Dyeing of Textiles | Textile Dyeing | Process of Dyeing | Textile Dyeing Process | Application of Dye

Dyeing Process:
Color may be introduced into manufactured articles, for example textiles and plastics, or into a range of colour application media, for example paints and printing inks, for a variety of reasons but most commonly the ultimate purpose is to enhance the appearance and attractiveness of a product and improve its market appeal.

Dyeing is an ancient art which predates written records. It was practised during the Bronze age in Europe. Primitive dyeing techniques included sticking plants to fabric or rubbing crushed pigments into cloth. The methods became more sophisticated with time and techniques using natural dyes from crushed fruits, berries and other plants, which were boiled into the fabric and gave light and water fastness (resistance), were developed. Some of the well known ancient dyes include madder, a red dye made from the roots of the Rubia tinctorum, blue indigo from the leaves of Indigofera tinctoria, yellow from the stigmas of the saffron plant, and dogwood, an extract of pulp of the dogwood tree. The first use of the blue dye, woad, beloved by the Ancient Britons, may have originated in Palestine where it was found growing wild. The most famous and highly prized color through the ages was Tyrian purple, noted in the Bible, a dye obtained from the spiny dye-murex shellfish. The Phoenicians prepared it until the seventh century, when Arab conquerors destroyed their dyeing installations in the Levant. A bright red called cochineal was obtained from an insect native to Mexico. All these produced high-quality dark colors. Until the mid-19th century all dyestuffs were made from natural materials, mainly vegetable and animal matter.

Application of Dye:
Dyeing can be carried out at any of the following stages in the textile manufacturing stage:
  1. The fibers can be dyed before they are spun. Fiber dyeing provides a deep penetration of the dye into the fiber, giving even color and excellent color-fastness.
  2. The yarn can be dyed after spinning but before the product is woven or otherwise fabricated. This is called package dyeing.
  3. Before the fabric is finished, it can be dyed in lengths (piece dyeing).This process allows manufacturers the opportunity to produce fabrics in their natural colours, and then dye them to order.
  4. In cross-dyeing, fabrics of two or more fibers can be dyed so that each fiber accepts a different dyestuff and becomes a different color, through the use of appropriate dyestuffs for each fiber.
  5. It is essential for the correct identification of the fibre or other fabric to be made before dyeing commences.
Natural Fibers:
These include two main types:
  1. Protein fibres of animal origin, such as wool and silk
  2. Cellulosic fibers of plant origin, such as cotton, flax and jute
Man-made Fibers:
These include three main types:
  1. Synthetic polymers, such as polyester, nylon and acrylic
  2. Regenerated cellulose, such as viscose and lyocell
  3. Cellulose acetates, such as diacetate and triacetate
Dyeing can take place at various stages of textile production, for example, on fibres, yarns, fabrics and garments.

In all dyeing processes the first step is to impregnate the textile material with dye solution. An important requirement is the movement of the dye into the structure of the fibre. In addition, the ability of certain types of dye to interact with the polymer material that makes up the fibre determines whether or not that type of dye is suitable for a particular fibre.

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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