Katmandu Partners LLC — an Upland, Calif.-based full-service coloration and apparel company — has
introduced Kinetic Colorization™, a short-run, demand-activated coloring and printing technology.
Developed by Critical Mass, the technology is expected to bring fabric dyeing and apparel
manufacturing back to the United States from overseas, as it enables quick production and color
changes, thereby allowing customers to sample variations of styles without incurring the high costs
associated with sample production. It also enables production on demand, which facilitates quick
response to consumer preferences.
According to Katmandu, Kinetic Colorization is an advanced form of dye sublimation. The
proprietary technology sets off the energy stored in high-tech fabrics to create micro tunnels that
transport the dye through the center of the fiber, permanently trapping color below the fabric’s
surface. Unlike most conventional fabric coloring processes, the technology does not require the
use of water or chemicals, so it leaves no toxic residue. The process also can be used to dye many
nylons that previously could not be dyed using any form of sublimation. Katmandu reports the
process does not affect the performance features of a garment, and that fabrics colored using the
process demonstrate vibrant color, good wash fade resistance, durability and abrasion resistance.
“Kinetic Colorization is a replacement for both traditional wet printing and chemical dye
processes,” said Mark Robinson, president, Katmandu Partners. “Using energy multipliers, Kinetic
Colorization vastly improves energy conservation, product differentiation, and economics of
traditional wet printing.”
Kinetic Colorization facilitates a high degree of dyeing control and enables both
pass-through color and pattern print coloration for customizable items such as fully reversible
single-ply garments and double-sided garments with different colors and patterns on each side. The
process may be used on apparel, military fabrics, home décor and point-of-purchase signage, among
“We are working with surf companies, active wear apparel companies, outdoor backpack
companies as well as some of the specialty mills and the military with regards to coloring their
fabrics,” said Brian Henry of Katmandu.
June 28, 2011