Compiled by Juli Case
I’m doing some outdoor tablecloths for a client and he wants to know if the fabric is a 5 on the fading scale. Do you know what he’s talking about?
It appears that your client is worried about colorfastness when the fabric is exposed to sunlight. Although colorfastness is certainly a concern in the specialty fabrics business, we weren’t familiar with an official fading scale. We found it at the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC). Their test method AATCC 16 outlines the method of exposing part of a fabric sample to accelerated light conditions, while another part of the sample is protected from exposure. After a specified period of time, the two portions of the sample are analyzed and the color difference between the two is compared to a reference chart called the AATCC gray scale. The grades go from 5 (no change in color) to 1 (much changed).