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How to control color fastness on garments

by Asia Quality Focus team

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?

Read the original article here.


The Asia Quality Focus team is an international team of specialists in product inspections, factory audits, lab testing and product certifications for all kinds of consumer goods. To share experience and opinions in how to better and safer source in Asia they created the Quality Control Blog. Feel free to contact them here.

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