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Dyeing is the process of adding color to textile products like fibers, yarns, and fabrics.[1] Dyeing is normally done in a special solution containing dyes and particular chemical material. After dyeing, dye molecules have uncut Chemical bond with fiber molecules. The temperature and time controlling are two key factors in dyeing. There are mainly two classes of dye, natural and man-made. For most of the thousands of years in which dyeing has been used by humans to decorate clothing, or fabrics for other uses, the primary source of dye has been nature, with the dyes being extracted from animals or plants. In the last 150 years, humans have produced artificial dyes to achieve a broader range of colors, and to render the dyes more stable to resist washing and general use. Different classes of dyes are used for different types of fiber and at different stages of the textile production process, from loose fibers through yarn and cloth to completed garments. Acrylic fibers are dyed with basic dyes, Nylon and protein fibers such as wool and silk are dyed with acid dyes, polyester yarn is dyed with disperse dyes. Cotton is dyed with a range of dye types, including vat dyes, and modern synthetic reactive and direct dyes.

Main article: Natural dye Archaeologists have found evidence of textile dyeing dating back to the Neolithic period. The earliest surviving evidence of textile dyeing was found at the large Neolithic settlement at atalhyk in southern Anatolia, where traces of red dyes, possibly from ochre, an iron oxide pigment derived from clay), were found. [4] In China, dyeing with plants, barks and insects has been traced back more than 5,000 years.[5] Early evidence of dyeing comes from Sindh (Pakistan), where a piece of cotton dyed with a vegetable dye has been recovered from the archaeological site at Mohenjo-daro (3rd millennium BCE).[6] The dye used in this case was madder, which, along with other dyes such as indigo, was introduced to other regions through trade.[6] Natural insect dyes such as Tyrian purple and kermes and plant-based dyes such as woad, indigo and madder were important elements of the economies of Asia and Europe until the discovery of man-made synthetic dyes in the mid-19th century. The first synthetic dyes was William Perkins's mauveine in 1856, derived from coal tar. Alizarin, the red dye present in madder, was the first natural pigment to be duplicated synthetically, in 1869,[7] a development which led to the collapse of the market for naturally grown madder.[8] The development of new, strongly colored synthetic dyes followed quickly, and by the 1870s commercial dyeing with natural dyestuffs was disappearing.

Dyeing in Fes, Morocco. Dyes are applied to textile goods by dyeing from dye solutions and by printing from dye pastes.

Direct application
This section requires expansion. The term "direct dye application" stems from some dyestuff having to be either fermented as in the case of some natural dye or chemically reduced as in the case of synthetic vat and sulfur dyes before being applied. This renders the dye soluble so that it can be absorbed by the fiber since the insoluble dye has very little

substantivity to the fiber. Direct dyes, a class of dyes largely for dyeing cotton, are water soluble and can be applied directly to the fiber from an aqueous solution. Most other classes of synthetic dye, other than vat and surface dyes, are also applied in this way. The term may also be applied to dyeing without the use of mordants to fix the dye once it is applied. Mordants were often required to alter the hue and intensity of natural dyes and improve their color fastness. Chromium salts were until recently extensively used in dying wool with synthetic mordant dyes. These were used for economical high color fastness dark shades such as black and navy. Environmental concern has now restricted their use, and they have been replaced with reactive and metal complex dyes which need no mordant.

Yarn dyeing
There are many forms of yarn dyeing. Common forms are the at package form and the at hanks form. Cotton yarns are mostly dyed at package form, and acrylic or wool yarn are dyed at hank form. In the continuous filament industry, polyester or polyamide yarns are always dyed at package form, while viscose rayon yarns are partly dyed at hank form because of technology.[9] The common dyeing process of cotton yarn with reactive dyes at package form is as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. The raw yarn is wound on a spring tube to achieve a package suitable for dye penetration. These softened packages are loaded on a dyeing carrier's spindle one on another. The packages are pressed up to a desired height to achieve suitable density of packing. The carrier is loaded on the dyeing machine and the yarn is dyed. After dyeing, the packages are unloaded from the carrier into a trolly. Now the trolly is taken to hydro extractor where water is removed. The packages are hydro extracted to remove the maximum amount of water leaving the desired color into raw yarn. 8. The packages are then dried to achieve the final dyed package. After this process, the dyed yarn packages are packed and delivered.

Removal of dyes
If things go wrong in the dyeing process, the dyer may be forced to remove the dye already applied by a process that is normally known as stripping. This normally means destroying the dye with powerful reducing agents (sodium hydrosulphite) or oxidizing agents (hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite). The process often risks damaging the substrate (fiber). Where possible, it is often less risky to dye the material a darker shade, with black often being the easiest or last option.

Changing the Color of Fabrics / Dye your fabrics

Here we present tips and spots to find much more information out on the web including dye color recipe charts.


Just a note here for people who are doing any kind of dyeing or coloring of fabric (or even just washing/drying fabric). Do a test run on a sample piece of fabric. Cut a square - either 4, 5 or 6inch square - of your fabric. Trace around the fabric onto a piece of paper being very careful to note in which direction the warp (vertical)

threads go and in which direction the weft (horizontal) threads go. I have always tried to have one side be the selvage edge of the fabric that way I can identify which edge is which. If I can't use a selvage edge then I mark one edge in a way that makes it clearly identifiable. Then dye and/or wash your fabric square exactly the way you intend to do your whole piece of fabric. Once you're done and the fabric square is dry then lay it back down on the piece of paper in exactly the same way you traced it earlier. Odds are that you'll find that your square has shrunk. And you'll be able to tell in which direction, horizontal or vertical, the shrinkage is greater by how much room there is between the original line and the edge of the fabric.

Dying Basics
OK, some "rules of thumb" for dyeing fabrics. These are the ones I've found work for me over the past 10 years: you may have others. There are 2 kinds of dye: Fiber-reactive and Acid. Fiber-reactive dyes (Procion is one brand) are good dyes for any kind of non-protein fiber that will take dye (linen, cotton, linen-cotton blends, rayon). These work well in cold water, are nice and bright, and are colorfast. Soda ash (sodium carbonate) is used to raise the acidity of the dye bath and "lock" the dye onto the fiber. Soda ash is also caustic; while plant-based fibers can take the harshness, it can make protein-based fibers harsh and brittle. Acid dyes (Jacquard is one brand) are the preferred dyes for protein-based fibers (wool, silk, camel hair, dog hair, etc.). These are interesting fibers to dye, because you're manipulating the fiber at the cellular level. Most people are familiar with using acid dyes, but for those that have never done it, the process is (briefly): Wet the fiber to be dyed, mix up the dye solution in a dye pot, add the fiber and let it soak, bring the dye solution slowly up to the temperature of hot tap water (about 120 degrees), add vinegar, and hold at that temperature for a period of time, then slowly bring the dye solution up to a full simmer and simmer for a period of time. Let cool slowly in the dye solution, then wash when it has completely cooled. The reason for this long process is that by warming up the fiber in the dye solution, you are opening the cuticle on the fiber shaft, putting the dye into the shaft, and then closing the cuticle. The slow heating and cooling allows the fiber to adjust to the changes (no felting). If you find you are still having problems with dye transfer after dyeing a piece of fabric, the problem is not usually color-fastness, but crocking. Crocking occurs when there is excess dye left on the fabric; if you've ever had a new pair of blue jeans rub blue onto a white shirt, this is crocking. Most fabrics crock when they are new (one reason to prewash everything)--I've had purchased fabrics that were so dye-laden when they came from the mill I had to wash them 3-4 times before being able to use them. To prevent serious crocking or dye transfer, make sure to wash the fabric in Sythrapol (available from Dharma Trading Co.) thoroughly; Synthrapol suspends the excess dye in the water and keeps it from going back onto the fabric. This may take 23 trips through the washer. The key to maintaining the stiffness in silks such as dupioni or duchess satin is to keep from washing out the sericin. Sericin is a protein-based glue that the silkworm produces in the spinning process. Heat (such as hot water) dissolves this glue, so avoiding heat is essential. The best way to maintain the sericin in a piece of silk is to use Procion or other fiber-reactive dye, and set the dye using steam with vinegar in it; Dharma gives

instructions on how to do this in their catalog. This will set the dye, but will not remove the excess; silk done this way should not be washed, and I would even have second thoughts about dry-cleaning. If the sericin has already been removed, you can add some of the "stiffness" back by rinsing the fabric in water with a little starch. --Dawn Jacobson

Pot Dyeing
There are two tricks to getting an even dye using the pot method. Get the fabric evenly wet in water before putting it in the dye pot. The second think is to really stir the fabric around especially in, say the first 15 minutes when the bulk of the dye is absorbed. I just use a couple of thickish wood sticks to stir and flip the fabric around. == Sue

Lightening Wool
You might try very diluted bleach in cold water. About 2 tablespoons per 5 gallons mix the bleach thoroughly with the water and wet the fabric with plain cold water before adding to the bleaching water. WARNING: many black dyes have a green base that will be the color that's prominent after trying to leach out the dye. Test on a scrap first. If the results are satisfactory continue. if the tone achieved isn't light enough, repeat with the original proportions of bleach and water before going to a stronger solution. At no time agitate the fabric or subject it to temperature shock as this is what felts wool. You might also want to add a little vinegar to the final rinse to neutralize the bleach and help soften the wool. (Editor warning: be very careful with this technique... bleach can dissolve wool... so it must be very mild and completely washed out.) --Morag I am a spinner and weaver and have had need to whiten wool upon occasion, It may sound odd, but I have always treated wool as I would hair, It is essentially the hair of a sheep. Accordingly, I solved the problem by using the same hydrogen peroxide used on hair to bleach the dye back out. I also use a mild shampoo to wash the wool, and a small amount of hair conditioner, if necessary, in water to soften it. --Morgaine

Mixing Colors to create something new

Make sure to do a test run. You can't reuse dye once it's mixed. So for swatches, I'd measure small amounts and keep track of the ratios of one color to another. Say you want Arwen's coronation green. For your test you try 1 tsp. yellow and 1/2 tsp.

blue. If that works, then when you dye your big piece, you use twice as much yellow as blue dye to get the right color. == Anna Find recipes for other colors here:

Dyeing Problems
Often you will hear that Polyester and polyester blends are not dyable. They aren't under most conditions, or only the natural part will take. That is and isn't true. There are dyes available for synthetics. However, these are often rather heavy on the chemicals and/or require heat setting to take... and then may not be completely color fast. Check Out on the web for manufactures' information Problems:

"Burn in" - getting the color deep enough may be so heavy in the chemicals that it weakens the fibers. This even sometimes happens in professional tie-dyes of synthetics. I've seen this the most in marbled fake suede and panne velvets o There is no save for this situation. Scrap bin the fabric. The color takes but even after following the setting instructions, the dye does not stay. o It never stops fading in the wash. Sometimes this can be fixed by another setting agent. See the company's website for instructions. o The color wears off on you skin or your chemise. Especially at heat and sweat point. Try a setting agent based on the company's web site. o The color radically changes at your body's heat and sweat points Scrap bin the fabric.

-Cat- and numerous folks in our group

The fabric is a bit splotchy after dying

Try to avoid this in the first place by making sure the fabric is completely wet before putting it in the dye bath. Air pockets can cause this problem Mix/Dissolve powered dyes completely in a small amount of water first. so that flecks of powder don't get on the fabric. Keep stirring... One technique I have found helpful is to divide the amount of dye I plan to use in half, and do the piece of fabric twice. I mostly just dye cottons for summer theater costumes, and in my washer the fabric sometimes comes out somewhat unevenly colored. So if I do it with half the dye the first time, and the other half of the dye the second time, the splotchyness tends to get evened out. I discovered this by accident when I just didn't use enough dye the first time to get the color dark enough, and so I had to put it through again with another package. I got the color I wanted, and the tone evened out. == Sarah

Uneven coloring in dye baths is generally due to 2 things: - not enough stirring (you may think that's unlikely in your washing machine, but it depends on how much fabric you packed into it, and how good your agitation cycle is) - unevenly prepared fabric (as was mentioned about damp vs wet fabrics in another reply: if your fabric is damp, it will "wick" the dye into the fibers faster than if it's dry, and cotton wicks better when it's wetter). Another thing that can cause splotches (more often lines of darker color) is insufficient rinsing. You need to rinse (acid) dyes until the water runs clear, and that can take a long while. Don't be too impatient, because excess dye that is not rinsed off will tend to migrate toward the tops of crinkles and ridges as you're wringing out your fabric. You can remove these darker lines by re-rinsing, unless they get set (a lot of dyes are heat-set: if you tumble-dry your dyed fabric with heat, or iron it, chances are, you'll be stuck with those splotches and lines). ==Jonatha

Fading Black
I've done a number of experiments with bleaching blacks, and the thing is, they most always don't bleach to the grey you're looking for. Depending on what color the base dye was that they used to get black, you'll most likely get a sickish looking orange or green. (If you bleach it long enough, you can sometimes come out with a very cool yellow-ish bone color... depends on the fabric.) Try a small snippit of your fabric first - just dab a little bleach on, or put it in some bleach & water. You'll see soon enough what you're going to get. If you want to try fading it out, I'd try good-old-sunshine. On the other hand, blues and reds typically bleach down very nicely... --SunnyJim.

Coffee/Tea Dyeing
Whether you use tea or coffee, you want to make sure it is REALLY watered out if you are only going for an antiqued look. Otherwise, you'll get the same brown that happens when you accidentally spill your cup of coffee on your clean white blouse, if you get me. If you want to antique a white outfit to cream color, consider using pure chamomile herbal tea. That will give the same golden-yellowy color you see in old lace and antique wedding dresses. That one can be used almost full strength, depending how aged you want the garment to look. ALWAYS test on swatches of your fabric to see if you like the results before you stain/dye your real garment. After soaking the swatch in the dye for 20-40 minutes, rinse the swatch until the fabric runs clear, let it dry, and compare it to the original fabric color. If it's too dark, add water to the dye bath. Too light? Add more tea. Regular tea and coffee will give more of a brownish hue, like a garment that has not simply been stored a long time, but rather used and gotten dirty. You can use these at near-full-strength to dye a white cloth brown. Hot water dye baths will penetrate the fabric fibers more than cold baths, so consider playing with the temperature as well to get the amount of color you want. As for gauze, it most likely will take the tea/coffee staining. The fiber content is more important than the weave. Natural fibers take dye better. Most gauze I've seen in the stores is 100% cotton, so it will probably

work. Again, test on a swatch. Also, adding a cup of salt to a hot dye bath helps natural fibers absorb dye, due to osmosis. If you are attempting a true brown from white cloth, definitely add salt. --N'stasha

I suggest dyeing it BEFORE you cut it to prevent shrinkage! I went through several boxes of different kinds of herbal teas before I found just the right color I liked for my dress... testing strips of the lace in tea cups. I ended up going with a lemon chamomile. I liked the golden hue more than the brown (or red) of the other teas I had. After I figured out the tea, here's how I did it... In my largest pot, I heated up enough hot water to submerge all of the material, I put all the tea bags in and let them simmer (not boil, because too much of that breaks the bag) until they were well brewed... I did end up using an entire box!!! I took out the bags and took it off the heat. Then I carefully dipped the pre-wet material into the tea bath and made sure to keep stirring and pushing the material into the bath. (It kept wanting to float!) It took probably about an hour before it had taken enough of the color... or until I THOUGHT it had... it was hard to tell. Then I carefully lifted it out (it was cool by now) and let it drip dry. I did this with my white belt too... though I used darker teas. There's a picture on my website of my tea dyed dress: http://www.jedielfqueen.com/lotr/costumes/Galadriel/galadriel.htm It still is pretty white, but before it was a glaring 'here comes the bride' brilliant white. *L* --Julia

Dyeing Cheesecloth (for Nazguls)

Stick it in a lingerie bag, one of those mesh things which, being nylon, won't get dyed much. You might cut your pieces first, and use several of the bags in a washing machine. And use Rit dye, because that always comes out blotchy and uneven. --Kayta Try tying it in bunches - the way you tie-dye cloth only not as tight, so the dye penetrates, but if you tie it every couple of feet it should hold up ok. --Naomi I remembered I had 2 packages of cheesecloth leftover from making ghosts last Halloween. So I simmered a big ol' pot of hot water, and added a cup of salt, a tablespoon of fabric detergent, and a package of Rit dye. Cheesecloth is 100% cotton and incredibly cheap -- and it already looks distressed. It took only 1 pkg of black

dye for the 6 yds of cheesecloth I had on hand, and I'm sure it would have dyed twice that. Remember to keep rinsing the cheesecloth until the water runs clear. (You can just throw it in the washing machine a bunch of times.) No need to pre-wet the cheescloth before dyeing, as irregularity in the color will happily add to the distressed look! --N'stash

Dyeing Vinyl
You can hand wash vinyl and hang dry it, so you can dye it. I would not use a washing machine (it might damage the vinyl) or dryer (heat might cause some melting/distortion). Too much heat (boiling water) will affect the vinyl but normal water washing will not. You can do a bit of over-dyeing of vinyl/p-leather with RIT dyes but you must be sure to let the water cool down from the boiling temperature (wait 5-10 minutes depending on the pot size). Experiment with a scrap piece to see that the water is cool enough not to warp the vinyl/p-leather.

Dyeing Process
Dyeing is the process of imparting colors to a textile material through a dye (colour). Dyes are obtained from flowers, nuts, berries and other forms of vegetables and plants as well as from animal and mineral sources. These are known as natural dyes. The other class of dyes is known as synthetic dyes. These are based on a particular type of chemical composition. Some of these dyes are- Acid ( Anionic) dyes, Basic ( Cationic) dyes, Neutral- Premetalized dyes, sulfur dyes, vat dyes, reactive dyes, pigment dyes etc. Dyeing Methods Colour is applied to fabric by different methods of dyeing for different types of fiber and at different stages of the textile production process. These methods include Direct dyeing; Stock dyeing; Top dyeing; Yarn dyeing; Piece dyeing; Solution pigmenting or dope dyeing; Garment dyeing etc. Of these Direct dyeing and Yarn Dyeing methods are the most popular ones. Direct Dyeing When a dye is applied directly to the fabric without the aid of an affixing agent, it is called direct dyeing. In this method the dyestuff is either fermented (for natural dye) or chemically reduced ( for synthetic vat and sulfur dyes) before being applied. The direct dyes, which are largely used for dyeing cotton, are water soluble and can be applied directly to the fiber from an aqueous solution. Most other classes of synthetic dye, other than vat and sulfur dyes, are also applied in this way. Yarn Dyeing When dyeing is done after the fiber has been spun into yarn, it is called Yarn dyeing. There are many forms of yarn dyeing- Skein (Hank) Dyeing, Package Dyeing, Warp-beam Dyeing,and Space Dyeing. Skein (Hank) Dyeing The yarns are loosely arranged in skeins or hanks. These are then hung over a rung and immersed in a dyebath in a large container. In this method, the colour penetration is the best and the yarns retain a softer, loftier feel.

Package Dyeing The yarns are wound on spools, cones or similar units and these packages of yarn are stacked on perforated rods in a rack and then immersed in a tank. In the tank, the dye is forced outward from the rods under pressure through the spools and then back to the packages towards the center to penetrate the entire yarn as thoroughly as possible. Warp-beam Dyeing It is similar to package dyeing but more economical. Here, yarn is wound on to a perforated warp beam, immersed in a tank and dyed under pressure. Space Dyeing In this method, the yarn is dyed at intervals along its length. For these two procedures- knit- deknit method and OPI Space-Dye Applicator- are adopted. In the first method, the yarn is knitted on either a circular or flat-bed knitting machine and the knitted cloth is then dyed and subsequently it is deknitted. Since the dye does not readily penetrate the areas of the yarn where it crosses itself, alternated dyed and undyed spaces appear. The OPI Space-Dye Applicator technique produces multi coloured space- dyed yarns. The yarns are dyed intermittently as they run at high speeds of upto 1000 yards (900 m) per minute through spaced dyebaths with continuous subjection to shock waves produced by compressed air assuming supersonic velocities.

Dyes and Sources of Dyes

The dyes which are used for colouring fabrics can be classified according to their sources. Natural Saffron Mehendi Indigo Chemical Acid Basic Azoic Direct Disperse Reactive


Natural Dyes
These dyes are based on raw materials available in nature (plants, insects and minerals) and are nonpolluting.

Chemical Dyes
These dyes are not received from natural sources. They are synthetically made by using various chemicals. Chemical dyes are cheap and easy to apply, with overall good colour fastness but cause environmental pollution.

Stages of dye application

When we go to the market we find it is not only fabrics which are dyed but sewing threads and knitting yarns are also available as dyed materials.

Dyeing may be done during

Fibre Stage
Both natural and manmade fibers can be dyed at this stage. It gives very uniform dyeing and fast colours. But there is a lot of wastage during further processing of fibres.

Yarn stage
Sometimes yarns are also dyed, especially when they have to be sold as such. Hence in embroidery thread, sewing threads and knitting yarn, dyeing is done at the yarn stage.

Fabric stage
This is the most popular stage of dyeing. Most of the fabrics which are dyed in a single solid colour are dyed at this stage. This method is a fast method and it is easy to match colours. Blended fabrics can also be dyed.

Garment dyeing
Sometimes, after stiching the garment, there is a need to dye it, for example, dupattas for suits are dyed after making.

Types of Dyes-Classification based on chemical structure

The Dyes are classified based on the fibres to which they can be applied and the chemical nature of each dye. Dyes are complex unsaturated aromatic compounds fulfilling characteristics like intense colour, soluability, Substansiveness and fastness. Dyes can be defined as the different type of colouring particles which differ in each type from the other in chemical composition and are used for colouring fabrics in different colours and shades which are completely soluble in liquid media. Previous Topic Dyeing Methods Next Topic Printing

Type of Printing Dyes

Dyes may be classified in several ways (e.g., according to chemical constitution, application class, end-use). The primary classification of dyes is based on the fibers to which they can be applied and the chemical nature of each dye. Table 6 lists the major dye classes, fixation rates, and the types of fibers for which they have an affinity. Factors that companies consider when selecting a dye include the type of fibers being dyed, desired shade, dyeing uniformity, and fastness (desired stability or resistance of stock or colorants to influences such as light, alkali, etc) (FFTA, 1991). Most commonly in use today are the reactive and direct types for cotton dyeing, and disperse types for polyester dyeing. Reactive dyes react with fiber molecules to form chemical bonds. Direct dyes can color fabric directly with one operation and without the aid of an affixing agent. Direct dyes are the simplest dyes to

apply and the cheapest in their initial and application costs although there are tradeoffs in the dyes shade range and wetfastness (Corbman, 1975). Direct and reactive dyes have a fixation rate of 90 to 95 percent and 60 to 90 percent, respectively. A variety of auxiliary chemicals may be used during dyeing to assist in dye absorption and fixation into the fibers. Disperse dyes, with fixation rates of 80 to 90 percent, require additional factors, such as dye carriers, pressure, and heat, to penetrate synthetic fibers (Snowden-Swan, 1995; ATMI, 1997). Disperse dyes are dispersed in water where the dyes are dissolved into fibers. Vat dyes, such as indigo, are also commonly used for cotton and other cellulosic fibers.

Characteristics of Textile Dyes

Dye Class Acid Basic Description water-soluble anionic compounds water-soluble, applied in weakly acidic dyebaths; very bright dyes water-soluble, anionic compounds;can be applied directly to cellulosics without mordants (or metals like chromium and copper) Method Fibers Typically Applied to Typical Fixation (%) 80-93 Typical Pollutants Associated with Various Dyes color; organic acids; unfixed dyes N/A color; salt; unfixed dye; cationic fixing agents; surfactant; defoamer; leveling and retarding agents; finish; diluents color; organic acids; carriers; leveling agents; phosphates; defoamers; lubricants; dispersants; delustrants; diluents color; salt; alkali; unfixed dye; surfactants; defoamer; diluents; finish color; alkali; oxidizing agent; reducing agent; unfixed dye color; alkali; oxidizing agents; reducing agents

Exhaust/ Beck/ wool, nylon Continuous (carpet) Exhaust/ Beck

acrylic, some 97-98 polyesters cotton, rayon, other 70-95 cellulosics


Exhaust/ Beck/Continuous

Disperse not water-soluble

polyester, High temperature acetate, other 80-92 exhaust Continuous synthetics

Exhaust/ Beck Cold cotton, other water-soluble, anionic Reactive pad batch/ cellulosics, 60-90 compounds; largest dye class Continuous wool Sulfur Vat organic compounds containing sulfur or sodium Continuous sulfide oldest dyes; more chemically Exhaust/Package/ complex; water-insoluble Continous cotton, other 60-70 cellulosics cotton, other 80-95 cellulosics