Why my cutting is different in to the cutting as displayed on the store?

Updated 4 years ago by Nancy Vamvakas

There are a number of reasons why a physical cutting be at variance to the product image on the store. Amongst the most common are: 

  1.  Product photography that has not been correctly colour corrected.

    All the product photography on our site is supplied by the manufacturer and or their distribution agents. Unfortunately, there are instances where images have not been correctly colour corrected. This is why it is important to ALWAYS order a cutting of the fabric as a means of assurance that any product you order will arrive and present to you as expected. 
  2. The display device you are using is not correctly colour calibrated. 

    Unless your display is colour calibrated regularly with specialised equipment it is quite normal for a a display to be in need of adjustment.The degree to which a display device may be in need of correction may only be slight and go unnoticed until you need a high degree of accuracy, such as when choosing fabrics online.

    The writer of this FAQ uses dual displays, each which appear to be perfectly colour corrected. It is not until I studio-match and colour correct them for work with our photography that I notice that either one or both displays are in need of calibration. I calibrate them monthly and each time have to make minor adjustments to keep them colour calibrated, yet I could never discern this with my naked eye.
  3. The fabric image is of fabric that was milled at a different time and used a different dye lot. 

    While fabric houses ensure that physical product shipped of a given fabric is all of the same dye lot, it is impossible for them to affect a change once the fabric has been milled. If there is a significant difference in colour then the fabric houses usually advise this at the time we place our orders. The same applies to cuttings which should match the corresponding fabric they hold in stock.

    In the manufacturing operations of our custom made drapery products we often advise customers of large orders that are to be delivered in phases over a period of time to order all the fabric up front - arrangements being made to have it stored either at our factory or with the fabric house. We do this to ensure that all drapery produced using the fabric matches and is from the same dye lot and to avoid any colour variance due to the fabric coming from different dye lots produced at different times.
  4. The texture of the fabric refracts the light in a unique way that is difficult to capture photographically. 

    Texture surfaces with any sort of sheen are notorious for misrepresenting themselves photographically as unless the exact lighting conditions are reproduced when viewing the physical product, the product may appear to be different in colour to the photographic image.Viewing a physical cutting under a number of different lighting conditions (daylight, different interior lighting settings is often helpful to establish whether 'colour variance' is in whole or partly attributed to this effect).
  5. The sRGB colour pallet used for web display is not able to accurately represent all of the colours depicted in a product swatch or image.

    When a colour falls outside the colours available in the particular colour pallet used by the display device, the colour is termed as being 'out of gamut.' When a colour is 'out of gamut' the display device will attempt to represent the colour as closely as it is able, but this can lead to colour variance between product images and the actual physical product. The effect may be slight as there may only be a small range of colour that has fallen out of gamut, nevertheless, it can be sufficient to explain the difference between an image of a textile and the actual textile.

In summary, there are a number of reasons why product images appear differently to an actual physical product. Often it is a combination of the above reasons. The real assurance you, the customer can have prior to ordering, of colour fidelity is to order a cutting before committing to an actual purchase. This may prolong the process of obtaining your desired fabric, however, given usually high values of textile orders, it is a small price to pay for peace of mind, that by ordering a free cutting you are also providing a high degree of assurance that you will receive exactly what you expect and have paid for.

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