What is pigment dye?

Dyed garments versus pigment garments

We all know have some idea how dying a piece of boy's clothing is done. We might have even experimented with tie-dyeing t-shirts as a fun family project on a sunny spring weekend.

Coloring an item with pigment is more liking using a brush to apply color to the fabric rather than soaking in a coloring solution. This is because pigment dye is not actually a dye, instead, it is a light-reflective or light-absorbing coloring that coats the fibers of a piece of fabric. A traditional dye penetrates the fibers and colors the whole fabric with an even hue and color.

Pigment Dye Schematic


When a pigment is applied to a boy's t-shirt, the coloring does not form a solid and uniform color which gives the shirt an immediate vintage worn and washed look. This distressed look is enhanced with each consecutive wash. Clothing brands use pigments to create a more distressed or washed look than a traditionally dyed t-shirt.

Pigments can be both chemical-based or natural biological plant or mineral material. Chemical pigments offer a wider variety of color options versus the more mellow and subtle coloring of natural dyes. 

Thumbnail Image courtesy of Eco Solutions

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