Colour Loss

There are many substances your garment may come into contact with in the course of a day that can cause colour loss. Often, discolouration does not appear until the item is cleaned (by rinsing in water or drycleaning fluid). This will depend upon the composition and concentration of the substance, and the types of fibre and dye. Other factors are heat or the length of contact time. Typical colour loss problems are listed below.

  • Silk and acetates can be affected by alcohol products such as perfumes, colognes, hair spray and of course alcoholic beverages. Some silks with poor dye colourfastness can even lose colour from a light rain shower.
  • Bleaches come in many products including: hair care products; fake tan; skin lotions; cleaning products; and disinfectants.
  • Exposure to light, either sunlight or artificial light, can cause a loss of colour where the ultraviolet rays can alter the chemical structure of dyes. Where soiling is present in a fabric or textile, colour loss is accelerated.
  • Fumes are virtually always present in the atmosphere, and have the same dye destructive results as light fading.
  • Wear abrasion colour loss can typically occur in the neck line, elbows, seat, knees and pockets or folds. This friction rubs off the dye on the surface of the fabric which will then be flushed away by the action of the cleaning process.

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