Color transfer from black jacket to bag
When a consumer was wearing a black jacket and slinging a pale pink bag over her shoulder, the black color transferred from the jacket to the bag.
Details of the inquiry
I bought a mystery package. One of the products therein was a buckskin-like jacket in black color. I put the jacket on a hanger and kept it in a closet. After one year, I wore the jacket for the first time. When I was wearing the jacket and slinging a pale pink bag over my shoulder, the black color transferred from the jacket to the bag (See Photo 1).
I washed the jacket by hand three times with detergent and warm water at around 40 degrees C. Even at the third time, water turned black. When the jacket is rubbed with tissue paper in a dry condition, the black color transfers to the tissue paper even now.
There's no caution message about color transfer on the jacket tag (See Photo 2). I made a complaint to the shop, but they didn't address the matter.
I've taken good care of the bag and I've used it only a few times. When I consulted the dry cleaners, they told that it would not be possible to remove the black stain. I would like you to check if there's any problem with the jacket.
Photo 1. Bag stained black
Photo 2. Jacket tag
Product test and investigation
After receiving the inquiry, the local consumer affairs center (hereinafter called "the center") requested the National Consumer Affairs Center (hereinafter called "NCAC") to conduct a product test. The product test showed the following results.
(1) General picture of the product under complaint
The product under complaint had a label showing laundry symbols (See Figure) and a tag indicating "polyester 100%" (See Photo 2).
The product under complaint appeared to be made of suede-like textile. Material analysis showed that the main material thereof was polyethylene terephthalate (polyester resin).
Figure. Care label
(2) Surface appearance check
When observing the sleeve of the product under complaint through a microscope, it was found that multifilament was knitted into the textile and the surface was fluffed (See Photo 3, 4). In general, polyester fiber is about 20 micron1 in diameter. The fiber of the product is just a few micron in diameter (See Photo 5).
When patting the area circled on Photo 3 with a cotton swab soaked with ethanol, the cotton swab was blackened.
In general, material melted by heat is extruded in filaments from a machine to produce polyester yarn. Due to its smooth surface, dye is not easily infiltrated into polyester yarn. It's difficult to dye polyester yarn in dark color. Since microfiber is very fine, a textile made of microfiber has a larger surface area. Therefore, greater quantity of dye is necessary to dye microfiber, particularly in case of dark color like black. Accordingly, black dye on microfiber cloth is more prone to color transfer.
- 1 micrometer (micron) =1/1000 mm
Photo 3. Surface of the product under complaint
Photo 4. Fluffed surface
Photo 5. Thickness of fibers (Thinner one is the fiber of the jacket.)
(3) Color fastness
According to the JIS L0207 "Glossary of terms used in textile industry (dyeing and finishing)", color fastness is the resistance property of textile product to light against the action in manufacturing process or in after use and storage. In other words, it means likelihood of color loss. The lower the grade, the easier to transfer color.
It was unable to buy new one, so the product under complaint which had been washed three times was used to check color fastness.
Color fastness to rubbing
The product test was conducted in accordance with JIS L0849 "Test methods for color fastness to rubbing". In a dry condition, the property scored at the same level as JIS. In a wet condition, the property scored below JIS.
Color fastness to washing and dry cleaning
The product test was conducted in accordance with method A-2 in JIS L0844 "Test methods for color fastness to washing and laundering" and method B-1 in JIS L0860 "Test methods for color fastness to dry cleaning".
Change in color2 of the product under complaint was found to be about the same as JIS both when washed and dry cleaned. Staining3 to other fabrics, however, scored far lower than the JIS level both when washed and dry cleaned. During the product test, washing liquid and dry cleaning liquid turned black.
JIS shows the quality level required for products. In the above product test, the product under complaint which had been washed three times was used. Therefore, the product should have been far more likely to transfer color before being washed.
- 2 Change in color: the phenomenon in which the dye and others being dyed in fiber are discolored or faded by decomposing chemically or being omitted physically caused by the external action such as light radiation, heat treatment, wetting treatment, gasses. Source: JIS L0207 "Glossary of terms used in textile industry (dyeing and finishing)"
- 3 Staining: the color stain which is essentially not allowed to adhere. The migration of dye from test piece to standard fiber in color fastness test. Source: JIS L0207 "Glossary of terms used in textile industry (dyeing and finishing)"
The product under complaint has tags indicating composition of fibers, home washing instructions, name and telephone number of a labeler, which have been required to be affixed to coats by Textile Goods Labeling Regulations under the Household Goods Quality Labeling Act. There's no caution message about color transfer when used or washed, which has not been legally required.
The center informed the shop of the test results. The center negotiated with the shop, telling that most of dark color textile products in the market had a label indicating a risk of color transfer from rubbing. As a result, the shop decided to pay part of the purchase price of the bag to the inquirer.