Generally, a dye is referred to by a simple name
that is comprehended by people who is working with them. Which we can say as
a common name. But the problem is that it is not uncommon for a dye to have
names that are more than one. The chemical names of dyes can be very
confusing and complicated. As a result of this, the practice of using names
that are descriptive has arisen.
For example: Take basic fuchsin which was earlier known as magenta. Taking
another example it is also quite possible that a same, or a nearly same name
to be given to two different dyes. For example: light green, has also been
popularly used to refer to dye methyl green. Some of these names are
historical or there can be cases where in order to sell a single compound
different manufacturers gave different names, to avoid violating copyright
or trademarks of each other.
Above cited specific reasons in the confusion for naming dyes, prompted a
need for Color Index. For that we should first understand what a CI or
Color Index number is.
A Color Index is basically a compendium of dyes, that has a huge volume of
data. It was prepared in the UK by the Society of Dyers and Colorists. In
the USA by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. It is
available both in the book form, and on CD as well. In this reference book
there is a very specific system to identify individual dyes. A five digit
number is assigned to each individual chemical that is used as a dye.
Consequently individual dyes get identified with reference to their CI
number only. For example when specifying a dye for use in any staining
method the CI number must be always provided.
To avoid any confusion regarding chemicals, in addition to the
identification number or CI number, the Color Index also has a system to
assign a specific name (CI Name) for each of the dyes. The name given is
totally based upon the dye's mode of behavior, base color and action. This
is followed by a number. Example, the CI name given for chromoxane cyanine R
(CI 43820) is Mordant Blue 3. Thus, the CI name therefore gives a specific
way to identify a dye. Although the CI name is used less often than the CI
number, the CI name is as useful in identifying a dye for a particular
- Detailed record of products that can be found in the market is put
under a Color Index reference. For each product name there is a listing
of the manufacturer's name, principal usages, physical form, and
comments to help the customers. This format has been devised after
taking into confidence the coloration industry (including prominent
manufacturers, users, CPMA and ETAD).
- Around 27,000 individual products are listed under a total of 13,000
Color Index Generic Names.
- Colorants get listed in the Color Index strictly in accordance with
the system of (a) Color Index Generic Names (b) Color Index Constitution
- Chemical structures that are depicted is strictly in accordance with
the results obtained by modern researches on molecular conformation.
- Part 1 of the information gets freshly confirmed with suppliers and
manufacturers. Part 2 of the information is either confirmed freshly
with suppliers and manufacturers or is depicted as "carried over
from the previous edition".
- Popular format has been devised with an unique 'fingerprint' concept.
Highlights of the Color Index
The following three tables highlights major
information regarding the Color Index
Part 1 Dye Groupings
- Natural Dyes and pigments
- Ingrain Dyes
- Azoic Diazo components
- Azoic Coupling components
- Oxidation Bases
- Optical Brighteners
- Intermediate Products
- Reducing agents and Developers
- Each group of Dyes is subdivided into Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow,
Orange, Red, Brown and Black
- Manufacturing methods
- Structural formula (if known) of Dyes
- References (literature and patents)
- Abbreviations of manufacturers' names
- Commercial names
- Generic names
Color Index is able to provide dye or pigment with 2 reference numbers on
the criteria of a) Coloristic aspects b) Chemical classification:
- The first one is the area of application and technique of coloration=>the
C.I. Generic name.
- The second technique is the one that is known as C.I. Constitution
There is also provision of listing all the commercial names.
Application of Color Index
- Textile manufacturers.
- Colorant users, suppliers and manufacturers.
- Paint manufacturers as well as suppliers.
- Manufacturers and suppliers of Plastics.
- Testing labs, Libraries, academic institutions.
- Producers of Printing ink along with suppliers.
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