Pigment dyed garments have been colored with special ground pigment, creating a more distressed or washed look than a traditionally dyed garments. This method does not actually dye the material itself. Instead it only coats the outside, unlike normal dye which fully penetrates the fibers of the garment.
It’s important to understand what a pigment is when trying to understand pigment dyed garments. A pigment is a material that changes the color by absorbing specific wavelengths of light and reflecting others. Pigments are used for coloring paint, ink, fabric, food and other products. The color of pigment can be altered by its saturation or lightness.
Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the pigments were made from earth, minerals, or biological material. Natural pigments of those days came from some very unusual sources, such as animal waste, botanical materials, and even insects. Blue and purple were often associated with royalty because they were very expensive pigments to harvest. As most people know, our modern world has developed synthetic pigments that are readily available in virtually every color you could possibly think of or want.
Pigment dyed t-shirts have become very popular because they give a shirt a unique distressed look. Pigment dye is not actually a dye. Instead, pigment dye is more like a fabric paint that is used like a dye. Since pigment dye only coats the outside of the fabric, pigment dyed shirts age very quickly, giving them their distressed, vintage look. Also, because pigment dye does not penetrate the entire garment like normal dyes do, it is very difficult to achieve a smooth solid color. Most people using pigment dye don't want a solid color, they want a unique distressed or vintage look that nobody else has.
Comfort Colors, recently acquired by Gildan Activewear, is the premiere pigment dyed manufacturer. They have been manufacturing apparel for over 40 years and produce some of the most comfortable pieces on the market.
Ask your Threds sales representative about pigment dyed garments for your next order.