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Pantone and X-Rite Launch Advanced Textile Color Formulation Software

Color science and technology leaders X-Rite and Pantone have launched a new service for the textile industry, and it’s designed to reduce waste by boosting efficiency.

The collaborative Color iMatch software will make its public debut at the ITMA show in Barcelona on June 20. Company representatives will showcase the platform’s capabilities, which are ultimately meant to accelerate color recipe creation.

Color iMatch reconciles the differences between dye behavior in a formula versus dye behavior under certain conditions and processes. It optimizes color matches through data analysis, reducing formulation attempts and streamlining textile workflows, which can be complicated and chemistry-dependent.

Newly-developed color-matching technology allows the software to gather insight from historical data, which it then uses to inform the formulation process. The system can then make adjustments in dye profiles to ensure they maintain their behavior through varying conditions, procedures, equipment use and material applications.

In a statement, X-Rite said Color iMatch increases match rates up to 50 percent by reconciling process conditions that could affect dye combinations.

“Today’s apparel and textile manufacturers work with a number of natural and synthetic materials as well as a diverse color palette that can lead to longer colorant recipe creation times and multiple lab dips,” said Richard Knapp, product manager for X-Rite and Pantone.

At the ITMA show, textile suppliers will be able to see how a brand’s color palette data is accessed through PantoneLIVE, the company’s cloud-based color production software, Knapp said. After color-matching, software begins the formulation process. The Color iMatch demonstration will show suppliers how the software can “dynamically update dye characterizations to significantly improve match performance,” helping suppliers meet tight manufacturing deadlines. The process also aims to reduce environmental impact by cutting down on wasted formulation attempts.

This release is the latest retail-focused project from Pantone, which also announced its Pantone Validated business-to-business licensing program earlier this month. The service enables color hardware manufacturers who produce 3-D printers, computers, tablets and ad displays to calibrate their own color settings to match Pantone’s library, taking the guesswork off the plates of the designers who use those tools. It also aims to reduce waste and accelerate production times by reducing the need for multiple product samples.