Comprehensive Guide to Top 12 Textile Color Cards: From Pantone to Sanzan

What is a color card?

A color card is the representation of colors that exist in nature on certain materials, such as fabric, paper,plastic, etc. It is used for color selection, comparison, and communication. It serves as a tool to standardize colors within a certain range. If you work in the textile industry, which often deals with colors, you must be familiar with these standard color cards!


PANTONE is probably the most frequently encountered color card for professionals in textiles and dyeing. PANTONE, headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA, is a globally recognized authority dedicated to the development and study of colors. It is a supplier of color systems and provides a professional selection of colors and precise language for many industries, including printing, digital technology, textiles, plastics, architecture, and interior design. Founded in 1962 by its Chairman, President, and CEO, Lawrence Herbert, PANTONE initially started as a small company producing color cards for cosmetic brands. Herbert introduced the “Pantone Matching System” color chart in 1963. At the end of 2007, PANTONE was acquired by another color service provider, X-rite, for $180 million. The textile-specific color card is the PANTONE TX card, divided into PANTONE TPX (paper card) and PANTONE TCX (cotton card). PANTONE C and U cards are also frequently used in the printing industry. PANTONE’s annual color trends have become representative of world popular colors!


COLORO Color Card

Coloro, developed by China Textile Information Center in collaboration with WGSN, the world’s largest trend forecasting company, is a revolutionary color application system. Based on a century-old color methodology and over two decades of scientific application and improvement, Coloro was launched. Each color is represented by a 7-digit code within a 3D color model system. Each code represents a point which is the intersection of hue, brightness, and chroma. Through this scientific system, 1.6 million colors can be defined, combined from 160 hues, 100 brightness levels, and 100 chroma levels.




Originating from Japan, DIC color cards are used specifically for industries such as graphic design, packaging, paper printing, architectural coatings, inks, textiles, dyeing, and design.

DIC color


Named after the American color scientist Albert H. Munsell (1858-1918), the Munsell color system has become one of the universally accepted color standards after multiple revisions by the American National Standards Institute and the Optical Society. In 1905, Munsell developed the first widely accepted color order system called the Munsell color system. It provided a precise description of colors. All colors described within the Munsell color space are referred to as the Munsell color solid, resembling a distorted eccentric sphere.
Munsell card

munsell card


Research on NCS began in 1611 and has now become the national testing standard in countries like Sweden, Norway, and Spain. It’s the most widely used color system in Europe. NCS describes colors based on how the human eye perceives them. Surface colors are defined in the NCS color card, along with a color code. Using the NCS color card, one can determine the basic properties of a color by its code, such as its blackness, chromaticity, whiteness, and hue. NCS color card codes describe visual attributes of colors and are unrelated to pigment formulas or optical parameters.
NCS card


RAL, a German color card, is a European standard and is widely used internationally. In 1927, when RAL entered the color industry, it created a unified language, establishing standard statistics and names for a multitude of colors. These standards have been widely understood and applied worldwide. The 4-digit RAL colors have been the standard for 70 years, and there are now more than 200 colors.
RAL card


CSI Textile Color Card

The CSI color card/Color Wallette is a market leader in textile solutions. They provide solutions for all stages of textile production, from product design to final textiles. The product’s technology and application expertise are widely recognized throughout the industry. They collaborate closely with textile retailers and brands and have a comprehensive global network connecting major textile manufacturers. They provide precise, colorful color management tools for business merchants and retail traders within the textile supply chain. (CSI is affiliated with Dystar).

CSI card

YKK Zipper Color Card

The YKK color card is specifically for YKK zippers and YKK products. The YKK color card consists of six pages, recording 582 colors. Each page has an average of 100 color spots, with 18 color spots vacant in the latest YKK color card. The remaining 582 colors are all displayed with actual fabric samples!
YKK card 

ARCHROMA Cotton Color Card

The ARCHROMA cotton color card is the latest synthetic color standard for apparel, textile, and soft furnishing designers and product developers. The color card has six color series, with 4,320 colors. It contains an NFC chip, and by scanning with a mobile phone, one can get detailed color data. Each color also comes with a recommended formula for reactive, disperse, and acid dyes.
Archroma card

Color Solutions International (CSI)

Color Card CSI, affiliated with DyStar Group, is responsible for color business. CSI offers a range of flexible color solutions and services to retailers and brands, from initial design inspiration, color selection, to implementation. CSI provides color consultation and tools in the textile and apparel sector, including standard certification color cards, ColorWall™, and extended product color libraries. They also offer custom color solutions and professional color assessments.

CSI Card

SCOTDIC Cotton Color Card

This color card provides 2,300 different SCOTDIC colors. Each color block measures 1.5 x 4 cm, and every color block has a self-adhesive backing, allowing for easy removal and re-sticking. It’s widely used in apparel design, textile dyeing, color proofing, color verification, and textile import/export trade.
Scotdic card

Japanese Sanzan Yarn Color Card

The Japanese Sanzan color card has become a widely used sock industry color tool. Customers refer to the Sanzan color directory for their new product designs annually. Revised to showcase 365 vibrant, multipurpose colors, it’s widely used in the sock textile industry.

Sansa card

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