8 Types of Dyes Used on Different Materials

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Posted by: Dr. R.M February 8, 2021 No Comments

Dyeing is an art that has been practiced for a long time. The procedure of dying dates back to the Bronze age in Europe. Rubbing crushed pigments from plants, onto the fabric was the earliest method of dyeing. The techniques evolved with time and the usage of natural dyes from plants emerged. This enhanced the properties of water, air, and colorfastness or resistance. 

A dye is a colored mixture, usually combined with a liquified solution, which has the ability to stick or staying on to fabric. The dye needs to be chemically balanced so that the color does not wash off when soap and water are applied or lose its color when it is exposed in the sun. A special solution that contains colorants and chemical materials are responsible for the shade that is produced. The two controlling factors to be kept in mind while dyeing is temperature and time. Every dye has a different threshold to the solution. 

Let us now proceed with having a brief understanding of various types of dyes and their applications.

Types of Dyes

The selection of the proper dye and dyeing processes on different textile materials are the most important aspects while working on materials.

1) Acid Dye

Acid dyes have are prone to milling treatment and washing, compared to basic dyes, and are extremely soluble in water. The most common acid dyes used are azo, anthraquinone also known as triphenyl methane-based. Acid dyes are commonly used to dye textiles, leather, inks, wood coloration, and agricultural products.

2) Basic Dye

The intensity of their shade is what makes basic dyes stand out from others. They are known for their powerful coloring abilities and brightness. These dyes are generally soluble in water, which leads to water fastness. This can be improved through back tanning. Basic dyes are used in inks, paper, wool, silk, cotton, and acrylic fibers. 

3) Sulphur Dye

Sulphur dyes are highly insoluble in water and produce dark shades like navy blue, brown and black. These dyes are generally low in cost and give brilliant results when applied well. They have good fastness to light which makes them easier to process out in the open.

Sulphur dyes are commonly preferred to dye blends of cellulosic fibers and textile cellulosic materials. Their applications can also be found in coloring polyester, silk, and polyamides. 

4) Vat Dye

The fastness characteristics of vat dyes are the best amongst all the dyes. These dyes are used in the creation of inks and products made from cellulose fabric, leather, and cotton. Vat dyes produce the shade of indigo when immersed in the dyebath. Vat dyes are used on denim fabrics, viscose rayon, and even cotton fiber.

5) Direct Dye

Direct dyes, also known as substantive dyes are cost-effective, easy to apply and fabricate bright colors. This dye is very low on was fastness but can be refined with after treatment procedures. Direct dyes are usually used in the applications on inkjet, paper, and cotton.

6) Reactive Dye

Reactive dyes are permanent dyes that have gained popularity dues to their wash-fastness and color-fastness. What makes these dyes special is that they become a part of the fabric by getting absorbed into them through chemical reactions. Due to this, they cannot be faded or washed off easily.

Reactive dyes are widely used for coloring cellulose fibers such as viscose, rayon, flax, and cotton. Their applications can also be found in screen printing.

7) Disperse Dye

One of the largest selling segments in the dye industry, disperse dyes are less water-soluble compared to other dyes. Due to this, they are quite often used in dye bath solutions. Best results can be achieved with disperse dyes when the process of coloring is undertaken at a high temperature.

Disperse dyes are commonly used to color synthetic fibers like nylon, acetate rayon, polyester, and acrylic.

8) Solvent Dye

The solvent dye is a unique type of dye that is easily soluble in organic solvents. This distinct characteristic enhances its versatility. They are used to color lubricants, hydrocarbon fuels, waxes, and organic solvents. Few other applications where solvent dyes are used are acrylic resins, marking pens. foil printing, polishes, and acrylic resins. In conclusion, selecting a proper dye is essential because any given dye isn’t suitable for every fabric. The dyes chosen rely on the purpose of the accessory and the material’s features. Dyes enhance the appeal of a product, making them presentable to the eyes.

Author: Dr. R.M
Vice President, R&D of a large multinational company in the field of writing inks