As outdoor textile manufacturers, you may have clients often request that products undergo UV protection treatment, whether they are clothes or backpacks. Most clients confuse AATCC 16 with AATCC 183. This article briefly explains the differences between AATCC 16 and AATCC 183.

AATCC 16 is a test for colorfastness to light. It measures the ability of a textile material to resist color change under sun exposure through accelerated aging by xenon-arc test devices. The test evaluates how well dye molecules react to sunlight exposure and retain their color. The method involves cutting a piece of fabric, covering half with cardboard, and leaving the other half uncovered, then testing it in a lightfastness tester to compare the color difference before and after exposure. The results are rated on a scale from 1 to 5. If a client wants the color to remain unchanged for a long time when used outdoors, we recommend testing with AATCC 16.

It’s worth noting that some factories confuse the methods of AATCC and ISO. ISO’s method relates to the blue wool scale for lightfastness, which is rated from 1 to 8, while the highest rating for American standards is from 1 to 5.

AATCC 16 test

  • Number of specimen/product: At least three replicate specimens
  • Size: Swatches of fabric must be at least 70 mm X 120 mm (2.75” X 4.7”) and yarns must have a length of approximately 150 mm (6 in.).
  • Grade 5 = no fading
  • Grade 4 = slight fading
  • Grade 1 = high degree of fading

AATCC 183 is a test Method for Transmittance or Blocking of Erythemally Weighted Ultraviolet Radiation through Fabrics.

The principle of AATCC 183 is to determine the UV transmittance of samples in both dry and wet states using a UV spectrophotometer. It is typically used for clothing items, especially those worn close to the body like T-shirts, swimwear, and beach shorts. The test results are given as SPF values like 15, 30, 50, 50+, etc. In fact, some results from the UV instrument can be hundreds or even thousands, but don’t be surprised; it simply means the fabric indeed provides UV protection.

Related Resources

AATCC TM16 Xenon Arc Test Chamber (Water-cooled) DR3000

AATCC 183 Ultravolet Transmittance Tester YG(B)912S

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