Mordant dye

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An acid dye that requires a mordant to fix the colorant to the textile fiber. Natural mordant dyes have been used since antiquity. Examples include Madder, Cochineal, Lac dye, weld, Fustic, and Logwood. Murexide, the first synthetic mordant dye, was developed in 1818. Synthetic alizarin, developed in 1868, also falls into this category. Mordant dyes lack a direct affinity for the fiber, but will attach to a fabric that has been pretreated with a metallic compound or mordant. Thus the fibers are first soaked in a metallic salt solution (aluminum, chrome, iron, or tin) then placed in the dye solution. Mordant dyes will also form lakes with salts. Mordant dyed textiles have good washfastness.

Synonyms and Related Terms

indirect dye; mordant dyes; colorantes indirectos (Esp.); colorantes ácidos (Esp.); beitskleurstoffen, beitsverfstoffen (Ned);

Resources and Citations

  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: "Dyes"
  • A.Scharff, 'Synthetic dyestuffs for textiles and their fastness to washing', ICOM-CC Preprints Lyon, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1999
  • Judith H. Hofenk de Graaff, The Colourful Past: Origins, Chemistry, and Identification of Natural Dyestuffs, Archetype, London, 2004
  • 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
  • Thomas B. Brill, Light Its Interaction with Art and Antiquities, Plenum Press, New York City, 1980
  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942