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Test Colour Fastness to Washing by Using Washometer

Colourfastness is one of the vital quality standards which is noticed while purchasing a fabric. It is the characteristic property of a dyed textile material produced in industries. It defines the colour resistance to fade or bleed under the influence of water, light, rubbing, washing, perspiration etc. These factors are those to which they are normally exposed in textile manufacturing. And when we are particularly talking about the resistance of a fabric to colour bleeding or fading can also be termed as colour fastness to washing and this can be tested by a Washometer.

Test Colour Fastness to Washing by Using Washometer

Factors affecting the colour fastness properties are as follows:
• Chemical nature of the fibre – Fabrics made up of cellulosic fibres dyed with reactive or vat dyes will show strong fastness properties. Protein fibres dyed with acid mordant and reactive dyes will also obtain good fastness. That is why it is said that the compatibility of dye with the fibre is very important.
• The molecular structure of a dye molecule – If the size of a dye molecule is larger, it will be tightly entrapped inside the inter-polymer chain of a fibre. Thus, providing a strong and improved fastness.
• The manner in which the dye is bonded to the fibre or the physical form it is present in.
• The quantity of dye present in the fibre i.e. depth of shade. A deep shade will have low fastness than a pale or light shade.
• The presence of other chemicals in the material.
• The actual conditions prevailing during exposure.

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The standards which are mostly followed by the test are AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colourists) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization).
One such testing machine which complies with the above standards is Washometer. It is widely used to compute the colour strength of textile materials, irrespective of their composition and form to washing. Here, by the composition of a material, we are mentioning the type of fabric like cotton, silk, linen, synthetic fibres, etc. and form of a material includes fibre, yarn or fabric, etc.

The bath conducted in the tester is assisted with 8 revolving stainless-steel jars, having the test samples inside and a test solution above the horizontal axis, at a particular speed. The Washometer bath is heated with the help of 2 immersion heaters and the temperature is controlled by a vessel type thermostat, which is attached to a digital temperature indicator.

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