AATCC 16.3 Option 3 Colorfastness to Light: Xenon Arc

Purpose of test 

This test simulates the effect of ultraviolet light and natural sunlight on various fabrics to make sure their color won’t change or fade in normal use.

Terminology Defined

Colorfastness — A fabric’s ability to retain color in various conditions.

Xenon-Arc Lamp — A lamp that mimics natural sunlight by passing electricity through ionized xenon gas.

Sample mounting and color cards on the Xenon arc machine (Image source: garmentstech.com)

Test method

Materials Used for Test 

  • Fabric specimen
  • Xenon arc lamp
  • Paper card section

Testing Procedure

The specimen can be subjected to the following filtered versions of Xenon-Arc light:

  • Xenon-Arc Lamp, Alternate Light and Dark
  • Xenon-Arc Lamp, Continuous Light, Black Standard Option
  • Xenon-Arc Lamp, Continuous Light, Black Panel Option

Test Procedure (Summary)

Technicians place the fabric strips into the testing area and subject it to the required duration of light and the specified filter. They cover it part of the way with a paper card in order to compare the exposed fabric with the original. Based on this, the item is assigned a grade from zero to five. Grade 5 shows no fading, and Grade 1 shows a high degree of fading.

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