April 12 06:02 2018 Print This Article

For years, Indian customers have struggled with finding clothes as per their body type since most brands follow size charts from different countries.

Also, if you like experimenting with brands, you quickly realize a size 30 in one particular brand may not be the same as another brand, often creating confusion as to which sizes to try on!

This major drawback due to the existing disparity in size charts becomes apparent when consumers shop for branded clothes online. Poor fitting on delivery then results in the vicious circle of exchange of garments, return and refund that can be time-consuming and upsetting.

But the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in association with the ministry of textiles is all set to ease these woes, as it plans to come up with a standardized ‘India size chart’ for the garment industry by conducting a national survey.


  • At an ambitious budget of Rs 30 crore, this national size survey will sample 25,000 people using high-tech 3D whole-body scanners. Of the overall budget, the ministry will contribute Rs 21 crore, while the NIFT will pool Rs 9 crore.
  • This sample size will include a population between the age of 15-65 across six cities spread across six regions of the country namely Kolkata in the east, Mumbai in the west, New Delhi in the north, Hyderabad in the centre, Bengaluru in the south, and Shillong in the northeast, with men and women being surveyed in equal numbers.
  • The expected duration for completing the survey and creating the standardised Indian size charts is about 2-3 years.
  • The 3D whole-body scanners will help computers extract hundreds of measurements including height, weight, waist-size, hip-size, bust-size etc. in a single scan. The institute also assured that all database created as part of this project would be confidential and secure.
  • Not only will Indian brands carry the standardised India size on garments, but also foreign brands in India would carry it.
  • “Besides, our diaspora can then also order any wear based on that standard size,” said Rajesh Shah, chairman of the Board of Governors of the NIFT.


For the longest tie, India has used the US or the UK system of ‘Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large.’

But the creation of the Indian size chart will enable shoppers in the country to have one standard reference point.

“That means, all India brands will have the same size for a person,” said Nupur Anand.

This Indian size chart will also help reduce the percentage of exchange of products due to poor fittings based on international size charts.

“Clothes that are tailored following a size chart specially developed for the Indian body size and shape will make Indians look more beautiful and feel more confident. It would also lead to more business and lower rejections,” Sarada Muraleedharan, Director General, NIFT, told Business Line.

“Providing well-fitting garments in the absence of standardized size chart is proving to be a big challenge for the domestic textile and apparel industry which is projected to reach USD 123 billion by 2021 and holds 5th position in apparel imports,” a statement by the Ministry of Textiles said.

Hopefully, the completion of this national sizing survey will help India join the club of 14 countries who have completed it like the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Korea, China and Australia.



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