The 15 most common misconceptions about digital color communication


People are born with genetically lousy color vision (that’s true, click here to learn more). Still, many brands and retailers tend to rely on the human eye in their color processes.

Today, leading textile companies use digital color communication and the available technology to create colors that are accurate, precise and superfast.

Instead of sending multiple rounds of physical lab dips (and still not be sure that you will get the color you asked for), they use a color’s digital fingerprint. (Or you might have heard of: reflectance curve, spectral data, numerical color data, digital sample, qtx-file… same concept just different names).

With digital fingerprints and color communication, your color requests, approvals and rejections can be communicated electronically within seconds to your supply chain. You can compare your color development and see what is going on at your dyers in real-time.

Imagine the cost and time savings for a textile supply chain that trust the color technology available.

(Hint: Lead-time saving is 4-6 weeks for color development, cost saving is up to 70% on fewer re-dyeing and physical color submissions. And at the same time, sustainability goals are naturally supported).

How fast do your company adopt new processes and technologies? Digital color communication has been around in the textile industry for over a half century.


Are you convinced or do you follow some of the common misconceptions?

15 misconceptions that we often hear about digital color communication:

1. We all see colors the same way.

2. I do not trust digital color approval.

3. If I approve a lab dip, the production will look the same.

4. I need to coordinate trims, so I need to pick a lab dip.

5. If I specify a color, then the shade can be matched by the dyers on any fabric.

6. Commercial color standards (such like CSI, Pantone, Archroma, RAL, NCS, and Scotdic) can be matched by the dyer at all requested materials.

7. If I buy a standard from a commercial color standard company, I will get the digital finger print/reflectance curve too.

8. Digital color communication isn’t a main stream way to work yet, so it’s too difficult to work with only some suppliers and not all.

9. We have a proper visual process in place and digital color communication is too scientific and not creative enough.

10. Our designers want to see samples to make sure they like the color, and digital color control is not creative enough.

11. I heard that not all fabrics and colors can be digitally measured and communicated, we will change when all can be digital.

12. It will be expensive and complicated to implement, and we have a constant change of suppliers.

13. Digital color communication is for big companies with big dyers, the dyers I work with cannot be trusted to work this way.

14. Our dyers say they do not want to do it.

15. My color standard is a physical swatch, so we go from there.

Stay or change?
Change can be scary and often takes work, but in this case change is actually less scary (then relying on humans) and will save tremendous work and money for your team (sophisticated systems are doing most of the work).

Dip your toe in the awesomeness of color
We’d love to hear from you and discuss your misconceptions (if any), current situation and future color goals. If you like a price suggestion, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Email the natific team at and we’ll get back to you.


your natific team

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