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Color fastness
Property of a pigment or dye to retain its original hue, especially without
fading, running or changing when wetted, washed, cleaned or stored
under normal conditions when exposed to light, heat or other influences.
Colour fastness is a term used in the dyeing of textile materials,
meaning resistance of the material's colour to fading or running. The
term is usually used in the context of clothes. The first known use of the
word colorfast was in 1916. In general, clothing should be tested for
colourfastness before using bleach or other cleaning products. Light
fastness, wash fastness, and rub fastness are the main forms of colour
fastness that are standardized.
The light fastness of textile dye is categorised from one to eight and the
wash fastness from one to five. The higher the number the better
fastness is obtained.

The stability of color or its fastness is one of the most important

requirements of valuable customers.

The color textiles show different resistance power to different

agencies such as light, wash, rubbing, perspiration, water, bleach, acid,
alkali etc.

There are many types of testing of color fastness. But in the

industry the fastness test is done according to the buyer requirement.

Factors affecting color fastness

Fiber type

Type of dye used

Dying or printing process used

Type of finishing treatment used

Action of laundering detergents

Major Color Fastness Tests

Colorfastness to Washing

Colorfastness to Crocking / Rubbing

Colorfastness to Perspiration

Colorfastness to Hot Pressing

Colorfastness to Dry Cleaning

Colorfastness to Light



meter Perspirom


Ability of fabric to withstand the effect of

laundering. Launder-ometer is used to evaluate
color fastness to washing. A specimen in contact
with specified adjacent fabric is laundered, rinsed
and dried.
The specimen sample is treated under appropriate
condition in a chemical bath for short time. The
ratio and an appropriate number of steel balls.
The change in color of the specimen (dyed sample)
and the staining of the adjacent fabric is
assessed by recommended Grey scales (1-5).

Features of Washing Fastness Tester: It is fabricated out of quality stainless steel.

Possess electric heater to heat water in water bath.
The microprocessor based programmer is provided for temperature
Buzzer to indicate the completion of the process cycle or step.


This test measures the resistance to fading of dyed textile when exposed
to daylight. The test sample is exposed to light for a certain time (24 hrs.
36 hrs,48 hrs, 72 hrs, etc) or by customer demand and compare the
change with original unexposed sample. The changes are assessed by
Blue Scales (1-8).

The sample is cut and should be exposed (1/2 covered and 1/2
exposed) together with standard dyed wool samples (1-8).
The standard and the specimen mounted in a frame. The
composite sample must be protected from rain.

Function of Xenometer
Commercial testing agencies frequently use standard tests to light
specially designed powerful carbon arc lamp
has the
same effect as that of sunlight. Samples to be
tested revolved around this lamp for definite
period of exposure.

After processing, comparison in the

change in
color of the specimen with the changes th
t have occurred in the standard
pattern under suitable illumination is
carried out to determine the fastness
of light.

The test is quite:-Sensitive and for getting consistent result, it
is necessary to use
Standard crock meter
Maintain uniform pressure for apply in rubbing strokes and number
of strokes.

In this there are two types of Crocking: DRY CROCKING:- A 2 square of colored fabric rubbed against a
piece of white sheeting. Any discoloration of the fabric itself, the
color is not fast to dry crocking.
WET CROCKING:- A piece of white sheeting should be dampened
and rubbing against the piece of untested colored fabric. Any
discoloration of the white cloth should be noted. If this occurs, the
color is not fast to wet crocking.



The garments which come into contact with the body where perspiration
is heavy may suffer serious local discoloration. This test is intended to
determine the resistance of color of dyed textile to the action of acidic and
alkaline perspiration.

Test Procedure:

Wet-out the composite test sample in mentioned alkaline or

acidic solution at room temperature. M:L ratio 1:50 and leave
for 30 minutes.
Pour off excess solution and place the composite sample
between two glass plate or acrylic plate under a pressure of
4.5 Kg and place in an oven for 4 hours at 372C

Remove the specimen and hang to dry in warm air not

exceeding 60C


The fastness of colored fabric with reference to alkaline and acidic

perspiration was evaluated. For the alkaline (pH8) and acidic (pH
5.5) liquors were prepared and the composite specimens were dipp
ed in acidic and alkaline solution separately for 30 minutes. Good a
nd uniform penetration of the solution was ensured. The liquor wa
s poured off and the excess water and air bubbles, if any were rem
oved by passing the specimens in between two glass rods. Compo
site specimens were then placed between glass/acrylic plates with
a pressure of 12 kpa per spirometer.

The perspirometer,was kept for four hours at a temperature of 37 (

Afterwards, the fabrics were removed, separated and dried in air be
low 60C. The values were rated as per the grey scale. The details o
f the values assigned for these properties are:

Evaluation is done by Grey Scale in a color matching

cabinet and rated from 1 to 5.

5 =Negligible (Excellent)
4 =Slightly changed (Good)
3 =Noticeable changed (Fairly good)
2 =Considerably changed (Fair)
1 =Much changed (Poor)


Hot pressing
The change in color of the garment due to hot iron can be found by
contact heat tester

Place the dry specimen on top of the cotton covering the wool
flannel pad.
Lower the top plate of the heating device and leave the test
specimen for 15 sec at the recommended pressing temperature.

Wet pressing
Soak the test specimen and a piece of cotton adjacent fabric in
distilled water and squeeze it to maintain 100% pick up.
Place the wet test specimen on top of the dry cotton cloth
covering the wool flannel pad and repeat iii

1. Colour Change Grey Scales

These scales consist of five pairs of grey coloured material numbered
from 1 to 5. Number 5 has two identical greys, number 1 grey scale
shows the greatest contrast, and numbers 2, 3 and 4 have intermediate
contrasts. After appropriate treatment the specimen is compared with the
original untreated material and any loss in colour is graded with
reference to the grey scale. When there is no change in the colour of a
test specimen it would be classified as '5'; if there is a change it is then
classified with the number of the scale that shows the same contrast as
that between the treated and untreated specimens.


2 .Degree of Staining Grey Scales

A different set of grey scales is used for measuring staining. Fastness
rating 5 is shown by two identical white samples (that is no staining) and
rating 1 shows a white and a grey sample. The other numbers show
geometrical steps of contrast between white and a series of greys. A
piece of untreated, unstained, undyed cloth is compared with the treated
sample that has been in contact with the test specimen during the
staining test and a numerical assessment of staining is given. A rating of
5 means that there is no difference between the treated and untreated
material. If the result is in between any two of the contrasts on the scale,
a rating of, for example, 3-4 is given. Sets of grey scales, examples of
which are shown in Fig: can be supplied by the British Standards