What is Lab Dip?

Lab dip is a specimen of dyed fabric or yarns prepared for color approval. Lap dip is an important and essential process in fabric development both for apparel and fabric manufacturing business. Prior to bulk fabric dyeing lab dip approval is taken from the buyer.

Apparel brands evaluate fabric color and shade visually using a lightbox and/or digitally using the spectrophotometer. Apparel supplier gets lab dips developed from dyeing mills and they send lab dip to the buyer for color approval.

In a garment manufacturing unit, lap dip process follow up and coordination is done by the apparel merchandisers. They provide shade reference to the fabric mills (fabric manufacturers) and collect the dyed fabric from the fabric mills. The merchandiser first checks the lap dip sample by themselves. Once they get satisfied, they submit the lad dip sample to the buyer. 

Lab dip submission procedure may vary from one brand to another. Normally, prior to lab dip submission, supplier match the color with the given color standard (may be Pantone color code or fabric sample) in a lightbox under a defined light source (e.g. D65). (Note: Follow the buyer instruction for lab dip submission procedures.) Supplier receives multiple color options from mill and from those color options, 3 options (those match best to the standard) are sent to buyer. Normally lab dip swatch is made of 6 inch X 6 inch fabric cuttings.

Fabric color approval procedure is explained in this post. See the sample of lab dip submission form.
Lab dip submission from

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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