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Black Garments Shredding

Q: The black fabric in a black and white jacket is very weak and shredded after cleaning. What could have caused this?

A: Certain black fabrics, such as linen, may show damage in creased or folded areas due to a sizing applied during manufacture to give it a crisp, lustrous appearance. Many other black or dark colored fabrics may be damaged by the use of certain types of dyes. In the jacket in question, the damage appeared only on black panels, a condition that cannot occur in an immersion care process or during use.

Tests with chemical indicators show the presence of sulfur dye. If sulfur dyes are not neutralized after dyeing, sulfuric acid is eventually formed, which can lead to deterioration of the fabric. The damage may not become apparent until the garment is subjected to the agitation of the cleaning process. This type of damage has been seen on black knit sweaters, black jeans, and even dark blue, green, and red garments. Damage is usually extensive and may be confined to individual panels of an item.

Severe heat and humidity in some sulfur dyes, notably black, can generate sulfuric acid within the cellulosic fibers. This generation of sulfuric acid causes the acid tendering in textile goods. Thorough washing, alkaline rinsing in the dyeing process or resin finishing can eliminate the tendering complaints.
Posted By Harry Kimmel | 6/9/2016 8:42:11 AM
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