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2013 Edition, January 1, 2013

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Colorfastness: Dye Transfer in Storage; Fabric-to-Fabric

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Purpose and Scope 

The storage of garments made with component parts of more than one shade sometimes results in the transfer of dye from one area to another, normally from the darker to the lighter shade. This phenomenon is distinct from sublimation because it occurs below the sublimation temperature of dyes as well as with nonsubliming dyes. 

Dye transfer occurs when garments are folded with different shades in intimate contact with each other. Normally the amount of dye transferred is intensified when moisture is present, and thus the problem is more severe during warm, humid weather or when garments are steamed immediately before storage. Storage in plastic bags tends to maintain the initial relative humidity of the garment environment and can aggravate or reduce transfer depending on the condition of the fabric when it enters the bag. 

This test method is intended to estimate if color transfer might be expected to occur during prolonged periods of storage. In general, no problems will be expected under normal conditions of storage or time-delay, if color transfer does not occur under the conditions specified in Section 7 (Procedure).

This test method may be used also to assess potential color transfer problems that relate to finishing. Some dyes are inherently more prone to transfer than others, and some chemical finishes and finishing conditions accelerate transfer.