Measuring the Color of Fabrics

In the fabric industry, color is an important element. Fabrics, made of either natural or synthetic fibres, are usually produced in large batches. Matching them in terms of their lightness, color and brightness are essential yet challenging. Factors such as surrounding color and lighting conditions can interfere our color judgement, hence, many fabric manufacturers utilize color measuring instruments to ensure color consistency throughout the fabric manufacturing process.

Since final products are only as consistent as its raw materials, verifying the color of the dyes and fibres helps minimize color variance and improve production yield. Dyes can be divided into 2 groups, natural or artificial dyes. Natural dyes require higher dosage than artificial dyes to achieve similar shade. When using natural dyes, the use of color measuring instruments can help prevent unnecessary costs and wastage.

For blended fabrics, the combination of one or more fibres can alter color appearance due to the dye adsorption capabilities of different fibres. Monitoring of fabric color during this process can help ensure they remain accurate and consistent.

Here are some recommended measurement technique for measuring the color of fabrics.

  • For fibre thread measurement, ensure they are in the form of thread roll or they are large enough to cover the measuring port of the instrument.
  • For fabric measurement, 2 or 4 folded layers is recommended to achieve opaque sample and prevent light from passing through.
  • Use large measuring area (E.g. Φ30mm measuring area) for better repeatability.
  • Measure multiple times over several spots and take the average data to achieve a good representative color.

Color measurement instruments like Konica Minolta Spectrophotometer CM-3600A /CM-3610A and CM-2600d can help users measure the color of fabric with ease. For fabric formulated with optical brightening agent , both the CM-3600A and CM-2600d are also capable of emitting and capturing UV properties and measure fluorescent effects of whiteness accurately.

For more information on how to measure the color of fabric, click here or contact us at (+65) 6563 5533 for a free consultation.