Color, Pigments and Dyes, Chemistry tutorial


Color, Pigments and Dyes

Dyes and pigments are materials that communicate color to a substance. The expression colorant is frequently utilized for both dyes (as well termed dyestuffs) and pigments. The major dissimilarity among dyes and pigments is solubility (the tendency to liquefy in a liquid, especially water). Dyes are generally soluble-or can be made to be soluble-in water. Once a dye is dissolved in water, the substance to be dyed can be engrossed in the dye solution. As the substance soaks up the dye and dries, it extends a color. If the material then maintains that color after being cleaned, the dye is assumed to be colorfast.

Pigments are usually not soluble in water, oil, or other ordinary solvents. To be applied to a substance, they are 1st ground into a fine powder and methodically blended through several liquid, termed the dispersing agent or vehicle. The pigment-dispersing agent mixture is then extending on the material to be colored. As the dispersing agent dries out, the pigment is held in place on the substance.

In most cases, dyes are utilized for coloring textiles, paper, and other materials, while pigments are utilized for coloring paints, inks, cosmetics, and plastics.


By description Dyes can be termed to be coloured, ionizing and aromatic organic compounds that demonstrate an affinity towards the substrate to which it is being applied. It is commonly applied in a solution that is aqueous. Dyes might as well need a mordant to better the fastness of the dye on the substance on that it is applied.

At the extremely vital level utilize of colour in identifying individual components of tissue sections can be finished primarily through dyes. Even though there are other means, Dyes are though, the main group, which can easily be manipulate to our liking. Dyes are applied to several substrates for instance to textiles, leather, plastic, paper etc. in liquid form. One trait of dye is that the dyes must get totally or at least partially soluble in that it is being put to. The rule, which we concern to other chemicals, is likewise applicable to dyes as well. For instance certain kind of dyes can be toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic and can pretense as a danger to health.

Classification of Dyes

Dyes can be classified in several ways; each class has an extremely unique chemistry, structure and particular way of bonding. Several dyes can react chemically through the substrates forming strong bonds in the procedure, and others can be held via physical forces. Several of the prominent ways of categorization are specified below

  1.   Natural / Synthetic
  2.   Organic / Inorganic
  3.   By area and way of application
  4.   Chemical classification - depend on the nature of their relevant chromophores.
  5.   By nature of the Electronic Excitation (for example energy transfers colorants, assimilation colorants and fluorescent  colorants).
  6.   According to the dyeing techniques
  • Anionic (for Protein fibre)
  • Direct (Cellulose)
  • Disperse (Polyamide fibres)


Pigments are applied to a surface as a mixture, which always consists of at least 2 parts (the pigment itself and the vehicle) and generally many more components. For example, a thinner these as turpentine is frequently added to a specified mixture to make it easier to apply. One of the simplest paints that we visualize, then, might consist of red iron oxide, linseed oil (the vehicle), and turpentine (the thinner).

The intention of the vehicle in this blend is to bear the pigment onto the surface, much as motor vehicles carry people and goods. A thinner is often needed since many vehicles are thick, viscous (sticky) substances that are difficult to apply through a brush.

After the pigment vehicle thinner mixture has been applied to a surface, 2 transforms take place. 1st, the thinner evaporates leaving the pigment/vehicle mixture evenly spread on the surface. Next, the vehicle gradually undergoes a chemical transform (oxidation) that modifies it from a thick liquid to a solid. Since the pigment particles are trapped in the hardened vehicle, a thin, tough skin of colored substance happen to connected to the surface.


Dyes can be applied to substances in a diversity of ways. The easiest approach is to dissolve the dye in water and then immerse the substance inside the dye solution. A person who by chance stains an item of clothing through spilling red wine on it has essentially dyed it, although probably not as intended. Any dye that connects itself to a material in this way is termed a direct dye. The dye sticks to the material through forming chemical bonds that endure even after washing.

Whether a dye will connect itself openly to a substance or not depend on the chemical nature of both the dye and the material being dyed. Several compounds will dye silk but not wool, or cotton but not polyester. Any dyeing procedure, therefore, involves finding substances to which any following colored compound will connect itself.

Mordant dyeing engages utilize of a chemical that combines with the dye to form an insoluble compound (meaning it can't be dissolved). Expect dye B won't stick directly to fabric A. In order to color fabric A through dye B, a third material-the mordant (M)-will have to be introduced. M will adhere (stick) to both A and B.

In the mordant procedure, the mordant is 1st applied to the fabric. After the mordant has dried, the dye is added. The dye joins to the mordant, and the fabric is capable to obtain on the color of the dye, forming an insoluble bond.

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