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Dyeing is the process of imparting colour to a textile material in loose fibre, yarn, cloth or garment form by treatment with a dye.


Dye types

Main article: dye

For the majority 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, man has produced artificial dyes to achieve a broader range of colours, and to render the dyes more stable to washing and general use. Different classes of dye are used for different types of fibre and at different stages of the textile production process from loose fibres through yarn and cloth to made up garments.

Acrylic fibres 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 which are similar to the ancient natural dyes and modern synthetic reactive and direct dyes.


Dyes are applied to textile goods by dyeing from dye solutions and by printing from dye pastes.

Direct application

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 Sulphur dyes before being applied. This renders the dye soluble so that it can be absorbed by the fibre, the insoluble dye has very little substantivity to the fibre. Direct dyes, a class of dyes largely for dyeing cotton, are water soluble and can be applied directly to the fibre from an aqueous solution. Most other classes of synthetic dye, other than vat and sulpur dyes, are also appled 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 colour fastness. Chromium salts were until recently extensively used in dying wool with synthetic mordant dyes. These were used for economical high colour 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 -at package form & at hanks form. Cotton yarns are mostly dyed at package form, and acrylic or wool yarn are dyed at hank form

The common dyeing process of cotton yarn with reactive dyes at package form is given below in short- firstly the raw yarn is winded on spring tube to achieve package suitable for dye penetration. then, these softed packages are loaded on a dyeing carrier's spindle one on other. Then, the packages are pressed up to a desired height to achieve suitable density of pkg. then, the carrier is loaded on dyeing machine and yarn is dyed. after dyeing, the packages are unloaded from the carrier in to a trolly. then, all the packages are hydro extracted to remove maximum amount of water. then, all the packages are dried to achieve the final dyed package. at last the dyed yarn packages are packed and delivered.

Removal of dyes

In order to remove natural or unwanted colour from material, the opposite process of bleaching is carried out.

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

See also

  • Textile manufacturing terminology
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dyeing". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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