What is "Color Abrasion" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 14-Feb-2023 (1 year, 3 months, 27 days ago)
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Color Abrasion

The term "Color Abrasion" in textile refers to the phenomenon of color loss or fading that occurs on fabric surfaces due to friction, rubbing, or mechanical action. It is a common issue in textiles, particularly in areas that experience frequent wear or friction, such as seams, edges, or contact points with other surfaces.

Meaning and Definition

Color Abrasion is a form of surface damage that affects the colorfastness and visual appearance of textiles. It can result in the fabric's original color fading, becoming dull, or even developing patches of lighter or darker shades. This type of abrasion is typically caused by repetitive rubbing, mechanical stress, or friction between the textile surface and external objects or surfaces.

Types of Color Abrasion

Color Abrasion can be categorized into two primary types:

  1. Dry Abrasion: This type of color abrasion occurs when dry fabrics rub against other surfaces, causing color transfer or fading. Examples include clothing rubbing against rough surfaces or repeated friction during garment wearing.
  2. Wet Abrasion: Wet abrasion occurs when fabrics are subjected to friction or rubbing while wet or damp. This can happen during washing, cleaning, or when fabrics come into contact with wet surfaces.

Tips for Handling Color Abrasion

To minimize or prevent color abrasion in textiles, consider the following tips:

  1. Wash and Handle with Care: Follow the manufacturer's care instructions and use gentle washing methods, such as hand washing or using the delicate cycle. Avoid rough handling, excessive agitation, and harsh detergents that can accelerate color abrasion.
  2. Separate Colors: Sort garments based on color and wash them separately to prevent color bleeding and potential abrasion caused by color transfer.
  3. Avoid Friction: Minimize rubbing or excessive friction between fabric surfaces and other objects or surfaces. Be cautious when wearing garments with textured surfaces or abrasive accessories.
  4. Choose Quality Fabrics: Opt for high-quality textiles with good colorfastness properties. Fabrics treated with color protectants or specialized coatings can offer increased resistance to color abrasion.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Several top international users and manufacturers prioritize addressing color abrasion in their textile products. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Levi's: Known for their denim products, Levi's emphasizes colorfastness and abrasion resistance in their jeans to maintain the integrity of their iconic washes.
  2. Patagonia: As a leading outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia focuses on producing durable textiles with excellent color retention, ensuring their garments withstand rugged outdoor activities.
  3. The North Face: The North Face incorporates advanced fabric technologies to minimize color abrasion and maintain vibrant colors in their performance apparel.
  4. Adidas: Adidas employs innovative dyeing techniques and fabric treatments to enhance colorfastness and reduce color abrasion in their sportswear lines.
  5. Under Armour: Under Armour places emphasis on developing textiles with enhanced durability and colorfastness, enabling their athletic apparel to withstand intense workouts and extended use.


Color abrasion is a common issue in textiles that can result in color fading, dullness, or uneven patches on fabric surfaces. It can be categorized into dry abrasion and wet abrasion, depending on the circumstances. To minimize color abrasion, it is important to handle and wash textiles with care, separate colors during washing, avoid excessive friction, and choose high-quality fabrics with good colorfastness properties. International users and manufacturers, such as Levi's, Patagonia, The North Face, Adidas, and Under Armour, prioritize addressing color abrasion through advanced fabric technologies and quality control measures. By understanding and implementing these measures, individuals and companies can maintain the color integrity and visual appeal of textile products over time.

Color Abrasion
Color changes in localized areas of a garment due to differential wear, such as the knees of blue jeans. Often evident in cross-dye shades of blends where durable press treatments are applied. Color abrasion is often called 'frosting'.

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