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View Poll Results: always a fake, if it shines under UV Light?????
always a fake 86 14.90%
not necessarily a fake 401 69.50%
no idea, you tell me...;-)) 90 15.60%
Voters: 577. You may not vote on this poll

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Is the UV Light test the ultimate test?
Old 07-07-2005, 06:41 AM   #1
torstenbel
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Default Is the UV Light test the ultimate test?

Hi there, I have discussed this with others privately a couple of times over the years...what is your opinion...is the UV light test 100% accurate all the time? If the material does shine, is that an ultimate proof that it is post-1945 or were artificial fibers in use in Germany pre-1945? Of course, if it does not shine, then that is not proof at all that the material is pre-1945...what do you think?

Cheers, Torsten.

PS: What handheld or desktop UV Lamps would you recommend for collectors??

Last edited by torstenbel; 07-07-2005 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 07-07-2005, 06:56 AM   #2
John F.
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Hi Torsten,

I would say that it is not 100%. There are several componds that are found in commonly used items that would cause a period patch or cloth to glow under UV light if it has been exposed to it. Such chemicals include thouse that are found in; laundry detergent, starch, dry cleaning fluid, etc. As far as black lights are concern I don't think that there are any brands that are better then another. I found mine on eBay for a good price. Take a look here.... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...543226429&rd=1

Last edited by John F.; 07-07-2005 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 07-07-2005, 07:10 AM   #3
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A good start, but further research is most always required.
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Old 07-07-2005, 07:39 AM   #4
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I am also of the opinion that it does not mean that the item is guaranteed to be a fake if it shines...however, I am a little surprised at the voting so far...100% say the same.. I have encountered plenty of people in the past who were convinced that this would always indicate an item to be a fake and that no further research or doubt was necessary...well, lets see what other votes come in... Cheers, Torsten.

Last edited by torstenbel; 07-07-2005 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 07-07-2005, 12:13 PM   #5
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Some people swear by the UV test. Some don't. Some zinky boys do a taste test.

For ribbon bars I use the UV as a first test. If the material glows then I find a thread and do a thread burn.
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Old 07-07-2005, 01:01 PM   #6
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I feel it's a very useful tool, and use it as a first test like David said.

But, it's only one of several things I use to determine originality.
There are many other things to consider like, construction technic & materials, overall appearance, does it match standard or variant specs for the item (weight/measurements) & also does it have that "period feel" to it.

Overall using a black light is a big help, but relying on it 100% would be just plain foolish, at least that's how I see it.
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:06 AM   #7
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UV testing is a good diagnostic tool and should always be considered, but it is not a sold case.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torstenbel
Hi there, I have discussed this with others privately a couple of times over the years...what is your opinion...is the UV light test 100% accurate all the time? If the material does shine, is that an ultimate proof that it is post-1945 or were artificial fibers in use in Germany pre-1945? Of course, if it does not shine, then that is not proof at all that the material is pre-1945...what do you think?

Cheers, Torsten.

PS: What handheld or desktop UV Lamps would you recommend for collectors??
Hello!

Here is the proof that one single item can both 1.glow and 2. not glow in UV light/black light. This is an SS officer visor. At first sight it looks good, especially when you are new to this game and on about 1 meter distance. The faker has had something on the white piping – but he has forgotten to apply it underneath. So: Part of the piping glows in UV light/black light, part of it does not glow

So you can never know what a faker has done to fool you. And remember: Salty look might be just what it sounds like – a lot of salt and a couple of months outside. So don’t trust your black light without skepticism

Best regards
Marius
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SS lue BL 1.jpg (29.8 KB, 831 views)

Last edited by militaria.no; 07-23-2005 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:06 AM   #9
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There is a lot of misunderstanding here about reaction to UV light. Fabric does not glow because it is synthetic. It glows (or not) because artificial, phosphate-based fabric optical brighteners have been used (or not) to make the whites appear "whiter" to the eye. Virtually all modern detergents, for example, contain phosphates, which is why your white T-shirt will glow after you wash it with a commercial washing machine detergent. (Only Woolite and several brands of quilt soap specifically do not contain phosphates.)

Optical brightening of fabrics was well known to German industry, but little used. In fact, the first patent for the chemical brightening of fabric was issued in Germany in 1897. Chemical brightening of white thread and other white fabrics was a rare practice in the Third Reich for two reasons: First, there was no reason to make whites appear brighter in military garments. Second, phosphorus was a rationed mineral and it was needed for other critical military manufacturing requirements, not cosmetic use in the textile industry.

Bottom line, as others have said: The black light is just one of many analytical tools, a dangerous one because collectors with less knowledge will rely on mechanical means (like the blacklight) too heavily. A few original garments or objects may have used artifically-brightened materials from pre-war stocks as a response to wartime shortages, or the garment may have been washed with a commercial detergent containing phosphates. (Drycleaning fluid is napthalene and does not contain phosphates.)

On paper: Optical (phosphate-based) brightening of paper categorically did not exist before WWII. If a document or photograph glows, it is postwar. However, as others have noted here, natural papers (not artificially brightened) are still available, so the absence of glow in paper does not conversely mean the item is original.
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:00 AM   #10
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great thread!. i went to a house once who answered my newspaper ad, they had a couple of armbands. they told me they had washed them since they were all dirty and wanted them to be clean so they looked better to sell. .

to the wifes credit she had handwashed them and they only glowed in spots, i still paid for them after doing a thread burn. So not everything that glows is bad
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
There is a lot of misunderstanding here about reaction to UV light. Fabric does not glow because it is synthetic. It glows (or not) because artificial, phosphate-based fabric optical brighteners have been used (or not) to make the whites appear "whiter" to the eye. Virtually all modern detergents, for example, contain phosphates, which is why your white T-shirt will glow after you wash it with a commercial washing machine detergent. (Only Woolite and several brands of quilt soap specifically do not contain phosphates.)

Optical brightening of fabrics was well known to German industry, but little used. In fact, the first patent for the chemical brightening of fabric was issued in Germany in 1897. Chemical brightening of white thread and other white fabrics was a rare practice in the Third Reich for two reasons: First, there was no reason to make whites appear brighter in military garments. Second, phosphorus was a rationed mineral and it was needed for other critical military manufacturing requirements, not cosmetic use in the textile industry.

Bottom line, as others have said: The black light is just one of many analytical tools, a dangerous one because collectors with less knowledge will rely on mechanical means (like the blacklight) too heavily. A few original garments or objects may have used artifically-brightened materials from pre-war stocks as a response to wartime shortages, or the garment may have been washed with a commercial detergent containing phosphates. (Drycleaning fluid is napthalene and does not contain phosphates.)

On paper: Optical (phosphate-based) brightening of paper categorically did not exist before WWII. If a document or photograph glows, it is postwar. However, as others have noted here, natural papers (not artificially brightened) are still available, so the absence of glow in paper does not conversely mean the item is original.
Chris, very good reply.... thank you...Cheers, Torsten.
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:27 PM   #12
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Black light test ist other tool but nice tool.

taste, eyes, touch, forum, black light and....knowledge



Cheers,

Maxi.
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burn test
Old 11-10-2005, 01:17 PM   #13
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Default burn test

Hello all,

I know that the burn test and the black-light test are good, but how else can you determine if an item is made from "modern" synthetic threads? Please let me know either way. Thank you.

William Kramer
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:34 PM   #14
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Has anyone tried this test on helmet decals? I am not at home or I would noteven ask but I will when I return.
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:31 PM   #15
Scott C.
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I discovered something interesting in the yellow twisted cord collar piping of my early Luft NCO tunic. Under UV light, the yellow piping doesn't glow, it turns an alternating yellow and dark blue about every 1/4 inch all the way round the collar. Turn the UV light off and there's no trace of the blue. Wierd

Scott
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