The ICM is able to solve the problem of metamerism.
The ICM is able to solve the problem of metamerism.
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Different garment items are often further developed in different places around the world once a design sketch has left its drawing room. It takes those involved a lot of time and resources to coordinate the activities, to communicate with each other about their requirements and to ensure the accuracy of a newly-created colour theme used across a range of garments.

The measurement and management of colours, as well as effective communication have been a major challenge for the textile and apparel industry. Colour measurement systems available in the market are mostly applicable to solid colour only which cannot measure multi-colour in prints or yarn-dyed fabrics.

Solution to metamerism

A joint effort between the HKRITA and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has resulted in a new Imaging Colour Measurement System (ICM) based on multi-spectral technique which is able to capture image data across the electromagnetic spectrum with different wavelengths separated for processing, enabling accurate spatial and spectral resolution images. The system is able to solve the problem of metamerism under different illuminant conditions.

The system comes with the capability to measure multi-colour and irregular fabric products. It is applicable to colour measurement and colour quality control of solid colour sample, printing, yarn-dyed, lingerie, and textile accessories. It is also applicable to fabrics finished with fluorescent colour, gradient colours and complex texture pattern.

Accurate and timely communication on colour information

The results of an analysis or the multispectral images made by the ICM are just a few clicks away from everyone involved in the supply chain. Therefore, the coordination of the activities in the textile and apparel industry will be made a lot easier, and the obstacle in communication between professionals in different offices will be significantly removed.

The system can even automatically extract the dominant colours for comparison and decide the colour formulation of a fabric in question, handy for professionals in the area of colour management.

The ICM was awarded a gold medal in the 41 International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva.

Please click here to view the project video.

Specification of ICM 



(measurement of print fabric)


(measurement of yarn-dyed fabric)



1040mm x 980mm x 1200mm (length x width x height)

810mm x 760mm x 950mm (length x width x height)




Imaging resolution




Measurement size

290mm x 220mm

(length x width)

100mm x 80mm

(length x width)

Spectral wavelength accuracy



Spectral range



Measurement time

Less than 35s


Less than 35s


Electrical requirement



The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA)

Established in 2006 by the Innovation and Technology Commission of HKSAR Government, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) brings government, industry partners and the research community together to foster social development and drive economic growth by stimulating innovation, providing ideal solutions to the textiles and clothing industry, and the society.

HKRITA provides one-stop service for applied research, technology transfer and commercialisation to benefit the textiles and apparel industry. To better mobilise our resources, we place special emphasis on three research themes: industry advantage, sustainability and social benefits. Our in-house research team established in 2014 which plugs research gaps and improves our research projects and knowledge transfer management.