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Your Towel Questions Answered

Posted by Canningvale Team on

Pictured: Corduroy Rib Towel Range

Having read through a bunch of customer service questions I have decided to try and nip some of these re-occurring questions in the proverbial bud.

Why Do Some Colours Fade?

Well, different dyes have different degrees of resistance to fading by light, or lightfastness as it is called in the industry. Essentially, colours with a lower lightfastness will fade faster than colours with a higher lightfastness. So when you are wondering why your turquoise towel has faded faster then your cream towel, now you know!

There are actually a hilarious amount of colourfastness tests in the Australian Standards for colourfastness:

- Colourfastness to water

- Colourfastness to sea water

- Colourfastness to daylight materials

- Colourfastness to rubbing

- Colourfastness to chlorinated swimming pool water

- Colourfastness to washing

- Colourfastness to perspiration

Anyway, you get the gist. There are a lot of tests that happen to towels when it comes to colour fading. Obviously, reactive dyed towels are not immortal. Bleach will affect your towels. When you use bleach for a previous laundry session for white clothes, make sure you wash your hands. Otherwise, you will call me saying that Canningvale towels fade after 2 washes with the print of a hand on it…Yes that has actually happened to our customer service team. Sooooooo to avoid colour patches or fading, only white towels should be bleached in home use.

Why Do Some Colours Run?

In a definition sense, dye will run if it is not permanently fixed. The dyes used for towelling are reactive dyes, they need to be fixed by adding an alkali to the dye bath. This alkali causes the dye to react with the cotton cellulose molecule to form a permanent bond. This is the little miracle which prevents the colour from running.

Why Do Towels Shed Fibres?

Shedding or linting as most people like to call it, is the loss of short fibres from the towel’s yarns. Linting is inevitable with all towelling products due to nature of cotton fibre being light and voluminous, however, severe linting is very inconvenient.

There are actually 2 different common forms of linting:

1. Surface Linting - which has accumulated on the surface of the product during manufacturing, this will stop within 3 to 5 washes.

2. Degradation Linting - which can be caused by any of the following:

a) In production, the loom state was over bleached or over dyed (chemical stress).

b) In production, the product was over processed (mechanical stress).

c) There was poor quality yarn used, more commonly known as carded yarn.

d) Heavy duty washing and prolonged tumble drying.

We have also seen some nasty fibre degradation which has been caused by customer’s treating their Canningvale towels very poorly. For example using a normal bath towel to dry bathroom tiles after using an anti-moulding agent or by leaving a moist towel at the bottom of a washing basket months. All of that treatment will cause a massive chemical reaction facilitating the decomposition of there cotton fibre starting with the finer fibrils.

The good news is if you use your towel like a normal person, you will never have to worry about Canningvale towels doing any of the above!

Canningvale uses 100% combed upland cotton which makes our towels naturally soft, durable and absorbent for year round use.