How you can achieve 85% first-time lab dip approval

We are excited to share practical kick-ass tips to take action on that will save you time and money in the color process, while supporting your sustainability goals. In this article we will look at how you can get the colors you want without multiple lab dips being sent back and forth.

You might recognise following average figures for seasonal color lab dip approval:

• 25% of the lab dips are approved in the 1st round of submissions

• 60% are approved in the 2nd round*

• The remaining 15% are approved in the 3rd round or later

* whereof 30% of these are only approved because of lack of time!

Imagine that you KNEW or could IMPROVE the outcome of your colors. What would happen to your lead time, money being spent, sustainability goals and color quality?

It's common that dyers have trouble to match color standards sent to them from brands and retailers (yes, also commercial standards). This ultimately results in multiple submissions and long lead time. You can easily prevent this by being proactive in the design and color requesting phase.

If your supplier only receive color samples that are possible to achieve in production on any material, it will save you:

Lead-time savings:
• 4-5 days saving for first round of color matching
• 15-20% less time spent on lab dips and supporting administration
• Increase right-first-time rate to 85% for lab dips

Cost savings:
• Saving per new lab dip USD 65 and per courier USD 40
• Reduced quality issues

Sustainability goals are organically supported:
• Less re-dyeing i.e. less use of dyes, water and energy
• Less lab dips sent by airfreight
• Saved overtime for labor

How you can achieve 85% first-time lab dip approval
Let’s look at a color standard for color Radiant Orchid (18-3224). We found some important facts when checking the feasibility on cellulosic.

The high brilliancy for the color can only be achieved on a well bleached and unstructured flat fabric. Any finish such as softener or antimicrobial can show an additional negative impact to the brilliancy of the color.

To the left: How the color swatch for Radiant Orchid look in various light sources prior to an adjustment of the reflectance curve.
To the right: The original reflectance curve (in red) and natific's adjusted optimized reflectance curve (in green).

A feasibility study of your colors and materials will let you know if it is possible for your suppliers to meet your color quality requirements, and if an adjustment of the reflectance curve is needed.

Our recommendation for the color Radiant Orchid: The supplier will achieve the brilliancy as well as the requested light fastness on cellulosic with an adjusted optimized reflectance curve together with following state-of-the-art products:

• Reactive Red 159 (e.g. Drimaren Red K-8B or Levafix Brilliant Red E-6BA)
• Reactive Violet 33 (e.g. Drimaren Violet K-2RL or Levafix Red Violet E-4BLA)
• Light fast red elements such as Drimaren Red HF-6BL, Novacron Red FN-2BL, Levafix Fast Red CA, Everzol Red LF-2B

There is more to save!
With optimized digital color reflectance curves (.qtx-files) as your color standards instead of physical color swatches, you will have a color standard that the mill can match and re-match season after season.

Changing to a digital color path with digital color standards has reduced the lead time for brands and retailers with 4-6 weeks!

There is no need to cut a piece of fabric in small pieces again, you can send the same digital standard to multiple supplier. While a physical standard needs to be handled under certain rules to stay fresh, a digital standard cannot be mistreated or sun bleached.


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