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Color Transfer

Color Transfer from Buffing Dust
Occasionally upholstery shops report a transfer of colored buffing dust from NOVASUEDE to another fabric, usually occurring in warm weather when the upholsterer is more likely to pick up color on his hands, arms and shirt through sweat. However, dye bleeding might be suspected initially.

How Buffing Dust is Created
One of the final steps in manufacturing NOVASUEDE is buffing its surface to achieve uniform fiber and nap length with a very fine abrasive which generates very tiny dust particles that are difficult to distinguish as individual particles. NOVASUEDE dust on clothing may look like a dye bleed.

After buffing, the dust is vacuumed out of the NOVASUEDE, but sporadically some dust can remain in a few yards within a bolt. Most furniture manufacturers simply blow off the dust with a stream of dry compressed air from an air hose at the final inspection just before wrapping for shipment. This also cleans off sawdust, metal shavings, or other types of airborne dust. Most of the dust on clothing can be removed with masking tape, a lint brush or washed and rinsed with cold water.

Infrequently an end user will think the fabrics color is bleeding. Regular vacuuming and occasional light brushing with a soft bristle lint brush, similar to a Magik or Miracle brush, is recommended for normal maintenance of NOVASUEDE regardless of buffing dust. Airborne dirt, dust, household sprays, and air pollution can settle on the suede during use.

NOVASUEDE furniture also should be periodically “dusted” by vacuuming. Dirt can act as an abrasive, shortening the life of any fabric. Foreign material may cause the nylon microfibers in NOVASUEDE to cling together, reducing the “tracking” effect of the nap. Through regular use and vacuuming, the buffing dust should diminish to where it is no longer a concern.

Color Transfer from Dye Bleed
A dye bleed might cause color to transfer from certain dark colors of NOVASUEDE (black, dark or bright reds, and purples) to lighter NOVASUEDE colors or to other lighter fabrics or leathers. This can occur especially if the contrasting materials are washed together or if the suede becomes wet. A small amount of this dye bleed usually does not change the suede color, but it can stain other materials.

Therefore care should be taken in the selection of the combination of NOVASUEDE colors used in the same piece when they will be cleaned or washed together. For example, a black or a wine NOVASUEDE should not be used in applique with Gelato as some bleeding of the dye in the darker suedes will occur when the piece is washed. Care should also be taken when certain dark colors of NOVASUEDE are used for throw pillows on light colored sofas, especially if the pillows may become wet during use.

Other materials such as vinyls, natural leathers, and some synthetic leathers can extract dye from NOVASUEDE when wet or in elevated temperatures. Vinyls and leathers contain oils that can extract dye from many textiles. Also, some natural and synthetic leathers have top finishes that can become soft and tacky when very warm, causing them to stick to other materials.

Evaluating Color Compatibility

  • Before fabrication, NOVASUEDE users should test color compatibility when using dark colors with lighter colored suede, fabrics or leathers.
  • Wet a piece of the NOVASUEDE thoroughly and squeeze out excess water. Put the fabric in contact with a piece of the light colored fabric or leather glass and insert it between two pieces of safety glass or other clean, flat water impermeable surface.
  • Place a small weight on the top plate glass. After 24 hours, separate the NOVASUEDE from the light colored fabric and note any color changes.
  • For vinyls and natural or synthetic leathers, you should check for dye extraction by oils.
  • Repeat the above procedure using dry NOVASUEDE with vinyl or leather between plate glass, compressed with a small weight. Place overnight in an oven at 158F or 70C.

Please contact us if you want Majilite to conduct the testing.