Suited to watch or jewellery brands that want to test leather straps.

The Birmingham Assay Office (BAO) has introduced new leather wear tests to its laboratory services, allowing brands to test the colour fastness and wear and tear of their products.

The new colour fastness tests have been launched to ensure that products are fit for purpose and will meet consumer expectations during normal use. They can be applied to items such as leather watch straps and leather jewellery.


The test involves two stages of wet and dry circular "rub" tests, where a circular rubbing motion is applied to the leather items being tested, before being assessed for any colour transfer, which is rated on a sale of 5 to 1, with 3 or 4 typically acceptable.

The circular method of testing is now offered in addition to the Veslic rub, whereby the leather is subjected to rubbing backwards and forwards with either a wet or dry pad of fabric.

The BAO’s organic laboratory manager Ben Halmshaw said: “The circular wet and dry rub test is a necessary addition to our portfolio and we are really pleased to be able to offer our customers the range of leather tests that they require to make sure that articles are both compliant with legislation and meet the necessary quality standards.”

The laboratory at the BAO also offers a number of chemical tests to ensure that leather products comply with legal requirements in respect of potentially harmful and toxic substances such as formaldehyde, azo dyes, chromium VI and chlorinated phenols.