What are "International Grey Scales" - Definition & Explanation
International Grey Scales
International Grey Scales, also known as IGS, are a series of standardized shades of grey used in the textile industry for color matching and quality control. The purpose of IGS is to provide a universal reference point for manufacturers, designers, and buyers to communicate and evaluate the color accuracy of textile products.

The International Grey Scales are standardized by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), which is an international authority on color and light measurement. The CIE has established several standard color scales, and the IGS is one of them. The IGS is a series of 10 shades of grey, ranging from pure white to black. Each shade has a specific reflectance value, which is a measure of how much light is reflected off the surface of the textile. The shades are designated by numbers, with 1 being the lightest and 10 being the darkest.

The IGS is typically used for evaluating the color fastness of textile products. Color fastness refers to the ability of a textile product to maintain its color under various conditions, such as washing, exposure to light, and rubbing. The IGS is used to compare the color of a textile product before and after exposure to these conditions. For example, if a fabric is exposed to light and begins to fade, the IGS can be used to measure the degree of fading. The color of the fabric can be compared to the IGS to determine how much the color has shifted towards white or black.

The IGS is also used for quality control in textile production. Manufacturers use the IGS to ensure that their products are consistent in color from batch to batch. By comparing the color of each batch to the IGS, manufacturers can make adjustments to the dyeing process to achieve the desired color. The IGS is also used by designers and buyers to communicate color specifications to manufacturers. By specifying a particular IGS shade, designers and buyers can ensure that the manufacturer produces the desired color.

The use of the IGS is not limited to textiles. It is also used in other industries where color accuracy is important, such as printing and photography. In these industries, the IGS is used to calibrate color measuring equipment and to evaluate the color accuracy of printed or photographic images.

In addition to the 10 standard shades, the IGS can also be expanded to include additional shades of grey. For example, some textile manufacturers use a 21-point grey scale, which includes additional shades between the standard IGS shades. This allows for a more precise evaluation of color accuracy.

Overall, the International Grey Scales are an important tool in the textile industry for ensuring color accuracy and quality control. They provide a universal reference point for communicating and evaluating the color of textile products, and they are widely used by manufacturers, designers, and buyers around the world.
International Grey Scales
Two series of pairs of chips that show increasing contrast within pairs, and are used visually for comparing the differences in colour of textile specimens or the degrees of staining of transfer cloths attached to the test specimens, that occur during colour fastness testing.

a) Basic Scale for Assessing Change in Colour

A scale that consists of five pairs of non-glossy grey-coloured chips, and in which a fastness rating of 5 (indicating no colour change) at one end of the scale is represented by two identical grey chips, and a fastness rating of 1 (indicating a severe colour change) at the other end of the scale is represented by a pair of grey chips having a colour difference of 13,6 Cielab units.

b) Basic Scale for Assessing Staining

A scale that consists of one pair of white and four pairs of non-glossy grey- and white-coloured chips, and in which a fastness rating of 5 (indicating severe staining) at one end of the scale is represented by the pair of white chips, and a fastness rating of 1 (indicating severe staining) at the other end of the scale is represented by a pair of chips having a colour difference of 34,1 Cielab units.


Both scales may be augmented to form a 9-step scale by the provision of similar chips that illustrate the perceived colour differences corresponding to the half-step fastness ratings.

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