08/30/2022 | Product News

Colour Fastness app evaluates the colour fastness of textiles, leather and other materials

Speciality chemicals company Kuraray simplifies quality testing

Hattersheim, August 30, 2022. Global speciality chemicals company Kuraray (www.kuraray.eu) has developed Colour Fastness, an app that can determine the colour fastness of materials such as leather and textiles conveniently using an iPhone or iPad. For the first time, this new app enables textile labs, test institutes and manufacturers and processors of materials to analyse their colour fastness quickly and cheaply. All that is needed to use this app is a mobile iOS device with a camera, suitable lighting conditions, a treated and – as a reference – an untreated sample of the material and a grey scale. The big advantage of Kuraray's new Colour Fastness app is that it produces more reliable results than the human eye – without the need for complex and expensive high-tech cameras.

Digital analysis based on a simple photo
“Up to now, two methods have commonly been used to determine colour fastness: the human eye and a spectrophotometer,” explains Patrick Wallrafen, Technical Sales Specialist at Kuraray Europe. “This new app-based method from Kuraray is a third option that is both simple and reliable.” Users launch the app on their iPhone or iPad and register the new test. They then use the app to take a photo of the test setup in a special light box, which is standard for colour fastness testing in textile labs. In a single photo, the app captures the treated and untreated samples and a standardized ISO grey scale (scale of 1 to 5 in steps of 0.5). The app enables users to compare the digital image directly with their specifications and to measure colour fastness with the aid of software. The result of the test can be stored temporarily in the Colour Fastness app, documented via a screenshot and also archived externally.

Increased transparency of measurement
To increase transparency, every assessment performed with the app is assigned a unique report ID. The app archives the impact of all external influences measured on the test material, for example, light, seawater, bleach, rubbing, washing and sweat. That makes colour fastness testing extremely simple for textile manufacturers. Kuraray has produced a YouTube video to demonstrate how this mobile app works.

One-month test phase for new users
The Colour Fastness app has been available in the Apple App Store since August 27, 2022. “With this innovative app, Kuraray is digitalizing textile quality assurance,” says Dominik Planz, Sales Representative at Kuraray Europe. “To give users plenty of time to test the app and explore its capabilities, we offer them a trial month.” That means the subscription can be cancelled free of charge in the first month. The app is available on a subscription basis for a monthly fee. 

Conventional analytical processes are time-consuming and expensive
Manual test methods generally make extremely high demands on the eyes and concentration – irrespective whether colour fastness is measured in an external lab or in-house. Inspectors need a long period of training followed by regular refreshers to make sure they remain physically capable of testing. There is no doubt that the accuracy and objectiveness of digital imaging devices such as spectrophotometers and other instrumental test systems are superior to the human eye. However, their drawbacks are that they are costly and need regular calibration and maintenance. Moreover, they are time-consuming and complex to use and take up a good deal of space. 

Colour fastness tests are essential
The products placed on the market by manufacturers and processors of leather and textiles have to meet high quality standards. Colour fastness is a key criterion. It ensures that the material keeps its original colour and that no dyes are transferred to adjacent materials. For the first time, Colour Fastness — the new mobile app developed by Kuraray — permits quick and cheap assessment of the intensity of these processes.


About Kuraray
Established in 1991, Kuraray Europe GmbH is based in Hattersheim, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 2021 the company generated annual sales of EUR 1.1 billion. 

It has more than 820 employees in Germany at its sites in Hattersheim, Frankfurt and Troisdorf. Kuraray is a global speciality chemicals company and one of the largest suppliers of industrial polymers and synthetic microfibres for many sectors of industry. Examples are Kuraray Poval™, Mowital®, Trosifol® and Clearfil™. Kuraray Europe also has around 215 employees at six other European sites. They are also working on the development and application of innovative high-performance materials for a wide range of sectors, including the automotive, paper, glass and packaging industries, as well as for architects and dentists. 

Kuraray Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly listed Kuraray Co., Ltd., which is based in Tokyo, Japan, and has more than 11,330 employees worldwide and sales of EUR 4.8 billion.


Press contacts:
Dominik Planz
Sales Representative BU Clarino/amaretta
Kuraray Europe GmbH
Philipp-Reis-Straße 4
65795 Hattersheim am Main, Germany
+49 69 305 85976
Phone: +49 69 305 85797

Julia Schreiber
Senior Consultant
Möller Horcher Kommunikation GmbH
Heubnerstr. 1
09599 Freiberg, Germany
+49 3731 2070 915


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An annual subscription to this Kuraray app turns an iPhone into a tool to measure the colour fastness of materials. (Source: Kuraray)

The new Colour Fastness app analyses the colour fastness of textiles simply on the basis of digital photos. (Source: Kuraray)

The Colour Fastness app allows accurate measurement of all relevant external influences on colour fastness. (Source: Kuraray)