Blue Wool Standard

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Blue Scales (Textile Fading Cards)


[International Standards Organization] A standard developed to characterize lightfastness of materials. The Blue Wool Standard consists of a card that contains eight sections of blue-dyed wool cloth, each with a different lightfastness. The dyes fade at a known rate. Each section requires about twice as much light exposure as the preceding section in order to fade to the same degree. Section ISO 1 is the most fugitive and ISO 8 the most stable. In the absence of ultraviolet light, it takes approximately 400,000 lux hours to cause noticeable fading for the ISO 1 level and 900 million lux hours for the ISO 8 level (Michalski 1990).

Synonyms and Related Terms

Blue Wool Fade Card; ISO Standard R 105; British Standard BS 1006; fading card; norme ISO laine bleue (Fr.)

Resources and Citations

  • S. Michalski, "Time's Effects on Paintings" in Shared Responsibilities. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1990. p.39-53.
  • R.L.Feller, R.Johnston-Feller, "Use of the International Standards Organization's Blue Wool Standards for Exposure to Light" AIC Preprints of Papers presented at the 7th Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, 1979.
  • R. Feller, "Standards in the evaluation of thermoplastic resin" in ICOM committee for Conservation preprints, 5th Triennial meeting, Zagreb. Paris:ICOM, 1978.
  • A. Derbiyshire J. Ashley-Smith "A Proposed Practical Lighting Policy for Works of Art on Paper at the V&A" ICOM preprint, Lyon, France, 1999. p.38-41.
  • Conservation Support Systems, Catalog, 1997

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