What is Apparel Dyeing? Basic principle of Apparel Dyeing

Md Mahedi Hasan

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Normally, we dye fabric, yarn, or fabric, and then the dyed and finished fabric is used for making garments. In the case of apparel dyeing, the apparel is made from grey fabric, and then the apparel is dyed in the required colour and shade.

What is Apparel Dyeing?

The process of dyeing apparel made from grey fabric in the required colour and shade is called apparel dyeing. Apparel dyeing is widely used in:

  1. Activewear
  2. Jeans
  3. Pantyhose
  4. Shirt 
  5. Slacks
  6. Terry items
  7. Pullover
  8. Skirt
  9. Socks etc.

Apparel Dyeing vs Textile Dyeing

What is the difference between apparel dyeing and textile dyeing? Yes, there is a huge difference. Let’s know about it.

FeatureApparel DyeingTextile Dyeing
DefinitionThe process of colouring raw textiles or fabrics before they are made into garments.Usually carried out on raw fibres or fabrics before they are cut and sewn into garments.
Timing in ProductionTypically done after the garment is fully constructed.It can involve various methods, including garment dyeing, piece dyeing, or yarn dyeing.
Stage of ProductionPost-production process.Pre-production process.
Application MethodUses a wide range of dyes suitable for different fabrics and colours.Involves yarn dyeing, fabric dyeing, or fiber dyeing before the textile is used in garment production.
FlexibilityOffers flexibility in dyeing small batches or individual items.Requires larger quantities for efficiency, making it less flexible for small-scale or individualized dyeing.
Types of Dyes UsedColour ConsistencyUtilizes dyes compatible with specific fiber types and production processes.
CostGenerally higher per unit due to smaller batches and customization.It provides more consistent colour throughout the entire batch due to dyeing at an earlier stage.
This may result in slight variations in colour due to differences in garment construction and materials.It can involve various methods, including garment dyeing, piece dyeing, or yarn dyeing.It provides a more consistent colour throughout the entire batch due to dyeing at an earlier stage.
SustainabilityIt provides a more consistent colour throughout the entire batch due to dyeing at an earlier stage.Sustainability depends on the dyeing methods and chemicals used, but large-scale processes may generate more waste.
Apparel Dyeing vs. Garment Dyeing

Advantages of apparel dyeing:

Apparel Dyeing Basic principle of Apparel Dyeing

1.  Lower cost of production for any apparel of any colour or shade.
2. Less time is required to produce and supply garments.
3. No possibility of shade variation.
4. Lots of different items can be dyed at a lower cost in less time.
5. Old items can be redeye.
6. Redesigning, scouring, bleaching, and dyeing can be done in the same machine.
7. Comparatively lower capital investment.
8. During fabric cutting, approximately 15% of fabric is cut out as wastage. If 15% of the fabric is cut out as grey fabric instead of dyed fabric, the wastage cost will be saved. 


Precautions to be taken before apparel dyeing:

1. Apparel designs should be made from an engineering point of view.

2. If apparel is manufactured after designing, scouring, and bleaching of grey fabric and then dyed in apparel form, the possibility of problems will be reduced. 

3. If possible, apparel should be made from the grey fabrics of the same lots and source. 

4. The seams should not be too tight or too close, especially in the areas containing elastic tike waste bands, cuffs, etc.

5. Knit fabrics should be pre-shrunken; otherwise, seam pucher may develop after garment dyeing.  

6. Dyeing selection should be made carefully for mixed or blended fibres to avoid irregular dyeing.

7. Poor-quality metals should not be used as accessories because they may be damaged.

8. The sewing thread used for making the apparel should be of the same fibre as the apparel fabric, otherwise, colour variation might occur. 

9. Buttons made from Cassin, cellulose, nylon, etc., may be damaged during apparel dyeing, but the polyester button is safe. 

10. Elastic made from natural rubber or polyurethane (lucra)   may create problems in garment dyeing. To avoid such problems, the dye should be copper-free. Also, polyurethane fiber may be damaged by chlorine during bleaching. Polyester-type elastomeric fiber is safe for peroxide bleaching.  

11. Only those interlinings that are recommended for garment dyeing should be used in garments to be dyed. 

12. Compactly woven cotton fabric should be dyed with hot brand reactive dyes.

13. For specific colours, the specific dye should be used to reduce dyeing costs. For example, navy blue or black colour can be produced in garments with sulfur dyes at a lower cost.

14. The presence of mineral impurities in cotton fiber may vary, which may impede the stability of peroxide. 

15. Crease marks can be avoided by using “Imaool brand” in cotton garment dyeing. 

Selection of  interlining before apparel dyeing:

1. Interlinings should take up an equal amount of dye & chemicals as the garment fabric takes up.

2. Due to ferment dyeing, the bond strength between interlining & garment fabric should be undisturbed or unaffected.

3. Handle property of the interlining attached areas of the garment should be as per expectation.

4. During apparel dyeing, resin may pick up dye molecules. Hence, colour depth problems should not arise in interlining areas.  

The basic principle of apparel dyeing:

  • For low colour fastness, direct dye is used.
  • For high colour fastness, reactive dye is used.
Apparel Dyeing

If reactive dyes are used, the following advantages may be gained:

i) Suitable for short and automatic dyeing process.
ii) Good level dyeing is achieved.
iii) Colour fastness is acceptable.
iv) Total colour range is available

Two types of reactive dyes are available in the market-

i) Hot brand reactive dye.
ii) Cold brand reactive dye.

The basic principle of apparel dyeing with hot brand reactive dye

After dyeing, the garments are to be washed thoroughly at 400 C to remove unfixed dye. Again, wash with normal water for 5 minutes.

The basic principle of garments dyeing with cold brand reactive dye:

1. Load the garments and required water.
2. Start m/c and add salt in the dye bath.
3. Continue processing for 10-15 mins.
4. Add the dye solution slowly through the chemical dosing door within 20 minutes.
5. Continue dyeing without temperature for the next 60-90 minutes
6. Then add Sodium Carbonate to the dye liquor and continue treatment for 30 – 40 minutes.

Comparison between hot and cold brand reactive dye:

Hot BrandCold Brand
1. Level dyeing may be achieved.2. Exhaustion, Reactivity, Substantively, and fixation properties are better.
6. Little bit risky needs careful control2. Needs careful control
3. Dye migration properties are better.3. Poor
4. The risk of irregular dyeing in seam areas is low.4. Higher risk
5. Dyeing temperature 80- 95º C.5. < 50º C
6. Entire dyeing proceeds is easier and safer.6. Little bit risky and needs careful control
Hot Brand vs. Cold Band Dye

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