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Glossary

Acid. Having a pH less than 7.

Acid bath. See Dye Liquor.

Acid dye. A type of dye used on protein fibers that requires an acid to bond with the fiber.

Acid soak solution. A solution of acid and wetting agent used to soak the fiber prior to the direct application of dye.

Alkaline. Having a pH greater than 7.

Analogous color. A color next to another color on the color wheel.

Auxillary Chemical. Additional chemical used with the dye, to fix the dye to the fiber or help improve the end result.

Base. Having a pH greater than 7.

Cellulose fiber. A fiber produced by a plant such as cotton, linen and hemp.

Citric acid. A weak acid commonly used in dyeing protein fibers with acid dyes.

Complementary color. A color directly opposite of another color on the color wheel.

Depth of shade. A value expressing the intensity of color on fiber as a percentage based on weight. For example, a depth of shade (DOS) of 1% is 1 gram of dye on 100 grams of fiber.

DOS. Depth of Shade

Dye assist. A chemical used to help the dye bond to the fiber.

Dye concentrate. See Dye Stock Solution.

Dye liquor. The liquid in a dye bath, including water, dye and auxillary chemicals.

Dye liquor ratio. The ratio of water by weight to the weight of the fiber used in the dye bath.

Dye stock solution. A solution of dye dissolved in water. The amount of dye powder dissolved in a certain volume of water determines the strength of a dye solution. For example, a 1% stock solution contains 1 gram of dye for every 100 milliliters of water.

Dye strike. The process of dye molecules attaching to fiber.

Exhaust. The movement of dye from the dye bath onto the fiber.

Exhaust phase. The first stage of the dyeing process, when the dye moves from the dye bath to the fiber.

Fastness. The resistance of a dye to fading or bleeding after application.

Felting. The process of separating, tangling and relocking the protein fibers in such materials as wool yarn or fabric.

Fiber-reactive dye. A type of dye used to dye cellulose fiber.

Fixation phase. The second stage of the dyeing process, when the dye molecules bond to the fiber.

Glauber salt. Sodium sulfate. Used as an alternative to common non-iodized table salt to help drive the dye onto the fiber.

Graduated cylinder. A narrow, calibrated cylindrical container used to precisely measure the volume of liquids.

Gram. A metric unit of weight. There are 1000 grams in a kilogram and 454 grams in a pound.

Hue. The name of a color on the color wheel.

Leveling. The process of evenly distributing the dye on the surface of the fiber.

Leveling agent. A chemical used to control the rate of exhaustion so that the dye bonds slowly and evenly to the fiber.

Liter. A metric unit of volume. One liter contains 1000 milliliters.

Milligram. A metric unit of weight. There are 1000 milligrams in one gram.

Milliliter. A metric unit of volume. There are 1000 milliliters in one liter.

Neutral. Having a pH of 7.

pH. A number between 0 and 14 that indicates if a chemical is an acid or a base.

Primary color. The pure colors, red, yellow and blue, used to mix all other colors.

Protein fiber. A fiber produced by an animal or an insect. Wool, silk and alpaca are examples of protein fibers.

Secondary color. A color resulting from the mixing of two primary colors.

Shade. Any color with black added.

Soda ash. Sodium carbonate. A chemical used in reactive dyeing to raise the pH of the dye bath.

Split complement. The two colors on either side of a color directly opposite another color on the color wheel.

Synthrapol. A pH-neutral surfactant used in wetting out and scouring fibers.

Tertiary color. A color resulting from the mixing of three primary colors.

Tint. Any color with white added. In dyeing, tints are created by using less dye.

Tone. Any color with gray added. In dyeing, tones are created by adding a small amount of black to the main dye color.

Urea. A nitrogenous compound used in direct dyeing with fiber reactive dyes. A little urea added to fiber reactive dye stock solutions also helps to dissolve the dye.

Weight of goods. Weight of dry fiber.

Wet out. The process of soaking the fiber in water containing a small amount of surfactant such as Synthrapol prior to dyeing. Makes it easier for dyes to penetrate the surface of the fiber.

Wetting agent. A chemical, such as Synthrapol, that can be added to a liquid to reduce its surface tension, making it easier for the liquid to penetrate the fiber.