What is Color Fastness to Rubbing and Test Method

Introduction to Color Fastness to Rubbing Mechanics

Color fastness to rubbing mechanics is a critical aspect of textile and leather quality control. It refers to the ability of colored fabric or leather material to retain its color after exposure to various forms of frictional forces. The importance of this property lies in the fact that it affects the durability, appearance, and overall acceptability of textiles and leathers. In industries like fashion, automotive upholstery, home décor, or any other field with extensive fabric use, determining product quality crucially depends on color fastness.

Color fading due to rubbing can occur during everyday use when clothes rub against each other while wearing them or when they come into contact with surfaces like car seats or furniture. Therefore, assessing color fastness properties becomes vital for manufacturers who want their products to be durable and long-lasting.

Textile professionals widely use the Color Fastness Rubbing Tester as an instrument to evaluate fabrics and leathers for resistance against abrasion-induced color loss. This testing method involves rubbing a piece of standardized white cloth over the surface of test specimen using different levels of pressure until noticeable discoloration occurs on either sample (test specimen or white cloth). The results obtained from this test help determine if a particular material meets industry standards for acceptable levels of colorfastness.

Explanation of Color Fastness Rubbing Tester

What is a Color Fastness Rubbing Tester?

A color fastness rubbing tester is a testing equipment used to determine the resistance of colors against rubbing or friction. This machine applies an even and controlled pressure on the surface of textile or leather material with the help of two sample holders, one stationary and another movable. The purpose of this test is to evaluate how well the dye adheres to fibers, as well as its resistance to fading during everyday use.

A Color Fastness to Rubbing Tester produced by DaRong

How Does a Color Fastness Rubbing Tester Work?

The color fastness rubbing tester works by subjecting two pieces of fabric or leather together under controlled conditions. One sample holder stays stationary. Another moves back and forth over it in a regular, reciprocating motion. This motion uses a specific load. During this process, loose dye particles transfer from one piece to another. We can visually evaluate this transfer for staining or discoloration.

The machine measures colorfastness by comparing rub-resistant patterns against gray scales from 1-5 (for dry tests) and 1-4 (for wet tests). These results indicate how much rubbing it takes for noticeable change in color intensity or visible staining to occur on various materials.

Manufacturers who need assurance that their products meet industry standards before releasing them into the market consider this type of testing vital. It also helps researchers understand different types of dyes and textiles better so that they can produce more durable fabrics with brighter colors.

Operation Video of A Color Fastness to Rubbing Tester by DaRong

Testing Method for Color Fastness to Rubbing

Dry Rubbing Test

We conduct the dry rubbing test to determine a material’s color fastness. The material could be textile or leather, and the stress is from friction-induced abrasion. In this method, we rub a white cotton fabric piece against the specimen. We use standardized pressure and a set number of strokes. After that, we evaluate the staining degree on the white fabric. We use a grey scale for this. The color fastness rating ranges from 1 to 5, with 1 being severe staining. We can do this test manually or with automated methods. We vary the load, speed, and stroke length based on the standard we follow.

Wet Rubbing Test

The wet rubbing test evaluates how well a colored textile or leather material resists running or bleeding of dyes when exposed to water under rubbing conditions. We rub a piece of white cotton fabric, moistened with distilled water, against the specimen using standardized pressure and a set number of strokes, similar to the dry rubbing test. After drying, we visually compare any discoloration on both specimens against gray scales for rating purposes.

Brushing Test

Brushing tests simulate normal fabric wear and tear. They mimic repeated contact between fabrics like in washing machines. We affix a sample onto a rotating drum with brushes. These brushes simulate laundering machine forms. The specimen undergoes two cycles of about 2000 revolutions each. We keep the speed constant and temperature within standard limits. Afterwards, we evaluate coloration changes. We compare changes against grey scale standards. These range from Grade-1 (“Severe” discoloration) to Grade-5 (“No Discoloration”).

In summary, the Color Fastness Rubbing Tester offers reliable results. It subjects samples to stresses like dry rub, wet rub, and brushing actions. The tester ensures repeatability across multiple trials. Thus, it’s an essential tool for industry standard compliance. It aids in quality control measures.

Color Fastness Standards

Color fastness rubbing testing is an important aspect of the textile and leather industry. Developers have established various international standards to ensure that products meet certain requirements for color fastness. These standards include ISO, GB/T, AATCC, and BS standards.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published standards for color fastness rubbing testing. ISO 105-X12:2016 describes a method for determining dyed textiles’ resistance to rubbing.

Chinese National Standards (GB/T) also provide guidelines for color fastness testing. GB/T 3920-2008 outlines methods for testing color fastness to rubbing in textiles.

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) offers test methods related to colorfastness. Method 8-2013 measures dye transfer from one surface to another by wet or dry crocking.

The British Standards Institution (BS) issued standards for textile and leather performance tests. BS EN ISO 11640:2019 covers tests for color fastness rubbing in leather.

Adhering to these international standards ensures that manufacturers produce high-quality products that meet industry requirements.


In conclusion, color fastness to rubbing mechanics is a vital aspect of the textile and leather industry. It ensures that the colors of dyed fabrics do not transfer or fade during use or wear. The testing method using a color fastness rubbing tester is an effective way to measure this property. By simulating real-life conditions, it provides accurate and reliable results for manufacturers, researchers, and students alike. Moreover, international standards such as ISO 105-X12 and AATCC 8 provide guidelines for conducting these tests consistently across the industry. Understanding color fastness to rubbing mechanics is important. Utilizing a color fastness rubbing tester can help. It ensures high-quality, long-lasting colors in products for global consumers.

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