying dummies of different shapes.
Below are some commonly used Dress Forms and mannequins for sewing.
- Full Body Mannequins
- Part Dummies such as head, calf, ankle, and foot
- Bifurcated Dress Form
- Professional Dress Form
- Adjustable Mannequins
- Ghost Mannequins for preview photography
- Dog Mannequins
How to Choose the Right Mannequin
Choosing a wrong Mannequin will cause you a loos of hundreds of bucks which you never want at beginning of our business. Each penny is important so you cannot buy a Mannequin without following a standard process.
Below are steps to follow choosing the right Mannequin –
Step 1: Design your garment first. Remember there is no relation between designing and dummy. Dummy is required when you will check if your design fits perfectly in your customers.
Step 2: Finalize your Garment Specification (Spec) Sheet or Measurement Sheet and also shape for fitting. In this portion, you will know what kind of dummy you may require. Let’s consider this is your design and by putting it on a digital dummy you can understand what kind of shape your dummy should have.
Step 3: It’s optional but recommended to make a trial sample to be sure about your Mannequin’s measurement and shape.
Step 4: Decide if you need a full-body Mannequin or Dress Form. If you only work with tops no need to buy full body Mannequin.
Step 5: Finalize the material of the dummy. It’s recommended to buy a soft surface dummy so that you can pin whenever it’s required. This condition applies the same for both the development team and retail team.
Also, your brand must decide your target customers at the very beginning. If you don’t know for whom you are designing then probably face large leftover stock at the end of the year. So before finalizing your design and pattern decide your target customer’s age and income.
How demographic targeting matter in Dress Form and Mannequin? Let’s describe this with an example. Consider you have targeted customers are middle-aged, 40-50 years old. For them, you cannot use the pattern of 20-30 years old. Because these 2 don’t have the same physical structure. So without choosing the target customer precisely, you cannot finalize your brand’s fit and Mannequin as well.
Measurements to Ensure Before Buying Mannequin for sewing
Basic “Must-Have” Measurements
- Torso Length
Other Essential Measurements
- Bust (chest)
- Back Torso Length (neck to waist)
- Outside Leg / Skirt Length
- Inside Leg
- Crotch Depth / Rise
Why Dress Form and Mannequin for Sewing is Important
At the beginning of this clothing study, we have told you how different brands follow different fitting and ensure accuracy by using Dress Forms and Mannequins. Here are more details about that.
- Quality of the Product: One of the key points in the checklist of a quality audit is to ensure fit. Measuring the garment will not always give you accuracy. So Dress Forms and Mannequin helps to help you to review and ensure the required fit.
- Customization: If you own a tailoring shop then it’s a must to have a Mannequin to sew customized garments. But if you are a retail owner and new in this business then you can offer customization to your customers as a value-added service.
- USP of the Brand: Nice and perfect fitting can a unique selling proposition of your brand. Your unique way of complementing your customer’s fit will help to make your brand popular.
Craftincloud always loves to support beginners in the clothing business. We try to keep our clothing study easy to understand by not making it too complicated. In this article also we have given a brief about what Dress Form and Mannequin are and how they play an important role in the clothing business. We hope you loved this article. If you want more in-depth analysis then please contact us via Email or you can also write to us in the comment box. Our team will respond to you as early as possible.
Please don’t forget to read our next article about Best Dress Forms & Best Mannequin to Buy.