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The ability of a color to maintain its tone and hue when exposed to daylight. Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight can irreversibly break chemical bonds, thus altering the composition, and thus color absorption capabilities, of many organic colorants. Lightfastness is used to describe colors used in artists paints, industrial paints, printing inks and textile dyes. Lightfastness tests can be conducted with either direct exposure to sunlight or simulated exposure in an indoor chamber with an artificial light source. The lightfastness of a color can be affected by the quantity and type of binding medium.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Lichtechtheit (Deut.); tenue à la lumière (Fr.); résistance à la lumière (Fr.); colorfastness

Resources and Citations

  • J.Reilly, D.Nishimura, E.Zinn, Assessing Long-Term Environmental Effects on Library and Archives Collections, New Tools for Preservation, The Commission of Preservation and Access, Washington DC, 1995
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990