What is the main purpose of taking lab dip approval?

The purpose of lab dip approval

In apparel sourcing, designers from the buyer's side develop new design collections with new fabric shades. They do a forecast of new shades for the new season. The designer develops the color standards for their designs. They need the new shade in the physical garments and physical fabrics. In this process, the designer and the buyer need lab dip approval for the fabric that will be used in making their designs. In this article, you will learn the purpose of lab dip approval.

To get the new fabric shades, the buyer sends color shade reference (color standard) in Pantone color code to their suppliers (garment manufacturers/apparel buying agents). The dyed fabric color needs to be matched with the paper color code.

To develop the desired color, the dyeing master does a couple of trials in their lab. The fabric shades appeared in different shades in wet fabric and after drying the dyed fabric. Until the dyer gets the design shade, he keeps changing the dyeing recipe. You know, the shade needs to be matched in dried fabric.

You understood that the fabric lab dip is prepared for new shade development for a fabric. Normally, this lap dip is prepared by the fabric mills or a fabric dyeing plant. In a fabric dyeing plant, they do this in their sampling department (lab).

Purpose of the lab dip approval:

1. From the buyer’s perspective
The lab dip should be developed to make sure their design will be made matching with their required colors. The designer needs to see the appearance of the color and shade before going for actual garment production. If the designer likes the shade, lap dip is approved. Normally, the supplier arranges the lab dip for the buyers. During lab dip submission, a couple of shade options are sent to the buyer for approval. So that the buyer can see the right color (best color) in the fabric substrate and choose the one that's closest to your color standard.

When the buyer gets the correct lap dip (matching fabric color shade), they approve the fabric and ask for sample development with the original fabric and original fabric shade.

There will be always a chance of slight variation of shades in bulk fabric compared to the color standard or the approved fabric lab dip swatch. In such a case, suppliers need to take approval on all shades whether those shades can be used for making garments.

2. From fabric supplier’s or fabric dyeing plant's perspective 
Though they are skilled in producing any color or shade, they need to show that they dye the fabric in the desired shade. During the lab dip process, dyeing plants develop the dyeing recipe for the desired shades on the specific fabric.

There are different types of dyes used for different fabrics and different shade development. In this stage, the fabric dyeing unit knows which dyeing will be used for the bulk production. If they can develop it in their lab (sample fabric), they can ensure their customer (garment manufacturers) that in bulk fabric dyeing they can develop the same shade.

Lab dip approval is a standard process in apparel sourcing.  

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