Fashion Updates | Industry Updates

Designing of Stretchable Saree Blouse Using Woven Fabric & its Influence on Comfort Characters

Published: April 27, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

   Dr. Irfana Siddiqui 

Assistant Professor

Department of Textiles & Apparel Designing

College of Community Science

Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani



It is advisable to construct any garment in lengthwise direction or crosswise direction of cloth. Crosswise direction of cloth has more stretch as compared to lengthwise direction and  maximum blouses were stitched using lengthwise direction of cloth  that is not having stretch therefore  women faced problems of fitting , wrinkles and folds forms  & seam slippage. Hence a research study was carried out on designing of stretchable blouse to use partial bias direction of cloth for cutting and stitching for minimizing problems of fitting of blouse & to test its suitability & comfortability by wear trials


  • Woven fabric is plain weave cloth, It is weaving by method  of  interlacing two sets of yarns, the lengthwise threads (warp) crosswise thread( weft), which are placed at the right angle to each other for weaving cloth is known as woven fabric 
  • Fabric grain:- it is technical term that describe the direction of yarns in cloth
  • Selvedge :-Cloth material has either side are the factory finished edges called the selvedge. These edges are bound to keep the fabric from unraveling. 
  • Lengthwise yarns:-Threads (yarn) running parallel to the selvedge in cloth is known as  warp yarns
  • Cross wise yarns:-Threads running side -to-side & perpendicular to the selvedge in cloth is called as weft yarns
  • Bias direction of cloth: – It is the 450 angle between lengthwise and crosswise yarns. Fabric cut on the bias is stretchy and often used for finishing of round neckline and armhole finishing and piping purpose
  • Stretchability :- When  fabric stretched & it is returns immediately to its original shape and size  after  pulling forced  is removed is known as stretchability 


  • The present study was carried out on designing stretchable saree blouses using woven fabric that is especially available 2×2 fine materials for sari blouses. A total of 30 women were selected randomly age group between 40 to 62 years of Parbhani and their daily  wearing habit  is a sari & blouse while working in office and at home .Information about problems faced by these women in sari blouse  was collected with the prepared questionnaire through personal talk & discussion. Information  regarding   type of fabric used for blouse, texture of fabric, care of fabric adopted before stitching blouse, design of blouse using  such as cross belt yoke, katori cut and princess cut , type of seam and seam finishes and seam allowance , slippage of stitches, raveling of yarns, pressure develop due to tight fitting of blouse , comfort of blouse in different body posture  such as bending , twisting , flexing arms 900 and 180 degree  was  collected. Research work carried out by considering the objectives such as find out  the problems faced by women in using different styles of sari blouse on following objective   
  • To developed  design of stretchable  sari blouse using bias direction of fabric
  • To test physical properties of  cloth selected for stitching  blouse 
  • To test the appropriateness,  suitability , acceptability & comfortability of developed designs of stretchable  saree blouse  by wear trials 

Pilot study – In the pilot study true bias (450) & partial bias (350) direction of fabric was used for construction of stretchable blouse, in wear trials partial bias (350) fabric was found to be comfortable   fit therefore experiment was carried out in partial bias fabric direction. 

Selection of style of garment

A sari blouse with a cross belt was selected for the designing of stretchable blouse and the basic shape of blouse is full tight fitting.

cross belt

Selection of fabric 

Woven fabric especially available for sari blouses in the market was selected such as fine quality cotton/ polyester blend and 100% polyester fabric of plain weave.   

Method of testing of fabric count  

One square inch was marked on fabric surface and number of warp (length wise) & weft (crosswise) yarns in one square inch in fabric was counted with the help convex lance as per J.E Booth (1987) Principles of Textile Testing (An introduction to physical methods of testing Textile Fibers, yarns & fabric.   

Twist measurement in the yarns of selected fabric

Fifteen inch yarns (lengthwise & cross wise) were removed from the selected fabric and  marked one inch distance in the center of yarns and it was mounted in two jaws of twist tester.  Untwist a known length of yarn and check visually, number of twists in per inch from the twist counter and record.                         

Method of testing of fabric stretch

Fabric stretch was tested by a simple method by application of a constant load to fabric, stripes of fabric were cut in size of 10 x 2 inches in  three different directions such as length wise , crosswise  and  bias grain of selected fabric. The stripes stitched both the end  of 1 inch in fold .One side  of stripes was hung in a hanger and the second side of stripes applied a load of 250 gm for 10 minutes. Amount of stretch in each stripe was measured with the help of measuring tape and stretch percentage calculated and tabulated.  Higher amount of stretchable fabric was utilized for stitching of women’s garments. 

Method of testing of thickness 

Thickness of fabric was tested with help of digital “Paramount Thickness Tester” Fabric was cut in size of 1.5 inch in diameter  as per the size of templates of tester and it was mounted between the two templates of  tester  .Thickness of fabric was  recorded from digital meter of tester and presented in percentage

Testing of cotton /polyester blend percentage 

Ten gram of cotton/polyester blended fabric and 100% polyester fabric was taken and soaked in  beakers separately containing  20 ml of  “Meta-cresol”  solution for an about 10 minute ,  beaker  was kept on slow gas flame for warming, polyester yarns  dissolved in warm meta-cresol , cotton yarns remain in the beaker as residue. Cotton yarns washed, dried and taken weight .Percentage of cotton /polyester was calculated.  

Measurement of blouse

Sari blouse were collected from 30 women for measurement & using flexible measuring tape garment measurements was taken .Extra seam allowance of inches was included in original measurement as required such as in bust circumference (40+2 inches), around waist,(36+2 inches),full length (15+2), shoulder width(14) ,length of sleeves(6+2).

Method of drafting of blouse

Flat pattern method was used for sketching, drafting & according to measurement prepared paper draft separately of 30 blouses such as front, back, cross belts (yoke) and short sleeve. Four darts in front part and two darts in the back waist was planned for proper fitting of blouse 

Prepared fabric for bias fold & cutting 

Single layer of fabric was diagonally folded at 35o angle for obtaining bias direction,  and paper draft of   front, back and sleeves were placed on bias folded fabric and transferred draft of paper on fabric and each part of garment  ( front, back and sleeves were cut in bias direction for stitching of stretchable garment. 

Stitching & finishing

Fifteen stretchable garments were stitched in cotton /polyester blended fabric and 15           numbers of garments were stitched using 100% polyester fabric in order to understand the          fabric behavior and its influence on comfort characters.     

Testing of developed design of stretchable saree blouse by wear trials

Developed designs of stretchable saree blouses were distributed among selected 30 numbers of respondents for wear trails. After 30 days of wearing experiences  of stretchable blouse responses  of the wearer  was collected for different parameters , respondents were asked to express their agreement & disagreement about the developed design of stretchable blouse  on  five point scale response, 5 points representing  strongly agree and  1 point representing  strongly disagree. Different parameters of stretchable blouse such as design of  blouse, performance of fabric , wearing comfort, stretchability, flexibility tightness , donning and doffing of garment , area where the body   is compressed & tight can be assumed  to be tight, area where the body loose feel , looseness can be seen as folds and wrinkles in the garment , fitting of arm   hole,  comfort of  garment in different body  posture  as  in bending , twisting , flexing  arms 900 and 1800   degrees were studied by means of grading as excellent, very good, good, fair , poor and numerical rating as 5 to 1 respectively.

Counting of wrinkles & folds on blouse

Wrinkles & folds formed on shoulder & sleeves were counted visually of 30 blouses while wearing condition by the respondents and the ratings were assigned on a five point scale, higher the number of wrinkles the rating was assigned as- 1 which denoted as very poor in fitting, l to 2 number of wrinkles rating was given as -4, no wrinkles and folds the rating was assigned as -5.

Rating scale for assessment

A three point rating scale weighted mean score(WMS) was used for assessment of developed design of stretchable saree blouses and the rating and grading as follows. 

           Grading                                             Rating

  • Highly suitable/ acceptable-                 3
  • Suitable/ acceptable-                            2
  • Somewhat Suitable/ acceptable-          1


As seen from Table-1 Cent percent of women reported that they used cotton /polyester blended fabric for blouses frequently because cotton/ polyester blended fabric was found to be suitable & comfortable when worn next to skin. 

Regarding the  100% polyester fabric ,50 percent of respondents   used frequently for the blouse because of its shine and color found to be permanent and pressing mark of sleeves remain as it is after multiple washing followed by 10.00 percent women used occasionally and 6.66 percent respondents used  very rarely  because of fabric color is matching to their sari   and  33.33 percent women never like to used polyester fabric for blouse because polyester fabric was not suitable to their skin. 

Higher percent (50 percent) of respondents reported that they used cotton fabric frequently for their blouse followed by 20 percent women used occasionally and 13.33 percent very rarely. 16.66 percent of women reported they never used cotton fabric for blouse because color bleeds 

in washing and it reduces durability and tears fast/ quickly.  Ninety percent of women explained that they used Brocade/Jacquard fabric occasionally because trend and fashion and blouse pieces are attached with sari so it is compulsory to stitch and 10 percent of women used brocade fabric very rarely.  

Table -1. Different types of cloth used by the women for their sari blouse

S. noTypes of fabricFrequently (monthly) N=30Occasionally( six monthly) N=30Very rarely( yearly)N=30NeverN=30
1Cotton /polyester blend30  (100)
2100% polyester15   (50)3(10.00)2(6.66)10(33.33)
3100% Cotton15   (50)6(20.00)4(13.33)5 (16.66)
                (Figures in parentheses indicates in percentages)

Table -2 indicates different style of sari blouse preferred by the women

Cross belt garment

It was noted that 66.66 percent of women   reported that they do not use cross belt style blouse because this style of blouse is outdated, out of fashion & tailors are not  ready to stitch charges of stitching is less  as about to Rs 50 to Rs 60/- followed by 33.33 percent women preferred cross belt style blouse because of habit  feel comfort

Catori cut garment 

As per the table ,86.66 percent of women explained  that they like to use catori style blouse because of comfortable,  trend & fashion & tailors like to stitch , charges of stitching is more as about to Rs 150 to Rs 300/- followed by 13.33 percent of women not like to use catori style blouse because  they faced problems 

Princess cut garment

Higher percent (83.33) of women showed that they not like to use Princess cut blouse because fastening arrangement of it is on back side and find to difficult to open & put on fastener without help of other person and stitching charges of it is extremely high as Rs 250 to Rs500/-, followed by 16.66 percent of women reported that they like to use princess style garment for only functional use. 

    Table-2. Different style of sari blouse preferred by the women 

S.noStyles of blousePreferred to useN=30Not usedN=30Stitching charges(Rs /-)
1Cross belt 10  (33.33)20 (66.66)50  to  60
2Catori cut 26  (86.66)4  (13.33)150  to  200/-
3Princess cut 5   (16.66)25(83.33)250 to   500/-
      (Figures in parentheses indicates in percentages)

100% polyester fabric

Table -3 illustrate physical properties of 100% polyester & Cotton/polyester blended fabric selected for stitching of saree blouse .It was clear that higher amount of stretch i:e 21% was observed in bias /diagonal direction of  in100% polyester fabric followed by 9 to 5 %  in length wise & crosswise direction respectively .Fabric count was noted as90x80s and thickness was recorded as about 1.68 mm. It was also observed   that in the 100% polyester fabric yarns of lengthwise & crosswise  not having twist but a group of filaments zigzag  setting, due to zigzag setting  the stretchability  & its recovery of polyester fabric was found to be higher than the cotton/polyester blended fabric.

Cotton/polyester blended fabric

Stretchability of fabric was found to be higher i:e  9 percent in diagonal direction followed by 1.5 and 3 %   in length wise & cross wise direction respectively. Fabric count was found to be balance in one square inch of fabric (that means lengthwise yarns 80 numbers & 80 number of crosswise yarns) thickness was recorded as 1.50mm &20 number of turn (twist) per inch was noted in lengthwise yarns (warp direction) and in crosswise yarn no twist was noted, zigzag setting was observed because these yarns of polyester.

Table-3   Testing of physical properties of selected fabric   

FabricStretch percentageof fabricFabriccountThicknessmmNumber oftwist per inch in yarnBlendpercentage
Warp WeftBias 1sq  inch WarpWeftcottonpolyester
100%polyester   5  92190x80s1.68 zigzag settingzigzagsetting  —100%polyester
Cotton/polyester blend1.5  3  980x80s1.50   20zigzagsetting    35  65 

Table -4 Problems faced by women in using various styles of blouses

S.noProblems facedTypes of blouses, N=30
Cross beltCatori cutPrincess cut
1Fabric not stretchable15 (50.00)12(40.0)3(10.0)
2Fabric partial stretchable  —25(83.33)5 (16.66)
3Wrinkles & folds formed2(6.66)25(83.33)3(10.00)
4Body gets compressed and feel tight21(70.00)7(23.33)2(6.66)
5Garment stretch in upward direction in bending, flexing arms to 900& 180024(80.00)6(20.00)
6Need to pull garment to down side and feel uncomfortable24(80.00)6(20.00)
7Tightness in sleeves 14(46.66)12(40.00)4(13.33)
8Seam slippage2(6.66)23(76.6)5(16.66)
9Placket on back side—-30(100)

(Figures in parentheses indicates in percentages)

As seen from Table 4.Cent percent women stated problem of cross belt blouse that no stretch in fabric and due to no stretch in fabric body gets compressed & feel tight 80 to 46.66 percent of women expressed their problems for common styles of garment of cross belt that garment rotates in twisting body posture, garment stretch in upward direction in bending, flexing arms to 900  & 1800 , need to pull garment to down side and feel uncomfortable and fabric tear on sleeve and front waist due to no stretch in fabric and very less (6.66 percent) seam slippage occur.

Catori cut design

Eighty three percent of women reported problems regarding the design of blouse  (katori cut) that stretchable fabric used only for selected area that is on “front cup” (83.33 percent)  and  other part of fabric used straight / lengthwise direction  hence folds & wrinkles formed  on front shoulder and armhole side,  followed by 76.66 percent of women  expressed  that seam slippage occur due the  less seam allowance used while stitching of curve area, due to slippage raveling of thread  Alteration of seam, size of garment reduced and front part of body is compressed & tight feel (23.33 percent)  at this situation, fastener of garment need to open for relaxation, stitches of fastener become lose & some time  it comes out from the garment, mark developed  on arm and  waist due to tight fitting of garment, shape of garment spoiled & unable to use. Tightness of sleeves garment stretch in upward direction in bending, flexing  arms to 900 & 1800 , need to pull garment to down side and feel uncomfortable and fabric tear on sleeve and front waist due to no stretch in fabric problems was noted in the range of 40 to 20 percent women.

Princess cut

Cent percent of women reported problems in princess cut blouse is closing and opening as fastener arrangement at back side it  is difficult to fastened without help of other person.16.66 to  6.66 percent  women faced  problems  as partial bias fabric used in front part of blouse, body compressed and seam slippage occur. 

Table-5.Evaluation of developed design of stretchable sari blouse for comfort characters

Comfort characterComfort scores  & rating
Cotton/polyester blended fabric(N=15)100% polyester  fabric,(N=15)
Excellent(5)Very good(4)Good(3)Fair(2)Poor(1)Excellent(5)Very good4Good3Fair2Poor1
Stretchability 70(14)1(1)75(15)
Partial bias direction of fabric70(14)1(1)75(15)
No strain and stress  develop on body & feel comfort75(15)75(15)
Soft  feel next to skin 50(10)8(2)9(3)75(15)
Draping behavior     —52(13)6(2)75(15)
No change in shape of blouse 52(13)6(2)75(15)
No wrinkles and folds formed52(13)6(2)75(15)
Flexible in different body posture as bending , twisting , flexing arms 900& 1800 & practically fit for purpose52(13)6(2)75(15)
Breathability  75(15)75(15)
(Figures in parentheses indicate number of women)

Table .5 showed that maximum score i:e 75 to 70  were noted  in  comfortable characters  stretchable blouse with excellent  grading  to stretchability in partial bias direction of fabric , no strain and stress  develop on body & feel comfortable followed by 52 to 50 score  were given by the women after wear trials of blouse  to soft feel, draping behavior , fitting, no change in the shape of blouse, no wrinkles and folds formed, flexible in different body posture as bending , twisting , flexing arms 900 & 1800 stretchability of fabric not increased or decreased after multiple washings also breathability of cotton /polyester blended fabric. Very good grading was noted for draping behavior with maximum score as about 52, minimum scores i:e 8 for soft feel next to skin. 9 to 6 ratings were recorded for soft feel next to skin, draping behavior, change in the shape of blouse. Excellent grading and higher scores i:e 75 were noted to the comfort characters of stretchable blouses stitched from 100% polyester fabric  no wrinkles and folds formed on sleeves and shoulder and arm hole because the polyester fabric  found to have more stretch than the cotton/polyester blended fabric, very poor grading was noted to un breathability of polyester fabric. It means that stretchable blouse was found to have comfort characters in both type of fabric materials cotton/polyester and as well as in 100% polyester

Table- 6. Evaluation of stretchable blouse for suitability on the basis of constructional  features                              Constructional features Suitability WMS
1Comfortable fit3.0**
2Back part  developed comfort pressure3.0**
3Front part  produced comfort pressure with balance3.0**
4Fitting of front and back shoulder is comfortable fit3.0**
5Fitting of front and back neckline  is comfortable fit3.0**
6Sleeve armhole  is flexible & comfortable fit3.0**
7Fitting of sleeves on arm is comfortable with ease and no possibility of red mark3.0**
8Placket comfortable stretch for fastening3.0**
9Waist line is comfortable fit with ease3.0**
(Highly suitable/ acceptable-3,Suitable/ acceptable- 2,Somewhat Suitable/ acceptable-1)

Table -6 showed that constructional features of stretchable blouse was found to be comfortable fit and with regard to constructional features of stretchable blouse such as back & front parts developed comfort pressure, fitting of front and back shoulder and neck line was comfortable fit and found to be highly suitable, comfortable and acceptable with WMS (weighted mean score) was recorded as 3.00. It was also observed that flexible armhole & fitting of sleeves on arm, front placket comfortable stretch for fastening and waistline comfortable with ease, all comfort characters were noted highly suitable with WMS (weighted mean score )was recorded as about 3.0.It means that all constructional features of stretchable blouse were found to be highly suitable, acceptable , comfortable  & strongly agreed.


As per the practical experiences of women stretchable blouse was found to be excellent due to stretchability in partial bias direction of fabric, flexibility, lie smooth on body without strain, no wrinkles and folds formed, comfortable fit with ease, relax feel with great satisfaction .Hence women have strongly agreed on the comfort characters of stretchable blouse and blouse found to be highly suitable, acceptable and comfortable. 

Wrinkle & fold free blouse stitched with bias direction cloth


1. DOROTHY SIEGERT LYLE (1976   ) Fabric performance and labeling MODERN TEXTILE 

      pp329-230, published United State of America

2.Complete Guide to Sewing (1976) Techniques of Tailoring, Published United State of 

     America,Singer Company ,pp 359-362

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