This year brought great change in the textile industry – make sure you don’t fall behind!

Some of the big focus areas for the fashion and sports industry this year have been digitalization, speed-to-market, reduced environmental impact, and staying ahead in the evolving textile industry.

If you haven’t looked into or started your digital color process yet, now is the time.

Make sure everyone in your supply chain gets what they need to work with you, with no or as few interruptions as possible.

An efficient and effective color process starts at the retailer’s design desk. The color standard you send out to your supply chain partners sets the standard, not only in terms of your specified color but of your entire color process.

What makes an effective fabric color standard?
• It’s precisely the color you want
• It’s the same color in different lighting conditions
• Everyone gets a fair chance to view it equally with a large enough swatch
• The standard should be produced with dyes regularly used by the industry in a repeatable combination
• The standard should meet all the core color fastness criteria for the fabric being matched
• All standards should be clearly labelled with a unique reference and color name

Do all your color standards meet the above criteria? That’s great, however the following limitations of physical fabric color standards are always present:
• The practice of using physical fabric swatches is prone to error and argument, one big reason is the human factor (different color vision and misunderstandings in our communication)
• Fabrics change due to handling, humidity, temperature, light exposure, effect of environmental pollution and so on
• Agents and middle men all keep cuttings of the standard, - the dyer usually gets the smallest bit!

What can go wrong with physical fabric color standards?
Despite having a perfect physical color standard, there are many areas where things can go wrong. The result is long lead times, high costs, and great environmental impact. The wrong color can even stop a product from being sold.

Some of the areas that can go wrong:
• The dyers and specifiers standards are different
• Poor uniformity of standard
• The dyer has been given the wrong standard
• The standard has been labelled incorrectly
• Color data and the standard don’t match
• The dyers standard has been cut to a piece the size of a pea with no identification
• The standards are variable and not the same
• The standard has become contaminated/dirty
• The color samples are being viewed under different light sources

One way forward
Replacing your physical color standards with feasible digital color standards will give you the speed and results that more and more supply chains have realized throughout this year. Ultimately, it will free up your time and let you focus on future development instead of yesterday’s problems.

Digital Color Standards – Benefits
• Can be sent immediately anywhere in the world
• The standard will not age or deteriorate
• There is no variation
• Reduction in courier postal charges

Digital Color Communication – Benefits

• Lab dyeing reduced by 50-70%
• Reduced time to market
• Delivery bills reduced
• Faster palette creation
• Fewer arguments
• Less waste and environmental impact

Next step? Education!
Depending on your supply chain’s digital color experience, training is needed. It’s important to learn the basics of digital color standards and color communication.

The natific team has the expertise to train brands and retailers to carry out the digital color process smoothly and to educate suppliers on color, material, lab and bulk production, with the goal to eliminate the need for lab dips and first production submits.

We are thrilled to help you achieve your 2018 New Year’s resolution with increased speed-to-market, lower costs and reduced environmental impact. Contact our support team at to get started


your natific team



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