We have all done it – you put your new black top in for wash but accidentally leave a white shirt in the washing machine.
The colours run, leaving both your black top and your white shirt looking different shades of grey.
But now scientists at the University of Leeds have invented a revolutionary way of permanently colouring the molecules of fabric fibres, meaning that the colours never run and clothes never fade.
The team have created a company, DyeCat, to develop their technology, which offers a more environmentally-friendly alternative to more conventional methods currently used for dyeing clothes.
Dr Patrick McGowan of the University's School of Chemistry and co-founder of DyeCat said, "When clothes are exposed to sunlight and are washed and dried repeatedly, the molecules which colour the cloth begin to detach from the surface of the material and the colours fade.
"If this happens in your washing machine, the molecules may reattach to the other items that they're being washed with - hence your white shirts turns grey and your black top slowly fades and loses colour.