Pigment Dyed vs Garment Dyed: What’s the Difference?

Pigment Dyed vs Garment Dyed from NYFifth

Pigment dyed and garment dyed apparel are on trend now. They provide well-loved look without the worn-out destruction. They also offer soft and cozy colors that are perfect for the summertime. What’s the difference between them? We’ve you covered when it comes to pigment dyed vs garment dyed.

What is Pigment Dye?

Pigment dye is a post-production process that means your shirt already exists. It’s not really dyeing because instead of dyes pigments are attached to the garment with the use of binders and locked into the surface of the fabric with ionic attachment instead of embedding into the fabric.

Among the standard dyeing process used on most t-shirts, sweatshirt hoodies, and hats, pigment-dyeing is becoming increasingly popular and pigment-dyed apparel is both soft and stylish.

Popular brands that offer pigement dyed apparel & accessories:

Independent Trading pigment dyed line provides some pigment dyed crew and hoodie that have individual and unique vintage character. Made with ultra soft cotton/polyester blend fleece in an assortment of amazing colors, these garments are as comfortable as they are eye catching. The Independent Trading pigment-dyed sweatshirts are made of premium ring-spun cotton to achieve a smooth and stable fabric surface for printing.

What’s cooler than wearing Authentic Pigment Pigment-Dyed Baseball Caps and toting around the Authentic Pigment Pigment-Dyed Canvas Bags? They have a vintage washed and faded look that look like you’ve owned it forever.

Adams goes for the obvious. Adams Pigment-Dyed Caps are the perfect place for pigment dye. One of the most popular pigment-dyed caps is Adams ad969 that is the ultimate choice for casual, understated wear. Hats off to them for thinking that a relaxed cotton twill needed a little pigment-dye pop.

What is Garment Dye?

Garment dyeing is exactly what it sounds like. It refers to dyeing a whole garment after it’s sewn together. This differs from dying the fibres before they are made into the garment. The raw materials for dyes are water soluble and the garment is dipped in the liquid dye. Garment-dyed apparel tends to bleed color into the wash water much more than the pigment-dyed.

Popular brands that offer garment dyed apparel & accessories:

Champion NEW Garment Dyed Line provides garment-dyed t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies with the perfect blend of comfort and style. Garment-dyed process results in washed colors that are unique to each garment. Champion garment-dyed t-shirts are made of 100% cotton for softness and comfort. Champion garment-dyed sweatshirts are made of 90/10 no shrink cotton/polyester so that they won’t shrink after washing.

Comfort Colors Garment Dyed Line offers a wide variety of garment-dyed t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts and hoodies for both men, women & youth. You are sure to be joyful of having a classic garment-dyed short sleeve shirt in summer time. Comfort Colors 1717 is one of our most popular garment-dyed shirts that made of pre-shrunk 100% ringspun cotton providing you a wonderful physical statement for your movement. Comes in 50 colors, this garment-dyed heavyweight shirt is perfect for screen printing.

ComfortWash by Hanes Collection including garment-dyed t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies delivers garment-dyed tones with a vintage washed, ultimate softness that will leave your skin smiling. Hanes ComfortWash garment-dyed shirts made of American grown 100% ringspun cotton are super soft and comfortable. Vintage washed and garment dyed for a retro look and feel. No shrink comfort for a dependable fit wash after wash.

Can a pigment dyed product also be garment dyed?

A pigment dyed product can be garment dyed. In fact, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a pigment dyed product that isn’t garment dyed, but not every garment dyed product is pigment dyed. There is no such thing as garment dyed fabric. There is only garment dyed garments.

What’s the difference between the two?

It is easy to find good quality, stylish, comfortable apparel at a reasonable price if you know what features you like. You have to understand the different processes of dyeing, the type of color, the quality of fabrics or materials, the budget of your event, and more. Consider these factors when you’re trying to choose between a garment-dyed and a pigment-dyed apparel or accessory.


Pigments are insoluble to water and require a binder in order to be able to stick to the fabric. Once the binder is applied, the pigment adheres to the garment but does not saturate it. Pigment dyeing coats the outside of the material and does not actually dye it.

Garment dyeing is one way to produce the stylish and appealing well-loved, favorite t-shirt look. This look is achieved by adding the dye to the clothing after the product has been cut and sewn. Garment dying creates an extremely soft and comfortable product.


Pigment dyed fabrics give a more variable color or a weathered appearance compared to traditional dyeing. If you were to cut the cotton fiber of this fabric in half, the inside would still appear white, since pigment dyeing only adheres to the surface. Pigments are more likely to wear off after several washes and the color typically fades, but the end result is a vintage, lived-in look that is extremely popular today.

Garment dye typically results in a softer feel and richer color than pigment dye because of the unique dyeing process.


Pigment dye can also be applied to synthetics or blends, not just natural fabrics. Color transfer is much more common with pigments since the pigment will effectively “sit on top” of the fabric. If rubbed against lighter colors, the pigment dyed fabrics can easily transfer pigment onto other fabrics or materials.

Garment dyed apparel are made of 100% ring spun cotton for a soft and comfortable fit. The benefit of the garment dye process is no shrinkage.


Creating pigment dyed apparel is a relatively inexpensive process. They are available at a reasonable price and can be used for any occasion. Choosing a pigment dyed shirt can lower the cost because it is one less step in the manufacturing process.

Garment dyeing is a slightly more expensive dyeing method that enables to achieve a softer, more durable and more stylish feel, and it takes out 99% of shrinkage to ensure consistent sizing.

If you are looking for apparel that gives it a vintage, worn-in cozy look, shop our pigment and garment dyed apparel at NYFifth.com, which are perfect for your summertime.