Exact color matching is an incredibly tricky process, and colors can look different depending on lighting, surface, or even differences in our eyes. Given the subjective nature of color perception, we use the Pantone system to help us communicate and check color. To learn more about the Pantone system, read this article.
However, we know that customers want some confidence that what they order will be the same as what they receive. We've described below our color matching promise (which varies by scenario).
Screen Print Colors
We us water-based inks in our printing process, and since we mix the pigments ourselves in small batches, we have much more control over the color that is printed. We make a sample proof at the start of every production run to ensure the finished product has the right color and we check our colors using a pantone matching book.
Since an industry-grade spectrometer is cost-prohibitive, we use Pantone Color Match Card, as well as a visual inspection by our trained QC team to ensure our prints are close to the desired pantone.
A few important notes on print colors:
- When printing on dark vs. light fabric, a color can look very different (see Chubb Illusion)
- When printing a pattern with many overlapping colors, the overlapping lines might have slight color blends
- When printing on jute, colors can be more variable. That is because the loose-knit jute is highly absorbent and takes on color differently across the width of the fabric.
Cotton Fabric Colors
Our cotton fabrics are dyed on the roll and delivered to our warehouse. We work with our dye houses to ensure that products are dyed as close as possible to our desired color. When layering fabric prior to cutting, we use both visual checks and the Pantone Color Match Card to ensure that the fabric color matches our spec.
That being said, any fabric will have slight shade variation across the roll. Short of checking color on every square-inch of a roll of fabric (an impossible task), we must operate on the basis that there will be some shade variation in the length of a roll. To mitigate this issue, we batch our cutting lots in such a way that all components of a bag or tee are cut from the same part of the fabric. This ensures shade consistency within any single tee or bag.
A few important notes on dyed fabric:
- We use shade matching to reduce color variation within a product
- you can learn more about how our tees fabric is dyed HERE
Natural Cotton & Jute
Natural, undyed fabric will tend to have the most color variation. This is because the color of the fabric comes directly from the plant or cotton bud. While combing reduces impurities in the fabric the fabric will have a natural color that will vary from batch to batch. Part of the appeal and natural look of undyed fabric is the organic shade variation in the fabric. Therefore, a natural cotton or jute product will always have a higher degree of color variation.
Color is a complicated topic and its something we know you care about. If you have more questions regarding our color matching process, or have any concerns about an order you have placed or received, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org..