The terms, solution dyed, stock dyed, yarn dyed and piece dyed all comes down to how an upholstery, panel, acoustic or cubicle fabric gets its color.

There are four primary ways that a fabric is dyed to achieve the proper color, and each process has its strengths and advantages:

  • Solution Dyed - The pigment or dye is is added in pellet form, along with the pellets of nylon, olefin, etc... that will become the yarn. The pellets are melted and pushed through tiny holes to create the yarn. Color is throughout the fiber, like a carrot, as opposed to a radish, which only has color on the outside. Because the color is continuous, this type of yarn has very good color and light fastness. This process is completed before weaving and before the fiber/yarn is even created.

  • Stock Dyed - This stage of dyeing takes place at the fiber stage (fiber spun together creates yarn). Fiber is compressed in a large tank like a washing machine and dyed. Once it is dyed, the fiber can be mixed (called blending) with other colors to create a yarn that has multiple colors in it.

  • Yarn Dyed - In this process, white yarn is wound onto a spool, and then dyed in a chamber. This process offers uniformity of color across the yarn. The multiple colors of yarn can then be woven to create multi-colored patterns.

  • Piece Dyed - The fabric is woven with white yarn, and then whole pieces of fabric are dyed at once. Piece dyeing is an efficient way to achieve saturated, solid color fabric. Any color ranging from white, beige to yellow, red and black can be achieved. Yarns that either don't absorb dye, or absorb it differently can be used, but you are mostly confined to solid colors, not patterns.