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Colourfastness properties and affecting factors

Colourfastness properties and affecting factors

Colourfastness is used to indicate the resistance of dyed or printed fabrics towards colour change under certain kinds of conditions.

Generally, if fabric tends to hold the dyed or printed colour for a long time, then fabric has a higher colourfastness. If fabric easily releases colour from its surface within some starting washes then fabric has a lower colourfastness value.

Dyes can also behave differently when in contact with different agents, for instance, dyes that may be fast to dry-cleaning may not be fast to washing in water. 

Therefore, it is important to test any dyed or printed product for the fastness of the colours that have been used in its manufacturing process. 

Sunlight, pollution, certain gases, abrasion, perspiration, washing, and cleaning are the main reasons for the colourfastness of fabric or garments.

DSPAT Various fabric colour
Fabric lustre and colourfastness

Measurement of Colorfastness

Colourfastness is generally evaluated on a scale 

One scale is ranging from 1 to 5 according to colourfastness value.

In this scale, Class 1 indicates easy colour shade change, while class 5 indicates holding the colour side for a long time.

Another scale is ranging from L9 to L1 scale.

On this scale, Class L1 is the worst mark for colourfastness and L9 is the best rating for fabric.

Colourfastness is also measured by 7 various aspects.
1 Colorfastness towards natural sunlight
2 Colorfastness towards washing
3 Colorfastness towards crocking
4 Colorfastness towards frosting
5 Colorfastness towards perspiration
6 Colorfastness towards dry cleaning
7 Colorfastness towards burnt gas fumes or gas fading

Questions -
  1. What are the colourfastness properties?
  2. Which factors affect the colourfastness of fabric?
  3. How colorfastness is measured?
  4. By which aspects the colorfastness is measured?


Booth, J. E. :. (n.d.). Principles of textile testing an introduction to physical methods of testing textile fibres, yarns, and fabrics. London: National Trade Press Ltd,1961. from

Cenote, M. (2015). Google Books. In The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law (pp. 847–858). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Ferreiro López-Riobóo, J. I. (2015). Long-term (2001–2012) study of a proficiency testing scheme for textiles. Accreditation and Quality Assurance20(4), 239–245.

Burkhart, M. (n.d.). 5 colour fastness tests to prevent textile fading and staining. from

Trivedi, Y. (2020, April 14). Colour fastness in Textile testing.

(N.d.). from

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