Have you ever seen your favorite blue, purple or gray outfit turn to a pink hue right before your eyes? It happens! This color change can be not only annoying, but puzzling.
Mystery solved! When this type of color change happens, your clothes are victims of “Fume Fading,” a complex chemical color change that occurs in certain dyes when exposed to air pollution from car exhaust and from burning coal and oil. Unfortunately, air pollution is all around us especially in urban areas. Clothes and household textiles are exposed constantly to exhaust and pollutants outside as well as indoors. Outside air is brought in and circulated through open doors or windows, air conditioners and heaters.
Fume fading does not fade garments and textiles evenly. Fabrics fade more noticeably where they are more exposed, on the shoulders, sleeves, and hemlines. Fume fading also may be more prominent where a garment has been exposed to moisture, which can speed up the fading, like under the arms. Draperies and household fabrics often fade along the folds.
At Flair, we are often asked, “Does dry cleaning cause fume fading?” The answer is no. Extensive research conducted as early as 1951 by the National Institute of Cleaning and Dyeing, and continuing to this day, show that there is no link to fume fading and dry cleaning. And, once a garment or textile is damaged by fume fading, there is little any dry cleaner can do to repair it.
Fume fading can be prevented or lessened. First, store clothing in a well-ventilated closet where clothes have room to “breathe.” Avoid packing dresser drawers to tightly; allow room for air circulation. Bring clothing and household textiles to Flair Cleaners for regular cleaning. This will help eliminate pollutants that may have been absorbed. For more information, contact Flair Cleaners.