Watch Out! Tears in colored shirts

What is the problem?

The damage is tears in one direction of the shirt.

What does it look like?

The damage appears as tears. However, in all instances, the damage is confined to certain sets of colored yarns while other yarns remain unaffected.

What caused it?

Testing has shown that under conditions of low pH (souring) and high tempertures (pressing), the reactive dye in the yarns acts as a proton exchanger. Acid ions are being generated in the cotton yarns, causing degradation.

Can it be prevented?

Dyeing the yarns with vat dyes would prevent the problem, but only a few manufacturers are doing this due to the styling limitations and cost of vat dyes.

Maintaining a pH of 6.5 during the sour should prevent the damage from occuring.  Depending on the alkalinity of the water, not all laundries may be able to maintain this pH without yellowing or sticking during pressing.

Who is responsible?

Since the fiber-reactive dyed yarns cannot withstand current commercial laundering procedures, it is the manufacturers responsibility.

Is there a remedy?

Once the damage has occurred to the fabric, there is no way to correct this problem.

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