Lab Dip:

Lab Dip or Lab Dye is a small piece of fabric or swatch which is taken from an apparel style, colored to a particular shade. Before bulk production of fabric and garment manufacturing, lab dip approval from the buyer is very essential. There are different types of lab dip shade matching method in garments lab such as tube light matching, sunlight matching, ultraviolet matching, sodium light matching etc. Those methods give different results in different time. Normally merchandisers are follow up this process and lab dip methods are applied as per buyer asking.

Importance of Lab Dip Approval in Garments:

We all know that the fabric is the main raw material in a garment, therefore; fabric color matching with buyer desired garment is an important task before bulk manufacturing process of garments. Fabric manufacturers normally give lab dip samples to the buyers for approval before the bulk production of fabric. Generally, lab dip will help to visualize the total fabric color after bulk production. Therefore, lab dip approval from a buyer is essential for an order  execution.

A Lab Dip Color Standard Swatch Card

Lab Dip Approval Process in Apparel Industry:

The lab dip is usually made on a small swatch of fabric, which length and width should be 6”X 6″. The apparel lab test unit uses their sample color, particular reference number or Pantone number for every lab swatch to define the color standard. Generally, garments use their color shade as section wise. An example, shade A, B, C, D in 3 to 6 options of a color shade, but lab approval will be better if use minimum four options, therefore, buyers can find an accurate color which is closer to standard with sample color. Some buyers can be recommended for spectrometer and light box to match color. Spectrometer machine finds out of all electrical data and similar color, tone or hue. But this process is very expensive and not user-friendly. On the other hands, light box has special light sources which provide the right environment with options of viewing angles for color matching and comparing with the sample. There are different types of light box in the market, but most of the buyer recommends D-65 and TL-84 light box for shade matching.

    A Light Box

In a garment industry lab dip process is done following flow chart-

Order Lab Dip from Buyer


Recipe Swatch Card or Pantone Number

1st Correction

2nd Correction

Sample Grading (A, B, C, D)

Sample Send to Buyer

Get Buyer Approval

Start Bulk Production

Merchandising Tasks for Lab Dip Approval:

Each and every apparel merchandiser has done different types of important tasks for an order execution. Lab dip approval from the buyer is also an important task. Before sending the lab dips to the buyer, the merchandiser should confirm closer required shade and arranged for the swatch paper carefully step by step and Keep them in a plastic bag. After that, send to the buyer for lab dip approval.

The Merchandising working procedures for lab dip approval from buyer are as follows-

  1. At first, merchandiser receives color standard or sample standard from the buyer.
  2. Then analysis that standard to the manufacturer for producing lab dips.
  3. After that manufacturer takes time to make that.
  4. After making the manufacturer sends to the merchandiser.
  5. Merchandiser reviews and cross check it.
  6. Then merchandiser finally sends to the buyer.
  7. After that buyer receives the lab dip form buyer and give the comments.
  8. If everything is OK then buyer approve lab dip to merchandiser.
  9. After buyer approval, merchandiser starts to prepare bulk production.
  10. Start bulk production.