The and nothing is shared (UNSW 2013). Another

Theprocess of dyeing fabrics is complex and so is the way that dyes work.

Knowingwhich dyes to use for what fabric, what to add do your dye mixture, and how toprepare everything for dyeing is necessary to make sure that your fabric isdyed properly and that the dye is fast. If you don’t know these things yourfabric might not have any colour or fade very fast. To understand what to dowhen dyeing you first need to look at how dyeing works and how the manydifferent types of dyes differ from one each other. You also need to look atwhat can influence these dyes and how they can help or hurt you like mordantsand acids. Once you understand these different components of dyeing and howthey work you can choose the best dyes and additives for any fabric to get thecolour and fastness that you want. Although there is a lot of information aboutdyeing, learning about how dyes work and the types that exist is a good placeto start.Thereare many different ways a dye molecule can attach itself to a fabric to createa stain and there are many different types of dye molecules.

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One way that dyemolecules attach to fabric is through Van Der Waal bonding where atoms have anuneven charge distribution. This uneven distribution turns the atom into adipole where one side is more negatively charged and the other is more positivelycharged. These dipoles can turn adjacent atoms into dipoles as well because thenegatively charged side of the atom will attract protons and the negativelycharged side will attract electrons.

This bond is not very strong because theseatoms are only attracted to each other and nothing is shared (UNSW 2013). Anothertype of bond is called an ionic bond. In these bonds, one atom transfers one ormore of its electrons to another atom making it positively charged while theother becomes negatively charged (The Editors ofEncyclopædia Britannica 2014). This bond is one of the strongest typesalong with covalent bonds which are made whentwo atoms share a pair of electrons. One electron from each atom is shared withthe other to form the pair of shared electrons (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica 2015). The last type of bond is calleda hydrogen bond which is weaker than ionic and covalent bonds but stronger thana Van Der Waal bond. These types of bonds occur when hydrogen is bonded toanother atom but it is positively charged and the other atom is negativelycharged. Because both molecules are not neutral they seek out other atoms tobond with creating a bigger molecule (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica 2017).

Although these bonds can occur in dyeing they do not occur in all types ofdyes. The bonds in direct dyes are mainly Van Der Waal and hydrogen bonds whilethe bonds in fiber reactive dyes are covalent bonds. Acid dyes usually formhydrogen bonds and vat dyes do not form bonds at all but their dye moleculesget trapped inside the fibers of the fabric (Birch 2007). Knowing the specifctypes of bonds that your dye forms can help you choose if you need to addanything to your dyeing process like a mordant.            Sometimesdye molecules will not bond with a fabric very well and may wash off quickly ordo not dye the fabric at all. If this happens you may need to change the typeof dye or fabric you are using but a mordant can also be used to help bond thedye molecules to the fabric in specific situations. A mordant is a metal saltused to hold down a dye molecule to a fabric and most mordants have many ionswhich helps them bind to the electrical charges on chemical dye molecules.

By bondingtogether, the mordant and the dye molecule create a larger and heavier moleculethat is no longer dissolved in the solution and that will stay attached to thefabric (Nguyen 2017). Because the mordant keeps the dye molecules attached tothe fabric the resulting colour is much more saturated than if you did not useone and the colour is held more strongly   to the fabric, so it will not wash off asquickly and will stay brighter for longer. To use a mordant, you must let yourfabric soak in a water and mordant mix and possibly boil it so that the mordantattaches to the fabric.

Before you can start dyeing you need to wash off the excessmordant that did not attach to the fabric well or else the dye will createstreaks where the excess mordant washes off. After rinsing your fabric off youcan put your fabric into your dye and after you get your desired colour youmust rinse the fabric to reveal where the dye took to the fabric (Birch 2007a).Knowing what a mordant is, how to use it with your dye, and if you need one withyour specific dye or fabric can help you get a better result in your dyeingmuch like using an acid.Adding anacid to a dye bath can help fix dye molecules to fabric fibers in a similar wayto mordants or also be completely useless. When you add acid into a dye bath itlowers the pH of the dyebath so that it is slightly acidic. This acidic statemakes it easier for the dye to bond with the protein fibers of the fabric.

Togo into more detail, adding acid to specific types of dyes makes the dyemolecules form anions, or become negatively charged, while adding acid to specificfabrics made of protein fibers forms cations which are positively charged.Because the dye molecules are now negatively charged they will search forpositive atoms or molecules to bond with and will bond with the positivelycharged fabric easier than if they both had their regular charges (Gammacolorn.d.). Because the dye attaches to the fabric in more places and it is easierfor it to do so the colour will take to the fabric better and produce astronger colour.            Becausethe process of dyeing is complex and there are vast amounts of different typesof dyes it is important to know which dyes and additives will be affective withwhich fabric. Understanding the kind of dye you are working with and how itworks can help you understand why it will or will not work with your fabric. Knowingthat a mordant may help you in certain situations to get your desired colourand fastness can make your dyeing much easier and worth while.

Having anunderstating of how acids can work for or against you will also help you createthe colour that you want on the fabric that you want. If you do not have someof this knowledge before you start dyeing you may end up ruining your dye bathor your fabric so it is best to do research before dyeing so you understand theproper dyeing process and why you may need to add certain things to get yourdesired result.


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