Color fastness is one of the most important parameters in evaluating the quality of textiles and leather. It is the property of a dyed material to keep its color and not to transfer its colorants to other material, e.g. while washing. The grading can be done visually or instrumentally. The visual method is prevailing, but inspectors need thorough training and eyes are prone to tiredness and subjective evaluation. There also exist digital imaging devices and spectrophotometers, which aim to compensate the drawbacks of the visual grading. The instruments are objective, but they are costly and need to be calibrated and maintained. Therefore, Kuraray Europe GmbH, Hattersheim/Germany, developed the Colour Fastness App for assessing color fastness, which is based on a process, for which a patent application was filed.
With the new app, textile laboratories, test institutes, and manufacturers and processors of materials can analyze their surfaces very quickly and cost-effectively for the first time. To use the app, users only need an iOS mobile device with a camera, suitable lighting conditions, a treated and - as a reference - an untreated sample of the material, and a gray scale.
In the app, a unique report ID is assigned to each measurement process. Each measurement of an external influence on the test material, such as light, seawater, bleaching, rubbing, washing or perspiration, is archived. This makes color fastness testing very easy for textile manufacturers. Kuraray demonstrates the exact functionality of the mobile application in this video
The Colour Fastness App has been available in Apple's App Store since August 28, 2022.