Garments with Contrasting Colors or Trim
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Garments with Contrasting Colors or Trim

Many garments are designed with dark fabrics and white trim or white fabrics and bright colored trim such as red piping. When these fabrics are labeled washable, people often complain that the colors have "run." The white shirt becomes streaked with pink from the red trim.

Sometimes this problem can be resolved by rewashing the garment in a heavy-duty detergent with warm or hot water. The excess dye that was not permanently in the trim is not likely to be very firmly deposited in its new location either, and sometimes a simple repeat washing will rinse it away. Sometimes bleaching will help, but often the bleach will change the color of the trim and further change the appearance of the garment.

Since there are no regulations about color-fastness labeling, there is little that consumers can do when they have problems with color-fastness except complain to the manufacturer or retailer who sold the goods. As long as care labeling procedures have been carefully followed, most reputable businesses will respond to your complaint in a positive way.

Although it may cramp your style, a way to avoid these problems is to not buy clothing with extreme color contrasts.


Special thanks to Iowa State University for allowing us to reproduce this information.

Reproduced with permission from the Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011.

Prepared by: Janis Stone,
Textiles and Clothing Specialist,
Iowa State University

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