Chemical Structure of Reactive Dyes | Commercial Names of Reactive Dye | Properties of Reactive Dye | Popularity of Reactive Dye

Reactive dyes react with fiber; mainly react with cellulosic fibers e.g. cotton, jute, bast fibers, viscose, flax etc. It can be also applied to protein fibers e.g. wool, silk. Reactive dye contains reactive group and this reactive group makes covalent bonds with the fibers and becomes part of the fiber.

General Structure of Reactive Dyes:
The general structure of reactive dye is: D-B-G-X.


D = Dye part or chromogen (color producing part)
Dyes may be direct, acid, disperse, premetallised dye etc.

B = Bridging part.
Bridging part may be –NH- group or –NR- group.

G = Reactive group bearing part.
X = Reactive group.

Chemical structure of reactive dyes
Trade Names of Reactive Dye:
Some trade names of this dye are mentioned:
Trade name
Ciba cron
Popularity of Reactive Dye:
Reactive are mostly used for dyeing cellulosic fibres. At past cellulosic fibres were dyed with direct and vat dyes, but after the introduction of reactive dyes there utility has become limited. Reactive dyes are superior to direct dye in the following aspects:

  1. Ability to procedure bright shades of wide range.
  2. High leveling quality.
  3. Good washing fastness.
  4. Good light fastness.
And it is superior to vat dyes in the following aspects:
  • Simple dyeing method therefore one stage dyeing.
  • Low temperature dyeing (below 1000C)
  • Lower cost, i.e. cheaper.
Again its dyeing process is fast and gives brighter shades than metallized azo dyes. For the above reasons reactive dyes are more popular.

Properties of Reactive Dye:

  1. Reactive dyes are cationic dyes, which are used for dyeing cellulose, protein and polyamide fibres.
  2. Reactive dyes are found in power, liquid and print paste form.
  3. During dyeing the reactive group of this dye forms covalent bond with fibre polymer and becomes an integral parts of the fibre.
  4. Reactive dyes are soluble in water.
  5. They have very good light fastness with rating about 6. The dyes have very stable electron arrangement and can protect the degrading effect of ultra-violet ray.
  6. Textile materials dyed with reactive dyes have very good wash fastness with rating about 4-5 due to strong covalent bonds formed between fibre polymer and reactive group of dye.
  7. Reactive dye gives brighter shades and has moderate rubbing fastness.
  8. Dyeing method of reactive dyes is easy. It requires less time and low temperature for dyeing.
  9. Reactive dyes are comparatively cheap
  10. Reactive dyes have good perspiration fastness with rating 4-5. Reactive dyes have good perspiration fastness.
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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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