Color Matching with Plastisol and

Waterbase Inks

Color matching with water-base inks is not as exact as with plastisol inks. There may be a reasonable variation in color due to a number of factors including the following:

  • garment dye discharge-ability

  • base color of the natural fiber

  • tightness of the fabric weave

  • amount of ink deposited.

We do our best to get an accurate match, but with many variables at play we need to be reasonable when setting expectations.


Color matching is a science/art-form. We always do our best to get a reasonable match given the many variables involved. We’re up front about it. We cannot guarantee exact matches on colored fabric. We hope that you trust us to get them A.C.A.P. (As Close As Possible). In most cases this works just fine. If you absolutely NEED an exact match, then we may need to consider an alternate ink type.

Pantone System.

We mix our ink colors to closely match the standard set by Pantone™. This is a color matching standard used worldwide by graphics professionals to insure accurate color communication.

Pantone, Inc. publishes a number of color systems and corresponding color swatch books. These serve as important references for anyone serious about communicating color. Our industry uses the “Solid Coated” and “Solid Uncoated” series for our color choices. We mostly use the uncoated book. Those colors more closely match the results of water-based and discharge printing.

We carefully tweak our recipes to get accurate color mixes. Regardless there are a million factors involved in getting color matches on fabric. We get REALLY close on most occasions, but sometimes it is nearly impossible to hit an exact PMS color.