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Service Center Support

Material Digitization Requirements

Thank you for choosing swatchbook as your preferred digitization partner. We appreciate your business and look forward to expanding your business using our platform.

This document will guide you through the digitization process. Any questions you have may be sent to

1. What is Digitization of Materials?

The digitization of materials is the process of transforming the physical properties of a physical material into a digital representation. This digital representation is created with four layers of information:

  1. Scans (seamless texture images)
  2. Visuals (images, video, renders, presets)
  3. Physical Properties for simulation(bend, stretch, shear…)
  4. Meta-Data (composition, categories, price, lead times, MOQ…)

2. The Digitization Process

  1. Supplier/brand needs to indicate which services are required.
  2. Digitization offerings depend on the bundles purchased. Contact for digitization cost.
  3. Additional scanning/digitization services are sold in packages of 50 materials.
  4. Measurements/Validation are sold in packages of 25 materials.
  5. Trim and components are sold in packages of 10.
  6. Supplier prepares materials and ships materials.
  7. swatchbook service center scans and processes materials, uploads to swatchbook account.
  8. swatchbook service center shares digitized materials with supplier/brand.
  9. Supplier/brand may review the final output, duplicate materials into their own library and unsure the content from the service center after they have approved the content.
  10. swatchbook prints QR code and attaches to physical sample to be sent to the brand offices or returned to the supplier (upon customer request).

3. Cost for Suppliers

  1. For detailed information contact
  2. Supplier support via the swatchbook China Team. 

4. Preparing Your Physical Materials

  1. For scanning, send swatches that are 210 mm × 297 mm or 8.27 inches × 11.69 inches (A4 or letter size).
  2. If the material graphic tiles larger than A4, we can use an A2, A0 or 180 cm size as a special request. Additional cost and a different location for such services is required.
  3. If possible, send a gray, neutral tone of your material. Not black. Not white. If it must be colored, try to select a mid-tone color. (Not too bright and not too dark.)
  4. If multi-colored, select colors that have high contrast and are distinct from each other.
  5. Send your materials flat or rolled but not folder or wrinkled.
  6. If you need physical properties for simulation, the recommended size of the swatch needs to be 50 cm x 50 cm (CLO3D, Vstitcher).
  7. Indicate the material name AND direction of fabric on the physical sample.
  8. Indicate if you want the material backside scanned also. 

5. Prepare Your Material Meta-Data

Please, provide the following Information. Brands may dictate additional information (swatchbook will provide a spreadsheet for you).

  1. Material name (please use simple words to describe)
  2. Material ID (if you have one)
  3. Price (at the minimum, sample price. You may also provide bulk price)
  4. Price units
  5. Lead times
  6. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
  7. Country of Origin
  8. Composition
  9. Material Category (example: leather)
  10. Material Type (example: bovine)
  11. Material Sub-type (example: split suede)
  12. Dimensions
  13. Color(s)
  14. Tags for usage (footwear/upper, accessories…)
  15. Special tags to help users find your material (floral, metallic, heavy, sturdy…)
  16. Hand feel (soft, rough, warm, cool, fuzzy…)

6. Photography & Videography

  1. We provide photos and videos of product but we follow our own style/requirements.
  2. Extra requirements are upon request.
  3. Specific Video Requests (audio, special motion…)
  4. Specific Photo Requests (Macro, Flat, Twirled…)

7. Additional Services: Preparing Colors Variations

  1. If you would like to have additional SOLID colors, please send the values in a .ase file (adobe Swatch Exchange) which will contain the RGB values we use on digital displays. You may also do the solid recoloring yourself. (You may also send the color name (in the .ase) and/or the Pantone value).

     2. If you would like to have multi-colored scans converted to a different color combination, please provide the colors.(via Excel file with RGB values).

8. Additional Services: Scan Processing (upon request with additional charge)

  1. Grayscale versions of the scans
  2. Whitewashed versions of the scans
  3. Full scans prior to processing
  4. Mask images

9. Additional Services: Physical Properties for Software Simulation (primarily used in apparel)

  1. For CLO Fabric Kit 2.0
  2. For Fabric Analyzer by Browzwear (FAB/FAV)
  3. Customer must specify any specific instruction for each formats if needed prior to service, otherwise standard service will apply.
  4. Measurement services are sold in packages of 25 materials.

10. Additional Services: Physics Validation (CLO3D)

  1. We can validate the digitized material matching the real world cloth based on CLO3D’s recommended process.
  2. Validation includes photos and measurement.
  3. Additional time allocation for the process is required as it is involved.
  4. Validation requires larger sample sizes (60 cm x 60 cm) minimum.
  5. Validation services are sold in packages of 25 materials.

11. Additional Services: Advanced Materials

  1. Some materials have advanced needs and cannot be scanned in the basic texture scanner.
  2. swatchbook can use a more advanced scanner at an additional cost.
  3. swatchbook service center will determine if a material is advanced or basic.
  4. Advanced materials include materials that shift or change color from different angles like pearlescent, thin film, hologram and iridescent materials.
  5. Advanced materials carry an extra cost and require longer processing time. They also cannot be created in other colors. Each color variation needs to be scanned individually.


12. Additional Services: Non-Scannable Materials

  1. Some materials simply cannot be scanned such as fur or materials made from large dimensional pieces.
  2. These special materials may still be digitized in different methods but the cost is dependent on the material.
  3. A review of the material is done by the swatchbook team to determine which category it fits in BEFORE ANY digitization takes place so the supplier is informed.

13. Additional Services: Yarn

  1. Yarn can be digitized by scanning the thread OR as weave or knit sample.

14. Additional Services: Trim and Manufactured Pieces

  1. Trim can be digitized but will be priced depending on complexity.
  2. Trim can be categorized as hardware, components and manufactured pieces. (eyelets, molded toe box, knitted uppers, hooks, laces, etc.)
  3. Trims such as webbings and elastics will be scanned while components like eyelets and buckles will be 3D modeled and provided as an OBJ.
  4. Additional services are available to make such products more software ready for tools like CLO3D and VStitcher but that requires prior requests from the supplier or the brand.

15. Additional Needs

  1. Communicate all needs to swatchbook prior to shipping your products.
  2. If you are unsure about a specific product digitization, please send us an enquiry with a photo of the product.
  3. Make sure the digitization service provided is what the brand/customer needs.
  4. swatchbook validates the digitization services with the brands in order to reduce the back and forth with the supplier to prove our capabilities. We are one of the top, if the not the top, digitization service provider for the industry.

16. QR Codes

  1. Swatchbook can add QR codes to physical samples that need to be sent back to the supplier or sent to the brand offices.
  2. QR codes are downloadable on the material page on swatchbook

17. File Naming Conventions

Your files need to be compatible with a wide variety of operating systems (Mac, PC, and Linux for instance) and devices (desktops, tablets, and smartphones are some examples). Therefore, it is essential to play it safe and avoid common illegal filename and directory characters.

Do NOT use any of these common illegal characters or symbols in your filenames or folders:

< less than

> greater than

: colon

" double quote

/ forward slash

\ backslash

| vertical bar or pipe

? question mark

* asterisk

{ left curly bracket

} right curly bracket

? question mark

$ dollar sign

' single quotes

" double quotes

` backtick

| pipe

= equal sign

#  pound

% percent (SQL character)

& ampersand

@ at sign

+ plus sign

Also, keep these rules in mind:

  • Don’t start or end your filename with a space, period, hyphen, or underline.
  • Keep your filenames to a reasonable length and be sure they are under 31 characters.
  • Most operating systems are case sensitive; always use lowercase.

18. Where do I send my samples?

swatchbook China

Attention: Steve Yang

11th floor, JunYe Building, No. 24West Lane 1, 256 Provincial Road

Houjie Town, Dongguan City,Guangdong Province, 523000, China

Tel: +86-185-0306-3519


swatchbook Japan

Attention: Ai Fujishiro

KW building 3F, 2-9-11 Sendagaya

Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 151-0051, Japan

Tel: +81-3-6860-8564

19. Will I get my samples back?

  1. Typically, no. Materials are sent to the brands directly after digitization unless the brand has requested they return to the supplier. In most cases, the physical swatch will to be sent to brand HQ Materials department (physical swatch with QR code). Shipping costs and QR services are additional costs.
  2. Shipping costs will be added to the invoice based on where they are sent and will be invoiced to the party that we are sending them to. In this case, it is handed to the brand. (unless the supplier sends their materials, they will be invoiced)
  3. We prefer not throw the swatches away since we care about our environment. We are sure someone will want to touch and feel them!

20. Who owns the digital materials?

  1. Typically, the organization paying for the digitization owns the digital materials.
  2. The owner of the material is responsible for keeping all meta-data up to date, including removal of the material when it is retired.

21. What happens if supplier leaves swatchbook?

  1. All materials and additional created content will be taken off swatchbook.
  2. All content can be downloaded prior to removal while subscription is still active.
  3. Brands may make copies of the materials to keep in their libraries as an archive.

Thank you