Red Arrow
Fabric Fading Problems

Fabric Fading Problems

Pigment dyes are dispersed in a gluey resin and spread across the top of the fabric surface. They can either be printed (screen or roller) as a single uniform shade all over; or applied in several colours to form multi-coloured patterns.

After application the print is passed through a heated oven which bonds the gluey resin onto the woven fabric by surface adhesion to the exposed yarns. There is not usually very much physical adhesion in that the resin does not flow into the yarns and lock around them. Curing time and temperature are critical if a good bond is to be achieved.

There are various ways of avoiding fading problems:-

  • Abrasion in use will cause progressive breakdown of a pigment print whenever it is rubbed. This can be a particular problem on the arm of an upholstered chair; on the edge of a fitted bedspread or on the leading edge of a curtain handled twice a day for opening and closing.
  • The print can be washing off by the use of too much mechanical action in laundering. There is a big difference in the mechanical action associated with different wash processes and the bar or broken bar beneath the washtub symbol on the care label indicates the precautions needed. This is every bit as important as wash temperature.
  • Washing at a higher wash temperature than that specified on the care label tends to cause softening of the resin so that more is rubbed off than it is at lower temperatures. This means that it is difficult to put pigment printed linen through a process which incorporates an implied thermal disinfection stage because this calls either for three minutes at 71˚C or ten minutes at 65˚C.
  • Incorrect ironing will cause rapid breakdown of certain pigment prints depending on temperature resistance of the resin used. Repeated abrasion at the wear edges during ironing will cause white lines or white bands at the folds and double thickness points. This is not always immediately obvious because the resin is pushed into the weave without colour loss. However; the progressively broken down resin then becomes washed off in the next laundry process to reveal the characteristic and excessive fading.
  • Ironing temperature is probably more critical than ironing abrasion and some resins can only safely withstand a one dot iron (110˚C).

What our clients say...

  • “Our machines have come from several suppliers – there is a big difference in the standards of support we receive and Armstrong gets 10 out of 10 – their service has been consistently excellent over several years and when you’re as busy as we are, that’s very important.”

    Jacqui Butler

  • “It’s important to get the right equipment for the job, too small and it won’t do it properly, too big and you are wasting money, energy and space. It is also important to deal with a company you trust to supply reliable equipment and give you the support you need. As expected, the installation went smoothly, we have never had the slightest problem and I know Armstrong will deal with it if we do.”

    Colin Farquharson, St Ermin’s Hotel

  • “Our relationship with Armstrong goes back a long way, and they continue to give us excellent service and extremely reliable equipment.”

    Suzy Brandwood, The Elms School

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    Wendy Clayton, Chepstow Nursing & Care Home

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    Fr Oliver, Douai Abbey

  • “That’s the thing with Armstrong, if you ask for service you get it – quickly.  We know we can rely on them which is really important as the speed and quality of the laundry is vital to the hotel.”

    James Suter, The Gliffae Country House Hotel

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    Shaid Aziz, Bright Wash Launderette

  • “We’re delighted with the new dryer. We pride ourselves on a very personal level of care here, keeping up with the laundry and it all coming out looking good is an important aspect of this care and this machine has been excellent since it was installed.”

    Marilyn Collins, Oaklands Care Home