AQF Quality Control Blog

Testing and Standards

Textile color fastness tests: ISO 105


The first time we started to talk about textile colorfast was in 1916. It is an old story in the textile industry! Since then some standard tests have been created to detect color bleeding issues. Recently the issue has been detected in several shipments, including shirts, suitcases and even sneakers. How can we test textile color fastness?

On-site check for color bleeding

During a standard product inspection, the textile inspector performs the rub test. To do so, he rubs a white cloth against the material with sufficient strength . The rub test should be done first with a dry cloth, then with a wet cloth. The color transfer is then compared with a grey scale.

Off-side color bleeding test

Several procedures exist to check the textile color fastness off-side. The most popular is by washing the item in a washing-machine, “label wash“, with a white cotton cloth. Before and after washing, the textile quality controller takes pictures of the white cloth and the critical areas where two colors are close to each other. Then he compares it against the grey scale.

Textile color fastness testing in a laboratory

The samples should be sent to an official laboratory to obtain the most reliable results based on standardized procedures. The laboratory will perform textile color fastness tests according to different materials. This testing method is defined by the norm ISO 105 and includes:

  • Water
  • Washing (using different programs)
  • Perspiration
  • Rubbing
  • Dry Cleaning

Each of these tests costs less than $50. They assure the products are sellable after shipment and storage.

And you: would you like some additional information about those tests?


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Our team consists of supervisors specialized in various types of products. We handle client requests, analyse their instructions & specifications to provide qualitative inspection protocols to the inspectors for high quality reports. With the Quality Control Blog we want to tell stories taken from our daily activity to help the importers in sourcing better and safer. Get to know us!

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