Let it be a celebration or regular life, colorful dresses and clothes make our life more beautiful. They add more meaning to our lives and most importantly are available in so many shades and combinations that we never tire of making a choice from such wonderful array of clothes. Natural colors which we see on the flowers or even on those myriad butterflies are gift of nature. But the clothes get their distinct color and identity with the help of dyes. These dyes are available in innumerable hues and apart from fabric they are also used on woolen, wood and leather. These are the Aniline dyes.
Just as most of the discoveries and inventions are made by accident, Henry William Perkin, an 18 year old student of chemistry stumbled upon the discovery of Aniline dye by accident in 1856. During an experiment of preparing synthetic option for the anti-malaria drug Guinine, Perkin oxidized the chemical aniline with potassium dichromate. This formed a thick dark layer inside the flask indicating the failure of the experiment. While cleaning the flask, Perkin found out that the thick layer was soluble in alcohol and formed a purple color. When tried on different bases, it was found to be friendly with the fabric and thus the first Aniline dye-Mauvine was invented.
Although Aniline dyes find its uses in almost all types of industries from printing, textile, leather and wood, it is mostly used for staining leather and wood. Today’s dyes are much softer and have high degree of retention against atmosphere and washing than Mauvine. They come in almost all sorts of colors.
Leathers which are dyed by Aniline dyes look more even and retain the same natural grain structure and hence are considered high quality leather. Every type of leather is treated with different Aniline dyes, each having their own good points and bad points. Depending upon the type of processing, the quality of leather is decided.
This dye is also widely used in furniture business. Wood stains are also a common option for coloring furniture. But Aniline dye is preferred more as it evenly colors the entire surface without giving darkened appearance to the more porous wood surface. It does not leave any pigmentation or saturation marks on the wood and give it a clean, finished look unlike wood stains which leave muddy appearance on the furniture surface.
Aniline dyes are available is myriad hues and are soluble in proper solvent. The powdered grains of dye are very fine and even and hence mix well to give transparent, strong and even appearance. Choosing the right powder base and mixing it in the required color is the usual way of using this dye. Many times, the user mixes the aniline stain in the solvent and color according to preference, although lot of choice is available in the market. It is available in two basic forms: high concentrate liquid aniline and aniline powder. To make the stain or dye in appropriate composition, the powder or liquid is first mixed in an alcohol based solvent and then preferred color is added.
Aniline dyes are although very good for indoor furniture, they are not used for the outdoor and patio furniture as they have very low resistance towards ultraviolet rays. The color thus gets faded when exposed to Sunlight regularly. For the outdoor furniture instead inorganic pigmentation is preferred more. Nowadays, common people too go to the leather or craft shop and buy Aniline dyes to stain leather hides or old worn out furniture and renew their beauty.