The TCX swatches are not just the standard in the cotton industry. They are the standard in the textile industry. Every mill paints a swatch from the TCX library and compares the color to the swatch.
Like the cotton yard, the swatch library is an economic tool. It gives the colorist the price of the fabric needed to make the swatch and helps the mill avoid color matching problems. It also makes it easier for the colorist to place an order for fabric.
We started out producing the TCX swatch library in the 1980's. They were based on a book produced by the Linen Quality Council in England in the 1950's. The Linen Quality Council became the TCX. We use the Linen Quality Council name in the United States because it is a well-known brand name in the English speaking world.
The TCX swatch card has gained a reputation of being the “hottest” product in the field. It is the tool that most colorists use in their business. That is why, when possible, we want to keep it in stock.
In the early 1990's the TCX were digitized and collated into a seven volume three-ring binder. The layout and content was extremely successful. The next step was to add more swatches as a result of the huge increase in the color palette and the success in the marketplace. The swatch card also became an important trade show tool for the field. All of the major color suppliers showed the swatch card on stand at the National Textile Color Conference (NTCC) in the early 2000's. The swatch card was such a success that it was included in the TCX program. It is now the cornerstone of the standard.
One thing to keep in mind when using a swatch card is that your swatch preparation is similar to the cotton standard . This means that you need to prepare more than one swatch to get the best results, because it's impossible to duplicate the conditions under which the swatch card was made. The swatches on a swatch card will most likely not be identical.
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