Bleaching: Some of the compounds formed by the sulphurous acid bleaching process are gradually decomposed by sunlight, and in consequence the original color is in time partially restored. The portion of a hat protected by the band retains its fresh appearance because the light has not had access to it. Silks and other fine fabrics bleached in this way fade with age, and assume an unnatural color. One reason for this is that the dye used to color the fabric requires a clear white background, and loses its characteristic hues when its foundation is yellow instead of white. Then, too, dyestuffs are themselves more or less affected by light, and fade slowly under a strong illumination.
Materials which are not exposed directly to an intense and prolonged illumination retain their whiteness for a long time, and hence dress materials and hats which have been bleached with sulphurous acid should be protected from the sun's glare when not in use.