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Faded Material


The gradual loss of brightness or color. Fading is an irreversible process due to chemical alteration, such as Oxidation, of the color-forming compound. Non-lightfast, or fugitive, pigments and dyes can loose color with exposure to ultraviolet light in the presence of Oxygen and moisture. Comparative studies of fading for various materials can be done with a Fadeometer.

Synonyms and Related Terms

discoloration; whitening; color loss; verblassen (Deut.); ausbleichen (Deut.); décoloration (Fr.)

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996

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