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How to control color fastness on garment

How to prevent color fastness on garment by the Quality Control Blog

Are the fabric properties a factor concerning the textile color fastness?

Joanna asked this question on the Quality Control Blog few days ago. The answer may interest some readers: therefore this article will answer it and provide further information on how to control color fastness on garments.

Factors affecting the color fastness

The factors affecting the garment color fastness are the following:

  • Fiber quality and type
  • Fabric construction
  • Class of Dye used
  • Dyeing and printing process used
  • Finishing treatment used
  • End consumer practices

The first five factors come from the production process. They can be controlled by the manufacturer and the importer in the country of origin: as opposed to the last factor, which depends on the actual consumer’s habits in terms of detergent selection and laundering techniques.

How to control color fastness on garment

approval sample

It is compulsory to identify any potential risks of color fastness prior to the production. To do so, the buyer should check the samples received for approval. Here are some useful illustrations on how to check the color fastness on garments.

material check before the Production

Prior to the beginning of the production, the material (in this case fabric) intended for the garment manufacturing should be checked. The supplier will only have to order new material which costs less than reproducing all of the order.

A third party inspection company usually performs the color fastness test as per ISO 105 on all dyed fabrics, printing artwork or printing logo on fabrics (including brushed fabric, suede fabric, cotton fabric, etc).

Only very few buyers regularly check the material before the production however, it is vital in garment manufacturing. That said critical issues affecting the whole order (such as the color fastness) can be identified.

Material check During the production and before the shipment

During a garment production inspection or garment pre-shipment inspection, the material is checked on the finished goods only. However, at those stages, the garment color fastness can’t be corrected. The buyer’s alternatives are to put the payment on hold until the goods are re-manufactured or ship the defective goods.

Laboratory testing

The laboratory is able to perform more precise tests and identify color fastness risks under different conditions which can’t be created during a product inspection: wet, dry, heat, gas from the atmosphere, frost, perspiration, light, etc.

And you: how do you control the color fastness on garment?


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5 responses to “How to control color fastness on garment”

  1. Mark says:

    So its not “fastness” from “quick/fast”, rather from to “fasten” – make something tight, strong or last for a long time.

  2. Mark says:

    Hi, the above factors are all right, most important is probably the heat treatment of the fabric in order to achieve the fastness you need to comply to your customers requirement. Only the headline is wrong. Its not “how to avoid”, but rather how to achieve “color fastness” ;-)

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @Mark: thank you again for your comment, it is highly appreciated. The headline has been updated to “control” which is the meaning we wanted to give.

  3. Mark says:

    Why would you want to avoid color fastness ? You want the colors to STAY in the garment. The higher the “fastness” the better !!!

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @Mark: you are totally right. We’d rather invite you to tell us how do you control the color fastness. :)


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