April 7th 2021

Can I use a Pantone Formula Guide to match fabrics?

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A Pantone Formula Guide could be used to match fabrics, however we don’t recommend it as the book is not designed for this purpose. Dyers, fabric suppliers and mills find it much more difficult to produce a good colour match to this Pantone book compared to the fabric books. The Formula Guide coated version is particularly a problem because of the shiny appearance of the paper.

Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors range of colours have been specifically developed for textiles because they are achievable on fabric. Whereas the Formula Guide coated is for Graphic Designers to use for logo colours and printing on clear film and white paper. Many of the colours in the Formula Guide are too saturated (bright) to be achievable on fabric.

The Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors range contains colours more suitable for clothing and home textiles. Consequently we advise that for fabrics you select colours from the Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors books. Send your suppliers the individual fabric SMART swatches for them to use as a colour standard.

There is one exception to this advice, most licenced artwork colours are specified by Pantone PMS numbers. Therefore printed licensed artwork can be matched to a Formula Guide.

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