Clothing Answers

Why do clothes get dark when they get wet?

Cloth normally reflects some light. Remember that materials absorb "not colors" and they reflect "colors" that they are. Make sense? If something is blue, it reflects blue light and absorbs the rest (the "not colors"). Let's jump. Take a piece of cloth that is absorbing some light and reflecting other light. Along comes water. Water is basically transparent to light. But it does refract, or "bend" light, do a degree. When cloth is wet, some of the light that otherwise might be reflected is scattered into the cloth, and the cloth is given a "second chance" to absorb more of the light - which it does. More light absorbed equates to darker color or appearance. Wet cloth absorbs more light because of the effects of the water. Water scatters some of the light, and the cloth absorbs more of that light than it would if it wasn't wet.
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