chemistry amazing at it seems, color matching in any industry has a long way to go before perfection is reached. If you've chosen a set of Pantone colors or perhaps even sent a samples of previous fabric label you already had made up, you may be surprised to find resulting shades of the new delivery are slightly off. Understandably, you call up your clothing label supplier to try to find out as to why your color selections was not to your expectations.
You are told that the label manufacturer makes every attempt to match and match colors, but that it is very difficult to get a 100% exact match, especially with very deep shades or green, blue, yellow, or red.. You are told that in order to get exact matches, a lengthy and expensive physical sampling process must be employed and even that is not guaranteed!
This brings up a very interesting question: Why can't technology present a perfect match the first time? There are several very important reasons for this.
The first confounding element is the actual twist of the yarn. Is it S (counterclockwise) or Z (clockwise)? Believe it or not, the twist direction of the yarn actually affects the ionic bonding properties (the stickiness) of the dye especially for synthetics.
Another factor to consider is the source of the yarns f the threads are obtained from different yarn suppliers usually the cheapest wins out, as pricing is king in today's environment. Did your last label have S or Z threads? This makes a big difference with dye color bonding and thus the resulting shade,
Yet another difference is the slight pH alterations of the water used as a solvent to mix with the concentrated fabric dye. If the pH of water is 6.835 in one batch of dye at time #1 and 6.775 with the same batch of dye at time #2, then the ions in the clothing label acid dye will bind slightly stronger or slightly weaker. The resultant shade will be a color very slightly off The only real solution is to utilize a physical sampling process, and when you are satisfied with the color schemes and matching quality, then make a very large order perhaps substantial enough to cover your needs for years. If you don't plan on making any changes to your label, this is definitely the most cost effective avenue.
However, if you need only a limited amount of garment labels of any one run, it is helpful to relax the color requirements to a small range of shades it's the fastest and least expensive method.
Coloring of any textile is an area of great confusion and is oftentimes the source of an apparel designer's stress. Either making large batch orders, or relaxing the color requirements to a few similar shades makes the process less complicated and much more cost effective.