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The Fabric Dyeing Process for Custom Color

The Fabric Dyeing Process for Custom Color

Custom Fabric Dyeing 101

When developing a fashion line, one of the most persistent issues you’ll encounter is finding custom dyed fabrics that match your desired colors. Color trends change quickly, and big textile manufacturers may not react fast enough to provide exactly what you need. This challenge becomes even more pronounced when sourcing fabrics in Asia, where pre-dyed and printed fabrics can be scarce.

Hand Dyed Fabric Process

To address this issue, many fashion designers turn to the hand dyeing process, which offers flexibility and the ability to create small batches of custom colors. Hand dyeing involves hand mixing fabric dye to match the desired color reference, using hot water for dyeing. However, it requires patience and attention, as fabric dyes can be caustic and may damage sensitive fabrics.

Pantone & Color Matching

Pantone color system

For color selection, most designers use the Pantone color system, which is widely accepted in the Western world. However, in regions like Cambodia, access to Pantone guides may be limited due to their cost. Additionally, fabric dyes used in the dyeing process often do not have Pantone-based recipe guides for color mixing. As a result, color matching becomes more of an art than a precise science, relying on visual inspection by the dye house.

Our Recommendations for Custom Dyeing Fabrics

To manage the risks associated with custom fabric dyeing, here are some recommendations:

  1. Dye as much fabric as possible in one batch to achieve consistent colors.
  2. Keep your colorway simple with a small number of colors to reduce complexity.
  3. Use vibrant or simple colors, as they are easier to match than subtle shades.
  4. Be realistic in your expectations and understand that smaller-scale production may have limitations compared to larger-scale operations.

And Most of All…

It’s essential to be patient and flexible during the early stages of your fashion business, as challenges with custom fabric dyeing are common. Many tools and techniques used in larger garment industries may not be readily available to smaller fashion labels. How you respond to these challenges can significantly impact your business’s success.

Best of luck, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.