Proceedings to 7th International Conference on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Lugano, Switzerland: Towards Developing a Method for Identifying Static Compression Levels of Seamless Sports Bras Using 3D Body Scanning.

Adriana Gorea, Fatma Baytar

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Towards Developing a Method for Identifying Static Compression Levels of Seamless
Sports Bras using 3D Body Scanning
Adriana Gorea and Fatma Baytar
Iowa State University
Department of Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management ,
Keywords: Compression, body scanning, sports bra
Sports bras are functional garments designed to reduce repetitive movements of breasts during
physical activity. Understanding the factors influencing breast support is necessary for future
development of better functioning sports bras to prevent wearers from soreness and pain.
Compression was found to be the most effective factor in controlling the breast support.
Moreover, respiratory state was reported to be significantly affecting bra size and comfort.
Therefore, our pilot study explored how females’ breast area measurements change when
wearing seamless sports bras of different support levels. Two medium-size seamless sports bras
with low and medium compression (i.e. breast support) levels were tested with and without
removable pads. A [TC]2 NX-16 3D body scanner was used to scan three females, with three
different cup sizes, with and without wearing bras. Additionally, for each condition participants
were scanned at fully inhaled and relaxed (neutral) positions. In order to identify compression
rate changes among various conditions, twenty-one slice measurements taken at 0.25” intervals
between under bust and armpit levels were collected and compared. The compression rates for
each slice level were calculated by subtracting the slice circumference from the no bra
circumference, and dividing the result by the no bra measurement. Our preliminary findings
showed that the highest compression rates were achieved without pads, in both relaxed (5.06%)
and inhale conditions (4.73%), at levels below bust height. Cumulative compression rates over
all levels also showed higher compression rates for the bras without pads. Visual analyses
revealed smoother contour lines and a more uniform distribution of compression all around the
body for the medium support bra as compared to the low support bra for both with and without
pads conditions
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2016



  • compression
  • 3D body scanning
  • sports bras
  • seamless knitting
  • functional design

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