After years of selling stretch knits, we have learned many critical things. One of which is that colors can be very deceiving, depending on how we view them. We have found that it is extremely important that our customers and ourselves are comparing the stretch fabric in a controlled environment. Otherwise you will experience METAMERISM!
Metamerism is the phenomenon where fabric color looks different under different light sources. Take a look at the squares below…
Surprisingly, both yellow squares are the exact same color. Since they are placed against different color backgrounds (representing different light sources), they appear to be different shades of yellow. To control the variables that skew the perception of a fabric’s color, we recommend that a commercial light boxes is used. Commercial light boxes have the ability to switch between different light sources (such as Outdoor, Store, and Home lighting) to evaluate any metamerism present. The light box should be located in a room where no other light is present.
Metamerism is especially problematic if some components shift one way and others shift another. The nap or pile of the fabric can skew how dark or light a color is looking. This is especially important when dealing with stretch velvet fabrics.
By eliminating as many variables as possible, we can better compare color matching in the apparel industry. Now go stretch some fabric!