Tag Archives: Best Dye Company

Difference Between Dyes and Pigments

What is the difference between dyes and pigments?

Dyes versus Pigments

Both dyes and pigments fall under the umbrella term of “colorants.” Dyes and pigments are both used to color materials, although the way in which the coloring process takes place is different for each. Dyes require some sort of physical or chemical reaction in order for the dyeing process to occur. Pigments themselves are actual particles of color. Unlike dyes, the coloring process with pigments requires a binding or dispersion agent in which the pigment itself is suspended. The coloring process with pigments occurs when the binding or gluing agent, in which the pigment is suspended, attaches to the material being colored. The binding or dispersion agent works as a vehicle in which pigments can achieve the coloring process.

In terms of their chemical composition, one primary distinction between dyes and pigments is that pigments are insoluble in water as well as most other solvents. In general, dyes are either water soluble or soluble in another type of solvent. As mentioned above, dyes typically utilize some sort of solvent in which the dye is dissolved. This “dye-bath” is typically where the reactions of the dyeing process occurs. The coloring of materials with pigments categorically takes place on “the surface” of the product being colored. Once the pigment-dispersion agent mixture is applied to the surface of a material, the next step is for the mixture to convert from a liquid to a solid. This conversion usually occurs via oxidation, leaving a solid coat of color on the surface of the material at hand.

Another primary distinction between dyes and pigments is size. Before the coloring process, pigments are usually ground as finely as possible, resulting in a powder of pigment particles. These pigment particles, which are usually between a few microns in size, are much larger than dye molecules. Since the coloring process with dyes occurs by means of physical and chemical reactions, it is necessary to understand dyes at the molecular level—this is often how different types of dyes are categorized. Some types of dyes are categorized based on their cationic characteristics, and some types of dyes are categorized based on their anionic characteristics. Conversely, the coloring process with pigments doesn’t take place at the molecular level, so pigments are not categorized based on these qualities.

In short, certain types of products require pigments to be colored, and certain types of products require dyes. If you’re wondering which type of colorant your product requires, contact us and let us do the work for you. We will conduct thorough testing to ensure that the chosen colorant is completely compatible with your product, and that colorant will be long lasting and of the highest quality.

Looking for the perfect shade? Let Pylam do the work!

What distinguishes Pylam Products from other distributors and manufacturers of dyes, pigments, and colorants? Pylam’s industry-leading levels of service and customer support (in addition to extremely high quality products) are some of our hallmarks. Pylam Products has been in business for nearly 100 years, and our staff’s many decades of accumulated expertise can help you find the best colorant for the chemistry of your product. To that end, one of the powerful services we offer is our precise color matching capabilities.

Here at Pylam we know that dyes can be difficult to work with. Often times surprising factors can dramatically impact the way a color performs in your product. You may expect a certain dye to work in a product only to find that performance issues such as fading, solubility challenges, or shade issues keep recurring. Some colorants only work well within tight pH ranges, while others won’t work at all in the presence of certain chemical ingredients. This can be very frustrating for those who need to work with colors. We understand that difficulty, and we stand eager to jump in and offer our color selection and matching services to help find the right colorant for your product.

For example, we recently did a color match project for 9 of a customer’s distinct and different candles that used a variety of colorants and waxes. Our customer wanted each candle to match different target shades of various hues. In addition, each candle had different wax compounds, additives, and fragrances, and each of these differences impacted the performance of the dyes. Our customer sent us their uncolored wax products, and examples of the several target shades they wanted to attain. With this, we were able to efficiently identify the right colorants, with the right shades, for each of the 9 candles. We then sent free samples of each unique colorant to our customer, so that they could see the dyes we identified for their products.

We have an active and deep inventory of thousands of dyes, pigments, and other colorant products on hand which we use in conjunction with our experience to help identify the perfect shade. Acid dyes, disperse dyes, direct dyes, basic dyes, pigments – the list goes on, as we have all classes of dyes and colorants in our facility. In addition, Pylam can formulate a custom shade just for your product if one of our existing products isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.

Putting some of your product in our hands helps us blaze through problems and offload some of the tedious and difficult work you may encounter when working with dyes. If we see that something isn’t working, we can immediately move to a different type of colorant until we find the perfect match.

Please feel free to reach out to us to learn more about our color matching and sample selection services. We offer this color matching service for all types of customer products. For example, candles, cosmetics, soaps, coatings, cleansers, and adhesives, just to name a few.

Contact Us Anytime