Garment Production 101: What Are Lab Dips And Why Are They Important?

August 14, 2018

A lab dip is a dyed fabric sample made to meet the color standards of a designer.

It is generally developed by a dye house or a color lab.

The purpose of a lab dip is to give a designer an idea of what the fabric color will look like for manufacturing.

That is why a designer’s approval is necessary before bulk manufacturing takes place.

Lab Dip Shade Matching Methods

Labs use a variety of lab dip methods, such as sunlight matching, tube light matching, ultraviolet matching, sodium light matching and more. Each method gives different results.

Broadly speaking, the lab dip matching process may take a few days or up to two weeks, depending on the availability of dye stuffs, how difficult the color is to match and the lab’s schedule.

That being said, a cotton dip can take up to six hours, while polyester or polyester blends require twelve hours. The dipping process is repeated until the perfect color match is achieved. Then the dyed samples are checked in a lightbox to see how the colors look under different light settings.

Important things to keep in mind

First off, make sure you approve lab dips before dyeing bulk orders. A reputable lab or manufacturer can do the best matching for you.

However, some colors, such as black, grey, nude, etc. are much more difficult than others to match. These colors tend to flare in many directions.

Also, if you are lab dipping bras, make sure to color match all the parts. On the other hand, single items such as a hoodie are simpler and less time-consuming than bras.

To make the lab dipping process easier, get a color card for the fabric you are using from a mill. In most cases, mills produce a few basic or trendy colors. You can save a great deal of time and money by picking available color.

If you want to learn more about lab dipping, feel free to reach out to us. At Lefty Production Co., we offer complete design, development and manufacturing solutions to designers of clothing and accessories.

Our services include fabric and trim sourcing, pattern making, sample making, fittings, marking and grading, cutting, packing and more.

We specialize in a variety of garments, including men’s wear, women’s wear, children's wear, swimming and bikini, athletic wear, lingerie, as well as home textiles, handbags and accessories.

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