What Does Garment Dyed Mean? An Ultimate Guide To Garment Dye Including 5 Types

Garment-dyeing – it’s a phrase you’ve probably stumbled upon while shopping for your new favorite piece of clothing. But exactly what does garment dyed mean? This process is more than just a buzzword. It’s an art form that transforms simple fabric into a vibrant canvas of color and texture.

Today, I’ll unravel this colorful mystery and take you on a journey through the world of garment dyeing. So, sit back, relax, and let’s plunge into the technicolor world of garment-dyed fabric.

what does garment dyed mean

What Does Garment Dyed Mean?

Garment dyeing refers to the process of dyeing or coloring clothing after the manufacturer has made it. This technique involves inserting the already-made garment in a dye bath, which allows the dye to penetrate the fibers and provide the desired color. Garment dyeing is often used to create a softer, more vintage look, as the technique can create a unique and imperfect finish that is different from the uniformity of pre-dyed fabrics.

The garment dyeing process is becoming more popular in the fashion industry since it allows designers to experiment with various colors and create unique and individualized products. Garment dyeing is ideal for natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk, but it is less effective on synthetic materials like nylon, spandex, and polyester.

One of the significant advantages of garment dyeing is the colorfastness of the finished product. Since the garment is being dyed as a whole instead of individual pieces of fabric, the dye penetrates deeply, ensuring that the color will not fade or wash out quickly. Additionally, this process makes the garment more resistant to shrinkage and helps prevent fading from sunlight and washing.

Garment dyeing is ideal for creating unique and custom clothing designs that are not readily available on the market. Designers can play with different hues and colors and create a more vintage and faded look. This technique is also useful when designers want to match specific colors that may go out of stock.

An Ultimate Guide To Garment Dye

Garment dyeing is a process of coloring finished garments after they have been cut, sewn, and trimmed. With this process, you can make fashion products more interesting and distinctive by adjusting colors and creating unique shades. But how to do garment dye? What is the process of doing so? Here, I will explore them one by one.


Before garment dyeing, arrange the batch of garments you want to dye. Batching is the process of grouping the garments according to their fabric type, style, and color. Based on the requirements, you can make multiple batches of garments with different colors, shades, or color combinations. The batching process ensures smooth and efficient dyeing with consistent results.


Pre-treatment is the process of preparing the garments before dyeing. It helps remove impurities such as oil, dirt, and lint that may interfere with the dyeing process and affect the color. Pre-treatment can involve treatments like scouring, bleaching, and enzyme washing. For example, if you are dyeing cotton garments, you may need to bleach them to remove the impurities and get a white baseline for dyeing.


Dyeing is the main process of adding color to the garments. The dyeing process depends on the type of fabric, dye, and equipment used. For instance, you can use reactive dyes for cotton, polyester, or silk garments, while acid dyes work well with wool or nylon garments. The most common dyeing methods are garment, piece, and yarn dyeing.

Garment dyeing is a popular method for adding color to finished garments. In this method, the garments are dipped into the dye solution in a controlled manner to get an even color. The liquid ratio, temperature, and time duration are essential factors in achieving the perfect hue and tone. Furthermore, adding salt, vinegar, or other acidifiers can help in enhancing the colors and fixation.

Sample Checking

After dyeing, it’s important to check the color consistency and tone. Sample checking involves selecting a sample of garments from the batch and evaluating them for color. It allows you to identify any inconsistencies or defects early on and make necessary adjustments before the full batch is checked.


Hydro-extraction is the process of removing excess liquid from the garments after dyeing. It involves spinning the garments in a high-speed hydro extractor machine to remove the excess water. The hydro-extraction stage ensures that the garments have the right moisture content for the next stage.


After hydro-extraction, the garments are dried to remove the remaining moisture. Garments can be dried using various methods such as tumble dryers, drying cabinets, or air drying. The drying stage is crucial in preventing color bleeding or fading, especially in dark or bright colors.

Quality Checking

Once the garments have been dried, quality checking is done to ensure the dyeing process has produced the desired results. Quality checking involves examining the garments for quality issues such as color and shade consistency, marks, and any other defects.


After quality checking, the dyed garments are packaged and stored in a cool and dry place. Proper storage preserves the color for longer and prevents color fading, mold, or mildew growth.

How Many Types of Garment Dyeing Are There?

There are five primary types of garment dyeing: reactive dyeing, direct dyeing, sulfur dyeing, pigment dyeing, and discharge dyeing. Each of these dyeing techniques offers unique benefits and results.

Reactive Dyeing:

Reactive dyeing is widely preferred for cotton and linen garments due to its exceptional color fastness. This process involves a chemical reaction between reactive dyes and the fabric, resulting in a durable and long-lasting bond. Even after repeated washing or prolonged exposure to light, the color remains steadfast. Reactive dyes offer diverse colors and are an excellent choice for maintaining consistent color even after multiple washes.

Direct Dyeing:

Direct dyes are specifically formulated for coloring cotton, wool, silk, and nylon fabrics. What sets them apart is their ability to be applied directly onto the fabrics without the need for an affixing agent. This makes direct dyeing a preferred method for fabrics that require excellent light-fastness, such as upholstery, furnishings, and window coverings. 

The finished product may not undergo frequent washing and may only be dry-cleaned. However, some form of after-treatment is necessary to ensure enhanced color fastness and achieve deeper shades. This additional step guarantees long-lasting color and intensifies the overall shade development.

Sulfur Dyeing:

Sulfur dyes are utilized to color cotton garments and blended fabrics such as acrylic fibers, nylon, and polyester. These dyes are widely employed in large quantities for coloring cotton garments due to their affordability, ease of application, and remarkable wash-fastness. Typically, sulfur dyes come in shades of black, dark blue, and brown, with an additional option of a pink or light scarlet-colored sulfur dye.

Pigment Dyeing:

Pigment dyes are utilized to create a weathered and faded aesthetic in garments. Unlike direct or reactive dyes, pigment dyes react differently with textiles. During the pigment dyeing process, the pigment ink typically rests on the fabric’s surface and is secured in place by a chemical resin or binder.

The primary advantage of pigment dyes is their versatility in application to a wide range of fabrics. Conventional dyes may not necessarily work on synthetic or blended fabrics, making pigment dye the preferred choice in such cases. Pigment dyes are commonly employed on denim to achieve a captivating faded appearance.

Discharge Dyeing:

Discharge dyeing is a meticulous technique that intentionally removes specific sections of dye from a garment without causing damage to the fibers. This process involves the use of discharge paste or bleach to create captivating patterns on the fabric.

Various methods such as tie-and-dye, Shibori, stamping, or stenciling are employed to achieve unique designs. Discharge dyeing allows for the creation of custom patterns on fabrics, making it a popular choice for garment customization.

Is Garment Dyed Better?

Garment dyeing is better as it offers various advantages over traditional dyeing methods. One significant advantage of garment dyeing is that it enables designers to create unique pieces that stand out from the masses. By experimenting with different colors and dye compositions, designers can develop a one-of-a-kind garment that can be difficult to replicate.

Another significant benefit of garment dyeing is its ability to produce a softer, vintage look that can’t be obtained through pre-dyed fabrics. The process provides a unique finish that is not reused in traditional dyeing methods. Garment dyeing can create an imperfect finish that adds texture and depth to the garment, making it more fashionable and appealing. This unique look is difficult to achieve through piece dyeing, as it creates a uniform and consistent coloring effect across the fabric.

One of the downsides of piece dyeing is the potential for shrinkage and inconsistent color variations across different pieces due to how the fabric was cut during manufacturing. On the other hand, garment dyeing offers superior colorfastness and shrinkage resistance, ensuring that the garment’s color and shape remain consistent over multiple washes.

However, garment dyeing is more expensive than piece dyeing due to its specialized and time-consuming process. It involves dyeing the entire garment after it has already been constructed and can only be accomplished with certain fabrics. Therefore, designers must weigh the cost-effectiveness of garment dyeing with the desired aesthetic and functionality of the final product.

To learn more about garment dyeing, check out the below video.

FAQs on What Does Garment Dyed Mean

What is the difference between garment-dyed and fabric-dyed?

When it comes to clothing, the process of dyeing is an essential aspect that can make all the difference in the final product. Two such dyeing methods are garment dyeing and fabric dyeing, and they differ significantly from each other in the process.

Garment dyeing is when the clothes are first made and then dyed in finished form. On the other hand, fabric dyeing is when the fabric is colored and then cut and sewn into the desired garment. While garment dyeing produces a softer and more comfortable feel to the clothes, fabric dyeing offers more color consistency and the ability to match colors across multiple batches.

Additionally, garment dyeing produces a washed-out look unique to each piece, while fabric dyeing produces a more uniform look. Thus, the difference between the two dyeing methods is not just in the process; it can significantly affect the overall look and feel of the clothing.

Do garment-dyed clothes fade?

Garment dyeing is a unique process that involves coloring clothes after they are sewn and constructed, resulting in a distinct, personality-filled product. Customers love the ultra-soft texture and vintage aesthetic that comes with garment-dyed clothes, and while it’s true that these items can fade slightly over time, the result is a fashionable, intentional look.

Rather than losing their vibrancy, garment-dyed clothes tend to be worn in a stylish way, adding character and personality to your wardrobe. So don’t worry about your clothes losing their color quickly–garment dyeing offers a special touch that will keep your clothes looking chic for years to come.

Can you wash garment-dyed clothes?

Garment-dyed clothes are everywhere in fashion these days, adding an element of effortless style to any outfit. But if you’ve invested in a piece of this trendy fabric, you may be wondering: can you actually wash it? The answer is yes, you can!

However, garment dyeing is a special process that can affect the colors and texture of the fabric. To preserve the quality of your clothes, it’s best to wash them on a delicate or cold cycle in your washing machine. Then, instead of throwing them in the dryer, hang them up to air dry. This saves energy and money and helps prevent any shrinkage or damage to the fabric.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your garment-dyed clothes will look fresh and stylish for many years to come.

Is Garment Dye Safe?

According to the industry experts, while clothing dyes themselves aren’t harmful, the synthetic dyes used in about 90% of our clothes can be toxic depending on how they’re created. These dyes are made in labs through chemical processes that can sometimes include a poisonous ingredient called corrosive alkali.

However, most common household cloth dyes are made from nonpoisonous substances like mild soaps. While some dyes can cause allergic skin reactions, only certain reactive, vat and dispersed dyes are recognized skin sensitizers. A small number of dyes are based on the chemical benzidine, which has been linked to cancer, but substitutes for these dyes are available for textile use.

So, rest assured that you can safely wash your garment-dyed clothes. Just be mindful of any sensitivity or allergy risks.


Garment dyeing is an intricate and detailed process that can produce unique, high-quality results. As you can see, it involves several steps, such as batching, pre-treatment, dyeing, sample checking, hydro-extraction, drying, quality check, and storage. Following all these steps carefully and precisely will achieve the desired outcomes in garment dyeing.

To be successful in garment dyeing, understand the characteristics of each fabric and create a dye recipe according to its requirements. Moreover, controlling factors like temperature, time duration, and acidifiers can help in getting the right color and finish.

Proper care should be taken to ensure the garments are well-preserved after they have been dyed. With these tips, you should be able to create unique and vibrant garments that will make your customers look fabulous!

Tamim Shikder
Tamim Shikder

Head of the editorial team of myapparelsourcing.com. I have been working as a merchandiser in the apparel-sourcing industry for the last seven years. Over the years, I have gained a strong understanding of the clothing business and have developed skills in product development, quality control, pricing negotiation and customer service. I am also well versed in the latest trends of fashion and retail industry. For any clothing manufacturing needs, please email me at info@myapparelsourcing.com

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