Dyes are substances that can be used to change the color of a substrate, usually cloth or fibers. The dye itself can be natural or synthetic and is usually dissolved in some type of liquid bath into which the substrate is added. Natural dyes come from plants, animals, or minerals and were used exclusively until the end of the 19th century when the invention of synthetic dyes made with aniline (coal tar) became available.
Listen to the latest episodes of CHF’s award-winning podcast.
Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible donation online.
Kool-Aid package, 1951
©2010–2015 Chemical Heritage Foundation