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View Poll Results: always a fake, if it shines under UV Light?????
always a fake 86 14.80%
not necessarily a fake 403 69.36%
no idea, you tell me...;-)) 92 15.83%
Voters: 581. 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

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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
David S
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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
Chris Taylor
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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 07-07-2005, 01:25 PM   #7
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Torsten,

I agree that it is ONE test to use to give you an INDICATION that there MAY be a red flag. How is that for qualifying your answer? As others have said, there are many reasons that cloth might react to black light. For instance, bright karmesin piping used for Feuerwehr will usually "glow" because that is the nature of the color and it glowed during WWII. It should only be used as an indication to look at the object more closely.
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:30 PM   #8
ben bijker
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As John F. already mentioned: laundry detergents is one of the things that might give a glow to fabric.
Once the fabric (or ribbon) has been cleaned with soap, it might glow under blacklight.
So, it's not 100% fool proof.

regards,
ben
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Old 07-09-2005, 03:21 PM   #9
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The answer is: it depends.

If the inner core of the aluminum thread on your SS collar tab glows, I would say that is pretty much a 100% guaranteed fake.

Not many people are going to wash the inner core of a collar tab with modern detergents.

At best, you would have one that has been improperly cleaned.
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Not Totally Correct
Old 07-10-2005, 08:44 AM   #10
Ron Weinand
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Default Not Totally Correct

A couple of problems with black lights:
1. Dry cleaning fluids WILL CAUSE cloth or thread to glow.
2. SOME late war items WILL GLOW. ( I have found late war party armbands directly from veterans in mint condition still tied together in bundles that glowed.)
3. Certain colors on original items glow, regardless of time period.
The black light is a tool and should be used and viewed as such, not an end all.
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:42 AM   #11
Frans H.
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Interesting thread! Does the black light test also work for paper? I have a framed poster (Der Sieg wird unser Sein). I took it out his frame and did the black light test on the front and the back. The paper did not glow. Does this mean this poster is original or is it still open for answers?

Greetings,

Frans
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:50 AM   #12
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Hi Frans,


Yes black light can be used on paper but the outcome is more like a hint, not something to make a judgement from wether it´s a copy or not.

The problem with paper is, to my knowledge and i work in the branch, is that the black light will only show if a Brightness substance (used to make the paper more or less brighter) is used in the paper or not. Furthermore it´s still today possible to obtain a paper without the Brightness substance.

So a paper that not glows under black light is not a foolproof indication of orginality.

The same problem goes with for example what Ink that was used in the printingprocess.

I hope i explained it understandable
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Weinand
A couple of problems with black lights:
1. Dry cleaning fluids WILL CAUSE cloth or thread to glow.
2. SOME late war items WILL GLOW. ( I have found late war party armbands directly from veterans in mint condition still tied together in bundles that glowed.)
3. Certain colors on original items glow, regardless of time period.
The black light is a tool and should be used and viewed as such, not an end all.
Ron Weinand
Weinand Militaria

Interesting in that Ive never accepted any tunic with parts that glowed, but Ive been puzzled by some that certainly seemed real to me but had some thing glowing.Then recently I bought a wartime sewing kit containing two spools of white thread. One does not glow, the second is labeled as synthetic and glows.I still wonder in the back of my mind if the blacklight test was started as a way to manipulate the market. Although it does create paranoia for me when I see an item glow.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:22 PM   #14
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So like Ron mentioned ... some late WW2 items can glow.

My question is do all modern ribbons glow?
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pic
Then recently I bought a wartime sewing kit containing two spools of white thread. One does not glow, the second is labeled as synthetic and glows.I still wonder in the back of my mind if the blacklight test was started as a way to manipulate the market. Although it does create paranoia for me when I see an item glow.
I know that I have read somewhere that Germany did produce synthetic fibres during the war...but, can I remember now, where I read it..??... it was after having read that and after finding out about the blacklight test (I only heard about that after I had read about synthetic fibres) I started being suspicious about the validity of these tests, which is why I have started this thread and posted the questions...I do not believe that the blacklight test was introduced by someone to manipulate the market, but I do believe that the majority of pre-1945 fabrics should be non-synthetic, but that gradually synthetic fibres were introduced in Germany just before and during the war and that some garments were made using synthetic fibres...now all I have to do is a bit of research and prove it... Cheers, Torsten.
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