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The first human-made (synthetic) organic dye, mauveine, was discovered
serendipitously by William Henry Perkin in 1856. Many thousands of synthetic
dyes have since been prepared.
Synthetic dyes quickly replaced the traditional natural dyes. They cost
less, they offered a vast range of new colors, and they imparted better
properties to the dyed materials. Dyes are now classified according to how
they are used in the dyeing process.
Almost all the colors that you see today are Synthetic dyes. Synthetic dyes
are used everywhere in everything from clothes to paper, from food to wood.
Synthetic dyes today has evolved into a multi billion dollar industry. They
are widely used for dyeing and printing in a broad range of industries.
There are over 10,000 dyes, and the annual production globally, exceeds over
7 × 105 metric tones. Cheaper to produce, brighter, more color-fast,
and easy to apply to fabric, these synthetic dyes changed the playing field.
Scientists raced to formulate gorgeous new colors and before long, dyed
fabric was available to all, and natural dyes had become obsolete for most
The synthetic dyes, can be named according to the chemical structure of
their particular chromophoric group. For example, diphenylmethane
derivatives, triphenylmethane compounds oxazine compounds, xanthene
compounds, Azo dyes are one of the most popular varieties of synthetic dyes.
Today it is being used up to 90% in the dyeing units, as they are versatile
and simple to synthesize. Most of the synthetic dyes with a few exception
are aromatic organic compounds which can be divided into groups like
non-ionic (oil soluble), cationic, and anionic. A typical example of
Cationic dye is Methyl violet, while Azo dyes are anionic dyes.
Types of Synthetic Dyes
- Acid Dyes
- Azoic (or Naphthol) Dyes
- Basic Dyes
- Chrome (or Mordant) Dyes
- Developed (or Diazo) Dyes
- Direct Dyes
- Disperse (or Acetate) Dyes
- Reactive (or Fiber-reactive) Dyes
- Sulphur Dyes
- Vat Dyes
Parameters in choosing Synthetic Dyes
The following parameters can serve as a
guideline for synthetic dyes:-
- Machine wash ability
- Gas fume fading (from oil heaters)
- Fastness assessments
- Dry cleaning
- Hot pressing
- Steam pressing
- Salt water
Applications of the Synthetic Dyes
Earlier, synthetic dyes are used in textile
industries only but now a days these dyes serve many industries such as:
Medicine, chemistry, plastics, paint, printing ink, rubber, cosmetics etc.