The color of apparel is a HUGE topic- one we think about constantly as we coach our customers through their design ideas. For that reason, we figured we would take a brief minute to talk about the fabric DYEING process.
The most common method for t-shirts is piece dyeing. First, the fabric is knitted in a natural cotton color, spooled onto a roll, then dyed in a dye bath and finally re-spooled onto a different roll. This final roll is then sent out to be cut and made into shirts! Most brands we carry operate this way, but it can be hard to tell the difference between piece dyeing and our next term of the day- yarn dyeing.
Yarn dyeing is another way to dye!It starts at an even earlier point in the process than piece dying. Yarn dyeing happens by dying fibers into the chosen color before the fabric is knitted. In this process, the yard is dyed, then spun into fabric and made into shirts.
The last method is known as garment dyeing. In this process, each piece of clothing is dyed after it has been made. This method of dying is probably closest to home and easiest to recognize because it is possible to do on a small scale- as seen in activities like tie dyeing, or as basic as re-blackening your black clothes with a good old fashioned bottle of rit. On a larger scale, garment dyeing is also referred to as pigment dyeing- for the pigments used to bind color to the pieces themselves. Garment dyeing often produces a softer, more vintage or distressed look in cotton clothing that fades and evolves with you over time as you wash and wear it.
A great example of garment dyeing and pigment dyed clothing can be found in the Hanes Comfort Colors Line This line features 100% ringspun cotton in soft muted hues.
For examples of piece dyeing in an incredible rainbow of fashion forward colors, look to Bella + Canvas
Please enjoy this gorgeous video from CP Company, an Italian sportswear brand famed for its developments in garment dyeing.
Ask us more apparel questions on the web at TINY@TINYLITTLEMONSTER.COM