Colour is one of the elements of nature that makes human life more aesthetic and fascinating in the world. Plants, animals, and minerals have been used as primary sources for colourants, dyes or pigments since ancient times. In our daily life, we know about many substances which have specific colours. These are the substances which are used as colourants i.e.; colour imparting species. Both dyes and pigments are coloured as they absorb only some wavelength of visible light. Their structures have Aryl rings that have delocalized electron systems. These structures are said to be responsible for the absorption of electromagnetic radiation that has varying wavelengths, based upon the energy of the electron clouds. Dyes are coloured organic compounds that are used to impart colour to various substrates, including paper, leather, fur, hair, drugs, cosmetics, waxes, greases, plastics and textile materials. A Dye is a coloured compound due to the presence of chromophore and its fixed property to the acid or basic groups such as OH, SO3H, NH2, NR2, etc. The polar auxochrome makes the dye water-soluble and binds the dye to the fabric by interaction with the oppositely charged groups of the fabric structure. Pigments are organic and inorganic compounds which are practically insoluble in medium in which they are incorporated. Dyes and pigments are the most important colourants used to add colour or to change the colour of something. They are widely used in the textile, pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics, plastics, paint, ink, photographic and paper industries. This chapter is devoted to the structure and properties of dyes and pigments.
Part of the book: Dyes and Pigments