Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to get an exact color match. Since we are printing on surfaces other than paper, the print colors on your final product will likely vary from your original artwork. Also, some of our fabrics are not pure white but more of a cream to off-white (such as our cashmere scarves and sheer wraps) base color. Even with the products that are white, slight variations can arise from piece to piece which can affect the print colors.
Our inks and printers each have a specific range of colors that they can produce. There are some colors that our printers can not actually produce. If your design includes these colors, this will cause the print to differ from your original artwork. When the printer detects these colors, it instead prints the color that is closest to it that it can produce. For example, we cannot print metallics, so if you have a gold hue on your artwork it may print more closely to a goldenrod/orange hue. This is one of the reasons why your artwork printed item may differ from your original artwork.
Screen settings and work spaces will also cause your artwork printed item to differ from what you see on your computer screen.
If you are unsure of how your artwork will print, we encourage you to purchase a sample before going ahead with larger orders.
Below is an in-depth explanation on the possible color variation as well as the methods we use in printing depending on the product type:
You should expect colors to appear differently on fabric than on your computer screen. Each piece is printed individually and therefore have slight variations item to item, unlike bulk production. Different dyes, printers, and print techniques are required depending on the type of textile.
Sleeveless Knit Top
LS Flowy Top
Sleeveless Woven Top
All-over Print Tote
Sublimation Direct to Garment
Silk Square Scarf
100% Modal Scarves (Long & Square)
Cashmere Silk Scarf
100% Merino Wool XL Scarf
Pocket Squares (Cotton & Silk)
Synthetic fabrics normally require sublimation printing whereas natural materials are normally direct to fabric digital printing. Sublimation penetrates the fibres and changes the color from the inside out, whereas digital direct to fabric printing adds color to the top of the substrates surface. The chemistry of the two processes is quite different with sublimation relying on molecular bonding and digital printing on surface adherence. During the digital printing process, ink is applied to the surface in the form of tiny droplets. Once this step is completed, the fabric goes through heat and/or steam to cure the ink - the fabric is then washed, which may cause a bit of fading from any highly saturated colors. Because of this, you can expect the execution of sublimation on polyester and digital printing on silk to be very different. We use Direct to Garment (DTG) printing for some of our shirt styles - this process uses a modified inkjet printer to digitally print directly on top of a pre-made garment blank. The overall process is almost the same as the digital printing, but has limitations on print placement.
Additionally, the texture and weight of the individual materials will make a large impact on the color saturation and appearance of color. Cashmere and woolen garments will have less sharp image clarity due to the ”hairy” quality of the materials. A dense silk material will allow for less grin-through which means the print will not be easily visible on both sides as compared to a loosely woven material such as sheer polyester and light modal.
Our printers use either CMYK or RGB printing rather than a Pantone Matching System. This means that every color in a design is broken down into parts to match to the color represented in the file. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. In CMYK colors from the spectrum are subtracted from natural white light into pigments or dyes. These pigments, then, are printed onto fabric in tiny little cyan, magenta, yellow, and black dots. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. In RGB, light is projected through the colors, blending them on the eye’s retina to create the desired colors. Computer screens project color in RGB. It is possible to have a color show up one way on the computer screen in RGB but print differently on a CMYK printer due to the conversion.
Tips & Tricks to get the best outcome while printing:
- Be sure images are at the 1:1 scale you will be printing at to avoid distortion.
- On our studio page, you can find the exact dimensions of the necessary artwork per product type.
Step 1: Go to our Studio page http://studio.shopvida.com/profile, sign up for your own profile, once that is complete, you have product options of what to use.
Step 2: Click on the link under the product wheel and you will be directed to a page like the one shown below stating the different dimensions and resolution required per product.
- Avoid low quality images - Save image file at 150dpi - 300dpi max for best result
- The image you are working with needs to be at high quality from the beginning. Errors will occur if you force the image to a certain pixel dimension it does not originally have
- Avoid large areas of dark color and avoid subtle tone variations
- Adjust the curves, brightness/contrast, and hue/saturation features to edit the dark or subtle sections of the image.
- As you can see in the example below, the dark corners have been adjusted to a lighter tone along with removing some of the blue tone in the photo. For this example, the goal was to lessen the blue and black tone to keep more of a gray-ish look in the artwork.
- Any black & white prints should be saved as grayscale in order to preserve true black and true white
- In Photoshop, go to Image > Mode > Grayscale
- Afterwards you can use the curves tool to bring out more definition into the image.
(This is showing the curves tool allowing you to edit the definition of image)
If an image (like the one below) is not saved in grayscale, subtle undertones of color could alter the image during the printing process. In the below example, the slight brown cast of the file changed the tone from pure black & white to more of a sepia
- It is a good idea to slightly increase the saturation of your image by using the Hue/Saturation tool in your photo enhancer program; fabric will absorb more ink than paper
- Closely consider artwork when choosing fabric to print on -- for example: avoid large areas of single color on cashmere as piling could cause visible blank spaces where ink does not penetrate fabric (see image below)
Different examples of colors changing on fabric:
Printed on Cashmere/Silk - colors come out more true blue than blue / green
Printed on 100% Silk - colors come out lighter/less saturated
Printed on 100% Polyester
Printed on 100% modal - darker, less saturated colors
We are not able to print metallic colours with our printing techniques at this moment. In case an artwork has metallic colours in it, eg silver, gold, copper, the printer will choose the closest solid pantone colour to the metallic colour in the artwork. Therefore, gold will be a yellow tone, copper a warm orange tone and silver a grey.