Printing of Polyester Fabric with Disperse Dyes

Last Updated on 05/03/2021

Experiment name:
Printing of Polyester fabric with Disperse dyes.

Dyes are colored, unsaturated organic chemical compounds capable of giving color to a substrate (a textile), i.e. coloring or dyeing it.

The term “disperse dye” have been applied to the organic coloring substances which are free from ionizing groups, are of low water solubility and are suitable for dyeing hydrophobic fibers. Disperse dyes have substantivity for one or more hydrophobic fibers e.g. cellulose acetate, nylon, polyester, acrylic and other synthetic fibers.

Printing of Polyester with Disperse Dyes

The negative charge on the surface of hydrophobic fibers like polyester can not be reduced by any means, so non-ionic dyes like disperse dyes are used which are not influenced by that surface charge.

In 1922, Green and Saunders made one type of colored azo compound, in which a solubilizing group (for example- methyl sulphate, -CH2-SO3H) is attached to amino group. In dye bath, they are slowly hydrolyzed and produce azo compound and formaldehyde bi sulphate. This free azo compound was capable of dyeing cellulose acetate fibers. This dye was named “ionamine”. But this ion amine did not give satisfactory result in dyeing.

Later in 1924, Baddiley and Ellis produced sulpho ricinoleic acid (SRA) for dyeing acetate fibers. This SRA was used as dispersing agent. Later it was seen that SRA was capable of dyeing Nylon, polyester, acrylic etc. In 1953 this dye was named as “Disperse Dye”.

Properties of Disperse Dyes:

  1. Disperse dyes are nonionic dyes. So they are free from ionizing group.
  2. They are ready made dyes and are insoluble in water or have very low water solubility.
  3. They are organic colouring substances which are suitable for dyeing hydrophobic fibers.
  4. Disperse dyes are used for dyeing man made cellulose ester and synthetic fibers specially acetate and polyester fibers and sometimes nylon and acrylic fibers.
  5. Carrier or dispersing agents are required for dyeing with disperse dyes.
  6. Disperse dyes have fair to good light fastness with rating about 4-5.

Classification of Disperse Dyes:
According to Chemical Structure:

  1. Nitro Dyes
  2. Amino Ketone dyes
  3. Anthraquinonoid dyes
  4. Mono azo dyes
  5. Di-azo dyes


  • Disperse Dyes:                                  4 parts
  • Dispersing agent:                             2 parts
  • Water:                                               As required
  • Thickener:                                        83 parts
  • (NH4)2SO4:                                      0.7 gm
  • NaClO3:                                            0.2 gm

Printing paste preparation:

  1. Thickener paste preparation (70 gm sodium alginate + 13 C.C H2O stir with heat)
  2. 4 gm dyes + 2 gm dispersing agent
  3. 0.7 gm (NH4)2SO4 + 0.2 gm NaClO3
  4. (1 + 2 + 3) Stir uniformly

After treatment:
The printed fabric is steamed in the steamer 10 min at 105 – 1100C to penetrate the dye in the fabric and fix it.

Disperse dyes have low molecular weight (200 – 400 gm per mole) and are non ionic which is necessary for preparing stable dispersions. The fact that disperse dye stuffs must be able to prepare in free divided states is important. To achieve level dyeing the particle size also must be maintained below 4 microns and preferably 0.5 – 3 microns. Naturally the particle size also must be as uniform as possible. Since disperse dye stuffs are crystalline in the pure state it is frequently difficult to grind them to meet the above requirements. Dye particles of over 4 microns produce specky coloration.

Some of the disadvantages of disperse dyes included limited wash fastness, gas fading, the resistance of multi step fiber pretreatment, the problem of flocculation of the dye stuff, the addition cost of the required additives and the environmental concern over many of the aromatic solvent dye carries employed. Barre effects do occur but can be controlled by standing the dyeing cycle and slightly increasing the dye bath temperature.

From this experiment we can get a clear idea about printing of polyester with disperse dyes. From others dye this type of dye is different. During this experiment we have to face some problems that are to be considerable. Overall, the knowledge of this dye helps us to dye man made fiber especially Polyester properly and helps us in our practical life.

You may also like:

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  3. Different Types of Reactive Dyes: Properties, Structures and Factors
  4. Chrome Dyes: Features and Chemical Classification
  5. Importance and Techniques of Dyes Selection in Textile Dyeing Process
  6. Salt Free Dyeing of Cotton Fabric with Reactive Dyes
  7. Different Types of Dyes with Chemical Structure
  8. Different Types of Dyestuffs in Relation to the Fiber Substrate
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  11. Typical List of Chemicals Used in Dyeing Mill

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