A convenient method for measuring the clean colour (Y and Y-Z) and photostability Δ(Y-Z) of small samples of fleece wool (0.5 g) is described. Scoured wool samples are compressed to a constant density in disposable polymethyl methacrylate spectrophotometer cells and the wool colour is measured using a standard textile laboratory reflectance spectrophotometer. Packing scoured wool into cells ensures that the irradiated fibre surface is robust and individual fibres are unable to move relative to one another during irradiation and measurement. A UVB (280–320 nm) source was used to ensure all samples regardless of initial yellowness were yellowed following exposure and photobleaching was avoided. An apparatus capable of irradiating up to 48 scoured wool samples in one batch is described. The precision of photostability measurements was assessed and the relative error in Δ(Y-Z) was 5.7%. An initial study on 75 fleece wool samples with a high range of initial yellowness showed a moderate linear correlation (R2 = 0.68) between initial yellowness and Δ(Y-Z).
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