SDC training – what’s in it for me?

Andrew Filarowski, Technical Director, takes a look at SDC’s training.

As many of you will be aware, SDC has offered training on different aspects of coloration for many years, and we have a programme of courses coming up in the UK. A question I’m often asked is “what’s in it for me? It sounds interesting but I’m really busy and it isn’t really a priority is it?” I have been involved in the textile industry for many years and I am passionate about passing on knowledge about textiles and coloration. So I thought I would take this opportunity to talk through some of the questions that are often asked on these courses, and some of the problems the training can help to solve. It is my belief that education and learning results in a host of benefits including, cost reductions, better communication with your suppliers, ultimately making your job easier.

Fibres to Coloured Fabrics

It could be you’re responsible for swimwear or children’s clothing, but the majority is made in one fibre, so a knowledge of all fibre types and their properties will let you expand your knowledge and potentially develop your products.

Do you wonder how many different fibres there are or why you use a particular fibre for certain end uses? There are probably more fibres available than you know and each has a separate set of properties, and we’ll look at these.

If you have to discuss dyeing with your suppliers it must be better to be able to talk about the specific dyes that are used to dye specific fibres? If you understand the different dyes you’ll also understand what is possible in terms of colour management and colour fastness. Asking the right questions means it’s then easier for the dyer to meet your specification.

Understanding the machinery that is used in the wet processing of textiles can help you in your purchasing decisions. When can fibre be dyed, what are the benefits of dyeing as a fibre, a yarn, a fabric or a garment and is it worth considering a different route?

Why does a dyer suggest different dyes at different prices? How does this affect the end product?

Colour Management

Do you often have many submissions for colour and feel as if you and your supplier are talking a different language? You probably are! But there are ways to standardise this language and how you view colour. This really can make a difference and mean you get approval quicker.

Common questions include: I am using Pantone as my standard but I am not getting matches. Why is this? What can I do to improve this? Pantone is not the only colour standards system around and on the course we’ll look at alternatives and give the pros and cons of each.

A good scientific colour management system can save time and money by improving communication, standardising the conditions under which the colours are viewed. The process starts with the choice of standards and considering what is possible with dyes to give the right colours with the right fastness properties at the design stage.

Electronic colour communication can work wonders by removing the variability of human perception and taking out the emotion that humans feel with colour. This is just one example of how colour management can be improved.

I’ve just come back from Edinburgh where I was running a training course yesterday, and one of the participants said “I thought this was going to be boring but it wasn’t”. And another commented on the relaxed atmosphere in which to learn. I’m looking forward to our forthcoming training programme and really hope to see some new faces there.

For full details of SDC’s training programme, visit our website, or email:

Forthcoming UK dates include:

Colour Fastness: 2 September (Bradford) / 30 September (Leicester)

Colour Management: 9 September (Bradford) / 7 October (Leicester)

Fibres to Coloured Fabrics: 23 September (Leicester) / 25 September (Bradford)


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