Top tips for print-on-demand colour matching. 

Here are the top tips for print-on-demand shade matching for digital colour printing on fabrics. All you need to know for a perfect digital colour print match on your fabric and your pattern when you use digital printing services. In this article we will explain all about the color systems, how to prepare your files and how to achieve the closest match to any existing collections or desired shade when colour printing. 

Colour is extraordinary. The vibrance and beauty we see in nature or even in our décor can affect our perspective, emotions and influence us. That is why hues play such an important role in design, fashion and interiors. Look at digitally printed fabric products to see how your fabric pattern can be affected. 

Understanding different shades and print processes

It's a matter of fact. You need perfect shades when you print products digitally. It makes no difference what industry you're in, whether it's fashion or interiors or you're creating an original item, digital colour has to be perfect. You can easily achieve this with digital fabric printing.

Remember, it's the 21st century, and we expect the digital print to match our computer screen.

You’ve probably discovered the hard way that this isn’t always the case. Computers, phones, note books and other devices all display tints in Red Green Blue color gamut). For this reason, it's important to save your artwork in this form when printing.

Designers use the CMYK system for screen (lithographic or offset printing), for various media including mixed media. This includes posters, book and magazine pages, a wedding table plan, office items business cards luxury stickers, labels and more. People use digital color press printers for screen-printing fabrics.

We calibrate our digital printers to quick view compare and match your screens. We use hex codes profiles in our printing services to get the best printing results. The result is like a view compare xerox.

Whilst the Red Green Blue color system gives the biggest color space (extended color gamut) for your screen, if you used only those inks you would get very disappointing results (which is why we will never do that).

We recommend that you use a physical color atlas (the chart guide). It has over 2400 hex blocks, which ensures your digital file matches your textile print. Learn how to use a maake color atlas here. 

Colour profile digital fabric printing

A colour print profile is the way that a certain device (say a computer or a phone) captures or displays different shades.

This profile tells a device how it displays and prints hues for a digital print.

A camera captures the profile. When it appears on your screen, it will look exactly the way your fabric will look when it’s printed.

This is where the journey to a perfect match begins.

It all starts with calibration

This is the first step in printing services. 

Calibration is a specialist printing process. It involves printing over 10,000 color chips (Pantone spot colour) onto each fabric.

We scan these chips using a specialised tool called a Spectrophotometer.

The Spectophotometer sends a message to the printer software giving details of what the shade should print like.

With this information, the software ‘builds the colour space’. This involves creating the range of possible colours it is able to print on a fabric. You choose a particular setting and the software does the rest.

You can also alter the shades of ink you use for printing in percentages. This ensures the highest printing quality. Our print team are experts in this specialised skill.

This print method involves reproducing the closest possible match to your screen for high image quality.


Matching screen shades to fabric bases

When you're digital printing on textiles, it’s hard to know whether the final result will match your artwork. This is why color gamut ink is so important for printing. It helps to create the closest match possible for quality results.

Hopefully you’ll be happy with the shade match and can see the design come to life. However, if you want to get an exact match, it’s important to use sampling.

If you like, why not use our handy mini color atlas to get the perfect match. It doesn’t cost a lot and is an excellent shade matcher. 

Let’s say you’re creating a piece of custom fabric that needs the printing to match other textiles or products currently in your possession.

Fashion Formulas’ quality printing services ensure a close match for your products. All you need to do is use the specific guide.


Pantone offers excellent shade matching services. The 'Pantone Color Guides' are ideal for artists, designers, printers, manufacturers, marketers, and clients in a variety of industries.

These guides give you accurate identification, design specification, quality control, and communication.

Pantone to RAL Conversion Chart | Pantone Color Chart

Remember: we cannot guarantee a perfect match to any colour system except when you match to our colour atlas.

How to match the perfect hue for your products

Fabrics all have different bases, textures and finishes, and printing them involves a variety of different inks to create a print.

All computer screens have different brightness and shade strengths (for example, some are warmer, some are cooler or more blue). 

So it’s important that you not only match the hue to your screen if you want excellent accuracy.

Textiles can have different base hues(beige/white). When you order your atlas you need to pick the fabric you intend to use. Different bases display the colors in a slightly different shade depending on the fabric composition, therefore only the correct base can show you a realistic representation. Once you find the right base then you can use the hex code. Rest assured, it will look just as you envisioned it. Another option is our cheap and easy 20 x 20 cm sample printsLearn how to use the printed maake color atlas here.

Some print do's and don't when you use our services and products


  • Order a sample prior to a big production run to ensure you are happy with the colours
  • Set your file with a standard RGB profile, extended color gamut
  • Order a color atlas on the fabric you want to order if you need an exact shade match to ensure a perfect match
  • Get in touch with our team if you need help – we have a full artwork studio who can help you create original design, manage print shades or tweak and re-shade existing artwork or a PDF. Please contact our art working team at: or call us on 02036955442


  • Design and submit your files in the right shade format (ideally cyan, magenta, yellow and key).
  • Match to screen when you are using fabric printing – always match to a printed sample where possible to avoid disappointment. Use the screen only as a guide, not a guarantee, not even if it’s a calibrated screen

Don’t know anything about the print process, design, RGB etc? We can assist

Make sure you contact us if you need help. We offer all the solutions and services you need.

We have a full artwork studio on hand with modern services to help you create original designs, manage printing or tweak and recolor existing artwork.

Please contact our art working team at: or call us on 02036955442

Whether you work in fashion, interiors or are putting together your own project, perfect shades are essential. You can easily achieve this with digital fabric printing and our fast turnaround. 

Link: Pantone to RAL Conversion Chart | Pantone Color Chart (reference colour gamut)

March 30, 2022 — Alexander Wills