Basic dye

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A class of synthetic dyes containing a basic functional group, such as an amide. The first basic dye was Mauve, discovered in 1856 in England by William Perkin. Basic dyes will attach directly to an acidic site, such as those found in Wool, Silk, Leather, acrylics, and polyesters. These dyes can be used on Cotton and Paper after the Cellulose is mordanted with a Tannin. Basic dyes produce bright colors with poor colorfastness; this can be improved by the use of tannin mordants. Despite their poor stability, basic dyes are still used for coloring construction paper and some silks because of their bright, clear hues.

Synonyms and Related Terms

colorante básico (Esp.); coloranti basici (It.); corante básico (Port.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in alcohols

Proteins are usually dyed in weak alkaline solutions.

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 284
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • A.Scharff, 'Synthetic dyestuffs for textiles and their fastness to washing', ICOM-CC Preprints Lyon, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1999