Sweater dyeing and finishing generally are not very complicated, because most sweaters are made with dyed yarns and need only a light scour before finishing. Some cotton sweaters need to be scoured or bleached before dyeing or finishing.
Several types of dyestuffs can be used to dye cotton. For bright and medium to dark shades, reactive dyes are used. Pastel shades typically are dyed with direct or reactive dyes. Vat dyes are used in cases where extreme fastness properties are required.
Whether sweaters are being garment-dyed or only prepared (in the case of yarn- or fiber-dyed sweaters), finishing agents are added to the garment machine. Softeners are the most commonly applied finishing chemistry. Fluorochemicals, resins, and specialty finishes are also used.
The final finishing of the sweater fabric or garment usually involves steaming and pressing. This is determined by how the garment will be assembled from panels or cut-and-sew pieces or by customer specifications.