Introduction: The Evolution of Present-Day Dye Technology

  • J. Griffiths
Part of the Topics in Applied Chemistry book series (TAPP)


The breadth and complexity of dye chemistry poses many difficulties for the non-expert. One way of achieving a better understanding of the subject is to examine how the chemistry and technology of the commercial synthetic dyes evolved, and this process of evolution can be considered from several different viewpoints. For example, there are those developments which were largely concerned with the application of the colorants to various substrates, as exemplified by the introduction of azoic dyeing or prereduced vat dyes. An alternative approach is to consider the discovery and development of dye chromophores, and this in turn is closely related to the historical evolution of color and constitution theory. The history of the synthetic dyes in fact consists of a complex interweaving of these separate considerations, linked closely with the contemporary development of theoretical organic chemistry, and controlled by social and economic factors in the developing industrial nations of the late nineteenth century. For the purposes of the present brief review, the development of new dyes and dyeing methods will be examined in a chronological sense, and the development of present-day understanding of the molecular origins of color will be discussed separately but with cross reference to the practical developments being made in the industrial arena.


Phthalic Anhydride Copper Phthalocyanine Alkali Fusion Valence Bond Theory Natural Indigo 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Griffiths
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Colour Chemistry and DyeingThe University of LeedsLeeds, West YorkshireEngland

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