How to control and improve your color range

Precision and accuracy in the color production is the aim. It is critical since it indicates how well the final products will look and match in store, not only today but also for later seasons. Below five graphs show the difference between accuracy and precision, and consistency of both. The graphs are taken from natific’s on-line system ColorWarehouse.

The five graphs show the difference between accuracy and precision. Graph no 1 shows no precision and no accuracy (worst-case scenario). The 2nd graph indicates accuracy however no precision (this scenario is not preferred either). In the 3rd graph you see precision however no accuracy (might be more preferred but how about other suppliers’ precision if they are not included). The 4th graph show accuracy AND precision (this is what you are looking for).

But what you are really aiming for is consistency in precision and accuracy, as shown in the 5th graph. Where each and every dyeing cycle of subsequent lab dips and batches matches the arithmetic mean of previous batches with a maximum deviation being no bigger than ΔE 0.5 CMC (2:1).

The 5th graphs also shows the consistent levels of proficiency achieved by many of the natific partner mills. The reason why they are allowed to go straight to production without lab dip and first of production submits to their clients.

A visible supply chain
The production-tracking system ColorWarehouse allows you to see your color standards and all bulk production results in one place, in real-time. To be able to improve how well your garment will look and match in store prior to manufacturing.

The system is used in many of the world’s best mills, monitoring ongoing accuracy and precision of all color batches including dye recipes, processes, and fabrics. Production performance is scored in real-time with daily updated results to be viewed on-line by brands, retailers, vendors, and mills. Notifications are sent out to specified personnel when action is required, such as for out of tolerance or metameric submissions, highlighting where process or recipe modifications are needed. Mills are able to track performance by color, dyeing machine, and fabric to support production, process evaluation, and root cause investigations.

“Our internal color production is much easier monitored since all data
is available in the ColorWarehouse, which we use both internally for
color corrections and in order to be transparent towards our clients.”

/ Thomas Braun, Technical Manager, Swisstex California Inc., 2015

How can you get going?
Feasible digital standard (qtx-file) is the only way to move forward. With the qtx-file it is easier for mills to match and re-match by following the values and coordinates given. Everyone will have the same master digital standard, the standard cannot be mistreated or fade and it makes it possible to quickly execute rush colors.

Digital color technology has been widely used in the industry for over a half century and is already embedded in the infrastructure of the global fashion textile manufacturers, available for brands and retailers to capitalize on too.

Suppliers, let your clients know that you are ready to go digital!

Brands, are you not sure if your suppliers can handle the digital fast track? You might want to ask them the following questions:

  1. Do you have the ability to match digital reflectance curves and communicate color digitally?

  2. Are you a participating mill in the natific Color Accreditation Program (CAP)?

  3. Do you use the natific system ASAP for color development?

  4. Do you use the natific system ColorWarehouse for color production?

  5. Please specify any color software in use at your location:
    a. datacolor tools

    b. spectrophotometer – list make and model:

    c. datamatch

    d. iqc

    e. i-match

    f. other (what?):

A visible color production creates lead-time and cost savings. Up-to-date data from production, quicker analysis of problems and corrections, fast data collection for internal reports and improved quality, color accuracy and precision are the most mentioned benefits by brands and suppliers. While at the same time supporting sustainability goals.

Ps. Download and send the questions to ask your suppliers regarding digital color management

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