How the Indian Army’s new combat uniform was designed
The Indian Army will soon have a new combat uniform, specially designed for it by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). The new design involves several clever tweaks to fabric, weight and also the camouflage pattern.
On January 15, celebrated annually as Army Day, the new combat uniform for indian army has been unveiled. It will be made available to nearly 12 lakh of Indian Army personnel in a phased manner.
At NIFT Delhi, a team of seven faculty members, each with individual responsibility, was tasked with designing the new uniform to replace the one that has been in use since 2008.
“A faculty member worked on the development of the camouflage print, along with two students, who we had specially taken on for the project. Two faculty members worked on the development of the fabric, and two others worked on the development of design and prototyping, which were joined by two former students,” a member of the NIFT team told indianexpress.com asking not to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media. team arrived at the final concept after many brainstorming sessions.
The professor said during the briefing to the NIFT team that the military had clearly identified the issues they wanted to address with the new design. “The old uniform is thicker – like a Denim fabric. In certain climatic conditions it becomes extremely uncomfortable, especially when it is hot. Where there is humidity, the pants and jacket do not just don’t dry. The comfort factor was keeping the troops in mind,” the NIFT team member said.
The fabric has now been made lighter and sturdier making it comfortable to wear for longer durations. “The new weave also allows for quick drying. The composition of the yarn has not changed much – the cotton-to-polyester ratio remains the same,” the professor said.
Since the current uniform is also replicated quite a bit as the model is readily available in the market even though it is illegal to sell it, one of the challenges was to create a unique, multi-terrain model this time around. The same was done with a digital design in the new uniform.
The NIFT team offered the Indian Army almost 17 model options, four of which were shortlisted. These were then made into clothes to check the effectiveness and then one was selected.
The “efficiency” of the uniform means that it can be worn in different terrains – from the rocky mountains of Kashmir to the green slopes of the northeast region, and even the “tans and browns of the desert”.
The set includes a combat t-shirt underneath with a shirt over it, and unlike the old uniform, it won’t fit. Other micro features include the “jacket”, with angled upper pockets, lower pockets with vertical openings, knife pleats. on the back, a pocket on the left sleeve, a pen holder on the left forearm and improved quality buttons.
The new pants are adjustable at the waist with elastic and buttons, as well as a double layer at the groin. And as with the caps, the circumference is adjustable and the army logo is visibly higher quality.