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Pigments - Properties and classification

Properties of Pigments

(1) Pigmented resin solutions are now well established for printing and dying all fibres of natural and artificial fabrics. 

you'll find fairly brilliant colours with acceptable colour fastness characteristics at a good price. 

Properties of pigments

(2) Colorants referred to as pigments are finely divided and insoluble in both the medium and therefore the fibre. 

they are doing not react with the fibre because they need little to no affinity for it. The pigment emulsion's binder binds the surface layer of pigments to the fibre. 

The binder polymerises to provide a skinny, colourless coating on the layer of the pigment particles during the curing process, firmly attaching them to the fibre surface. 

The figure below provides a schematic illustration of this. 

Properties of pigments


(3) Pigment dyeing produces outstanding lightfast colours and generally acceptable overall fastness. The colour will, however, have poor rubbing fastness if the tint is too dark. 

Classification of Pigment Emulsion Systems 

Pigments are generally marketed as emulsions of which there are two types

(i) Water-in-oil (W/O) system for printing and 
(ii) Oil-in-water (O/W) system for dyeing 

Explanation - 

(i) Water-in-oil (W/O) system for printing

(ii) Oil-in-water (O/W) system for dyeing

The oil, which is often an organic solvent and transports the pigment(s) and a thermosetting binder, serves as the continuous medium in the W/O system. 

Only the thermoplastic binder is carried by the broken water molecules. 

The W/O system rapidly wets hydrophobic fibres. 

The equipment with this system is rather challenging to wash with water after a run, which is a drawback.

The pigment(s) and resin binders are disseminated in the continuous medium of water in the O/W system. 

Many pigments in O/W emulsions provide a little greater colour yield, and the equipment is easily cleaned with water.

Important aspects related to pigment dyeing 

The steps involved in pigment dyeing, which include pad-dye impregnating, drying, and curing, are just like those within the traditional proofing process. 

Inorganic or organic water-insoluble pigments are employed in pigment dyeing, and that they are adhered to the fibres with the assistance of a surface fixer, as shown above. 

Pigment dyeing is feasible on all fibres and fibre mixes since there's no requirement for an affinity between the fibre and therefore the pigment.

The subsequent section discusses the wants for the binder and tools utilized in pigment dyeing. 

Various Pigments
Various Pigments

Questions -

  1. Which properties of pigments are useful for the dyeing process?
  2. Classified pigments.
  3. Which aspects are vital for pigment dyeing?


Hussain, T. (2014). Pigment Dyeing and Finishing of Cotton /Polyester Fabrics with a Modified Dihydroxyethyleneurea and various softener treatment. Life Science Journal.

Pigment dyed vs garment dyed: What’s the difference? (n.d.). Retrieved 26 December 2022, from

Pigment Dyeing,Pigment Dyeing process,Pigment Dyeing Method,Pigment Dyed Garments,Pigment Dyed Clothing,pigment dyed fabric. (2011, February 10).; Fibre2Fashion.

ProductIP. (2021, March 8). Dyes and pigments.

(N.d.). from

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Writer - Rushikesh Patil (Textile Engineer)
(DKTE Society textile engineering college ichalkaranji)
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