Using 3D body scanning for tailoring
We’re very excited to announce a new partnership with premium Adelaide-based suit tailor Beg Your Pardon. We’re working with owner Michael Bois on something quite exceptional; using body scanning for tailoring to make perfectly-fitted custom apparel. Let’s dive into the how and why of this opportunity.
HOW IT CAN WORK
It’s all possible because our Styku scanners are superb physical measurement devices, and Michael is also a superb (albeit more organic) measurement expert. The scanners take over 600 infrared images of a rotating person and create a 3D avatar with circumference measurements all over the body. Switching the software from health reporting to tailoring then measures between physical landmarks that are the basis of garment designs. You can read more about how our scanners work if you’d like.
With a little help and interpretation by Michael, we are planning to make perfectly tailored clothing.
The scanner measuring system can work for Beg Your Pardon because Michael runs a true custom service. All garments are made from measurements. Many tailors work from “blocks” which means they take a pre-made and pre-sized garment and add or subtract material from it after measuring. That does make for a more efficient and cheaper tailoring service but doesn’t suit our scanning process quite as well at the moment.
Beg Your Pardon garments are wholly designed by Michael himself from his own measurements, and his dimensions are sent direct to manufacturing. That level of premium service is a barrier to scale because Michael is so literally hands-on. Our scanners have massive potential to remove that barrier.
THE BUSINESS CASE
There’s more to this pilot than doing cool things with our scanners. We love doing cool things with the scanners but Michael has a big opportunity to make scanning part of the process for the benefit of his business.
“We can effectively scale the business because it means anyone anywhere that has a Styku scanner reading can send that to us and we can construct a suit for them. It puts us in a position where, as a small business, even though we have the capacity to manufacture and make more suits through mass customisation, it’s really hard to get to the clients and take the measurements and this is a really good solution. Beyond that some of the scans we do get, we can really pick up body posture. There’s a lot of positives already that we’re seeing to start with. It’s just the minutia we’ve really got to solve.”
The scanning is effectively saving time and compressing distance. Michael doesn’t need to physically measure everyone himself. He can take scanner measurements from any of the Styku units with tailoring measurement outputs and design garments from that.
Body scanning has the potential to make for a better measurement experience. We scanned Michael himself in our office and he saw a lot of positives;
“I thought the scanning process was really straightforward. It takes less than a couple of minutes, there’s really nothing intrusive about it. You just stand there with your arms out and it turns you. It’s far less intimidating than coming into the shop for measurements. That can be quite intimidating having someone put a tape around you and actually take your body measurements.”
Scanning is also private and contact-free. Businesses are having to respond to the challenges of 2020, and body scanning can solve that for tailoring. Building a cohesive process has real customer benefits.
“If we can pull that off we’ll have a lot of happy customers, particularly given the social distancing requirements. Suit measurements aren’t easy to take when you can’t touch someone. This is a really good solution.”
Let’s jump into some of the challenges we’re overcoming during our testing.
First is adapting your physical measurements into manufacturing measurements. Knowing lengths and circumferences might be enough to make garments that fit, but not necessarily tailored clothes that will look good and make you feel good. That’s where Michael’s expertise comes in. He’s able to take inseam and outer leg measurements, as an example, and add appropriate length for how suit pants are meant to sit because of his years of experience.
Second is adjusting to personal preferences. Again, the scanner doesn’t know how you like to wear your pants, or how you like a jacket to sit on your body. The solution is Michael’s already superb service. The scanning might take some of the physical measuring work away from him, but the commitment to making exactly what you want stays firmly at Beg Your Pardon.
Third is identifying what we’re calling magic ratios. This gets a little abstract but we’re learning how limb and torso lengths are related to each other and what that means for the tailoring. These ratios will mean Michael, in theory, can use scan data only and make consistent adjustments that will lead to the ideal fit across a range of body shapes.
On a personal note, we’ve been very impressed with Michael’s resolution to work with us and make the system work. He’s gotten very creative in finding these solutions. It’s become quite a collective of nerds working on this project!
We’re excited by the opportunity to collaborate with Beg Your Pardon, and the potential to expand our health services to Michael’s customers. All of the health and tailoring data comes from the same scan so we can give optional health consultations at time of measuring.
It’s another method Michael wants to use to distinguish the experience of going to Beg Your Pardon;
“The scanner picks up a lot more than just measurements. If we can integrate that into what we offer our customers it makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger than just a tailoring store.”
THE NEXT STEPS
We’re knuckling down to do some data crunching with Michael to figure out how to make sure every scan gets turned into a worthy suit, fitted to perfection, and ultimately happy clients for everyone.
Expect to hear more about this over the coming months and we hope to be unveiling some beautiful tailored suits made using scan data before long. If you’re a tailor, or any other business than needs super-accurate physical measurements then please feel free to email us. We’d love to hear how we can help your business.