One key issue for retailers and their suppliers is how to achieve deep colors on micro denier fabrics.
At natific, we often speak of feasibility. Achieving deep colors on micro denier is a common subject of feasibility studies we are asked to perform.
A feasibility case is solved by manipulating the spectral curve and dye recipe of a color so it’s possible to be achieved on any material.
Micro denier fabric
The construction of micro denier fabrics is different than traditional fabrics. It’s made from synthetic yarns like polyester or nylon, in which many filaments are processed together to form a yarn that will eventually be woven into a fabric. The size of the yarn is defined as the denier.
In order to be considered a microfiber the fiber must be less than 1 denier, which is extremely fine. This gives the fabric an airy weight, downy feel, and soft, silky texture.
Why does this issue happen on micro denier fabrics?
Micro denier fabrics are made up of microfilaments. Microfilaments have an enormously higher surface area compared to normal denier. More filaments in the yarn results in a higher surface area.
Because of the greater surface area, when an equal amount of dye is used for both normal and micro denier fabrics, micro denier fabrics show lighter depth of shade. There’s more
This creates a challenge for dyers. How can they achieve a deep and level shade with a high level of color fastness on microfilament fabrics?
It might seem obvious to introduce more dye into the fabric to get a solid deep shade. However, at a certain point the dye becomes maxed out in exhaustion (not reaching a deeper shade). Instead, try increasing the number of dyes used to help you achieve the proper depth.
With polyester, you can go from a 3-dye combination to a 5-dye combination. This means that instead of applying more of each dye, which not will make your final color deeper, you can use the two other dyes to increase the depth.
Keep quality requirements in mind!
When changing a recipe, there are other quality requirements, such as fastness, to consider and the dye cost might increase due to a larger amount of dye combinations.
Properly selected dye type and dye combination, optimized dyeing conditions, and appropriate post-treatment need to be considered to achieve the color quality requirements.
Speed up your problem solving
To address the issues coming from microfibers, we added a fiber fineness specification to our Voodoo system. The predictions and feasibility assessments in Voodoo are adjusted to micro denier fabrics and other fabric specifications.
You can use the Voodoo system to:
- Check if your colors are feasible and achievable in production
- Create an optimized reflectance curve to use as your feasible Digital Color Standard
- Get a proposal for your best possible match
- See technical details (metameric, fastness performance etc.)
Do you have micro denier fabric in your upcoming collection? Contact natific’s support team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your color requests and quality requirements; we will help you and your supply chain achieve the deep color you’re looking for.
your natific team