Textile industry works on 2 prime fundamentals; Color and Yarn. The long strands of fiber are woven together to form fabrics. The dying process can be done at yarn level or fiber level.
Getting cent percent accuracy, the matching is a difficult task. But there is always a difference in the end product. No matter at which stage dying is done, quality control team must do the color consistency tests.
What are common problems in color matching?
One common problem is Object, Vision and Light. The color of fabric depends on these factors. The same color tends to appear differently on different material type e.g. Wool and Silk reflect same color differently. If two fabrics dyed with the same color but they may appear different in different lights. This phenomenon is called Metamerism. Therefore, color matching cabinet becomes an unavoidable part of the textile industry. Such testing instruments create a lighting atmosphere for the testing. The sample can be tested under different light conditions like UV rays, white cool light fluorescent, artificial daylight.
The second common problem is product component. For instance, a garment is made up of many different components e.g. collar, pocket, buttons, thread, embroidery, etc. Matching every component with the color of the fabric is an intricate task and requires a lot of precision. Due to different in texture or raw material of different components, there is always a color difference. When a silk fabric is stitched with cotton thread, there will be a color difference, no matter how much care is taken off.
Product procurement is the third prime reason of color mismatching. In a manufacturing unit, raw material is usually procured from different vendors and sometimes attained from across the borders. Usually, different standards are followed in different countries. That is why there is always a difference in the color consistency of the end product. However, this difference is not too big to be judged by naked eyes. Instruments like color matching cabinet can easily detect such difference.
What are after effects of having inconsistency in the color of the end product?
Sometimes the mismatching in color is so high which can be easily judged by naked eyes. In such cases, the quality control team either rejects the consignment and ship it back or ask for huge discounts to compensate some amount of loss at both ends. However, an end user is not as expert as color management expert to judge this difference. If in case retailer start receiving such complaints from the end users, the whole lot has to be picked up from the distributor and retailer. This could hugely impact on the business and reputation of the manufacturer.