Paper Fade Test

I cut 6 different black strips of paper (1" x 6") and taped them to a piece of paper. I cut the paper in half. The left half will sit in a south window while the right half will be put in an envelope in a dark drawer.

I cut 6 different black strips of paper (1″ x 6″) and taped them to a piece of paper which I then cut in half. The left half will sit in a south-facing window, while the right half will be put in an envelope in a dark drawer.

I have in mind a project that will use black paper, but the paper needs to fold easily and not fade if left in sunlight. To find a paper with both of those qualities isn’t as easy as it sounds. I did have one black paper that was labeled as fadeproof… but it cracked online pharmacy when it was folded, and that just won’t do. So now I have to figure out whether any of my black papers that do fold well are also fadeproof. That means it’s time for a fade test.

A fade test is a test designed to see whether the color of something will fade over time. I was first introduced to fade tests many years ago when I was taking classes in calligraphy and was shown how to test inks for fading. I always want to be sure the ink and any other materials I use to make a finished work of art will last.

For ink fade tests I write with a variety of inks on a piece of paper, then cut the paper in half. I put one half in a south facing window (lots of sunlight) and the other half in an envelope in a drawer, hidden from sunlight. After about 6 months, I compare the two halves. Some inks fade, some have color shifts and I once had an ink completely disappear in just 6 months of being in the sun.

I have also used fade tests to check printer ink and watercolors. Now I get to check black paper.

I’ll report back  later and post the results. In about 6 months. 😉

Enjoy, Candy

 

2 responses to “Paper Fade Test

  1. Hi Candy,

    I was about to do the same test and found your site. Do you happen to have any results? My work will be framed, behind glass and not exposed to direct sunlight, but I still need a black paper that will be stable and not fade much.

    I hope you have some info to share. Thanks for testing and hope to hear from you soon.

    Best,
    Jeffrey

    • So far the old Arches, the Canson black and my unknown are doing well. The others are fading. I will be posting photos of the results in a while. I had been told that Canson black faded, but so far it is doing well. The worst fading is the Astrobright followed closely by the Wassau.

Leave a Reply