Feel Comfortable and Protect Your Property
The first step to protecting our furnishings is to understand what causes fading in the first place, and we’ll start with a couple key definitions. The technical term for fading of an object is “photo-degredation”. All objects contain light absorbing molecular bodies called “chromophores”, which are present in natural and artificial dyes. The colours that we see depend on how chromophores absorb specific wavelengths of light.
Photo-degredation is the technical term for colour fading, and it happens to everything around us; artwork, hardwood flooring, and furnishings are all vulnerable to fading caused by solar radiation.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can break the chemical bonds that are responsible for rich colours, essentially bleaching an object. Everything fades, but certain types of material are more vulnerable than others. Textiles, artwork, and hardwood are especially vulnerable to UV fading, whereas objects that reflect light are less prone to fading.
There are more than one thing at work
To better understand the roots of fading, it helps to break down the composition of sunlight. Sunlight can be broken down into 3 parts:
All parts of light cause fading, but the main culprit is UV. Other factors like indoor lighting, humidity, and low-quality dyes also contribute to fading.
Textiles, Art, Wood, and You
Laboratory tests, conducted by our friends at the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, used simulated sunlight to examine which materials are most vulnerable to fading.
Here are their findings:
Textiles: All fabrics are vulnerable, but it comes down to fibre type, colour, dye stability, pattern, and printing techniques. Cost has no bearing, so expensive fabrics are no more resistant to fading than cheap ones.
Artwork: Photographs, tapestries, paintings, and wood sculptures are all vulnerable to fading. Of course, certain materials are worse off than others; for example, a watercolour will fade much faster than an oil painting, and a brightly coloured tapestry will fade quicker than a solid wall hanging. The conclusion, never hang art of any type in direct sunlight.
Wood: Natural finishes are far more stable than stains that have changed the original colour of the wood. Some woods actually darken with prolonged UV exposure, while others become bleached.
People: Ok, well you won’t technically fade, but humans are as vulnerable to UV damage as any textile or wood. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the use of UV blocking window films as a measure of protection against skin cancer.
Simple, Safe, & Effective
After all of this work and investigation, it’s nice to know that the solution is extremely simple and effective. UV blocking window film will stop harmful rays from getting anywhere near your belongings, and will increase the comfort and safety of your home at the see time. Keep reading on our website about how you can protect your valuables and family with window film.