What is Color Fading and Can It Be Prevented?

color fading

It’s terrible when you have a favorite garment, and the color begins to fade. It’s even worse when the fading seems to happen after just one wash. While color fading over time is virtually inevitable, there are steps you can take to prevent color fading from happening when the garment is still relatively new.

What is Color Fading?

Color fading happens when the pigment in the garment loses its molecular attraction with the fabric itself. Manufacturers use dyes or pigments to create a colored garment. The dying consists of a chemical process where the dye becomes part of the fabric. Pigmenting is a process where the pigment is applied as a layer over the fabric strands. In commercial fabric making, pigmenting is the most common form of coloring fabrics. Color fading can occur with both types of coloring, but it’s more likely to occur with pigment printing.

What Causes Color Fading?

Color fading can occur from a variety of causes. One common reason for color fading is bleaching. Bleaching may happen naturally from sun exposure, or it can happen from exposure to the chemical form of bleach. Other reasons for color fading can be from too hot of water during laundering, or not following recommended care guidelines for the specific type of fabric.

How Can Color Fading Be Prevented?

You can take precautions at home to minimize color fading on your garments. These include:

  1. Making sure that you use the correct water temperature for the garment as indicated on the care label.
  2. Making sure you use the right kind of detergent when a certain kind is specified on the care label.
  3. Not laundering garments in the washing machine that says “hand wash only.”
  4. Bringing garments to the cleaners in Westchester, NY for dry cleaning when the care label necessitates it.
  5. “Curing” certain textiles that are heavily inclined to fade during washing.

What Does Curing Mean?

Curing a garment means to set the color so that it won’t run in the wash. When you cure the garment, the color will last a lot longer, and it won’t dye other items in the same laundry load. To cure a garment, soak it overnight in white vinegar. Then, launder as usual, according to the care label. Many manufacturers cure the colored clothing they make, but less costly garments are sometimes sold uncured. To be safe, it’s a wise move to soak all your new garments to make them colorfast. Clothing that is already cured by the manufacturer will be marked as being colorfast, and don’t require curing.

If you have any doubts about the colorfastness of your garments, ring them to Embassy Cleaners in Westchester for cleaning services. They will be able to advise you on whether the garment should be dry cleaned, and how best to protect it from color fading.

Your wardrobe is a big investment that needs to be taken care of. Be sure to follow these tips to prevent color fading and to ensure that your garment lasts as long as it should without fading. Contact Embassy Cleaners today to ask about dry cleaning pick up and delivery services.

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