The Deal with Dye Lots

So...dye lots...confusing, right?  We are going to give you the low-down on what you’ll want to know about dye lots, fabric, color consistency, swatches, and online shopping in particular.

Retailers do their best to keep colors consistent across products, both for the customers but also for industry standards.  So, to feel confident buying from retailers when color consistency is super important (like for bridal parties), here’s what you need to know.

A dye lot is the bulk of fabric that is all dyed together at the same time.  Fabric is often dyed in large bolts, and the dresses are cut from that bolt.  Companies do their best to meet industry standard and have the large vats of dye be the same every time they dye a bolt in it.

Depending on the vat of dye, colors can be slightly different, so it is important to try to cut all dresses in a wedding party from the same bolt of fabric.  Sometimes, though it is rare, fabric from different parts of the same bolt can be the tiniest bit different.  Imagine dipping a roll of paper towels into dye, you can guess that the towels in the middle are a little different from the ones on the outside.

In spite of all of these factors, companies have become surprisingly incredible about guaranteeing color consistency.  Still, if you are ordering from a made to order company, like Azazie, you’ll want place your orders at the same time and ask that all dresses in your bridal party come from the same dye lot.  If you are going to a brick and mortar store, you may even want to go to the same location to get dresses from the same shipment.  You won’t necessarily want your bridesmaids buying dresses all across the country and then getting to the wedding and noticing a slight discoloration.

Another way to ensure color consistency is to match dresses to a swatch.  You can order swatches online at some places, like Azazie, and can get them from many other wedding vendors.  This will help you match accessories and flowers to the color, and you can send the swatch to other members of the wedding party to help them out.  Again, swatches can (very rarely) run the same risk of being cut from different dye lots, but again, companies have worked hard to maintain a high standard of consistency.

Lastly, remember that different fabrics take dye differently.  If you order dresses in the “same color” but one is chiffon and one is satin, they will look differently and photograph completely unalike in most cases.  Some brides like having the mix and match of fabrics, but be aware that an exact color match across fabric types is uncommon.