There are two types of colorants dyes and pigments. Dyes are soluble substances used to pass color to the substrate and find applications primarily in textiles and leather. There are several types of dyes, however in India disperse, reactive and direct dyes are most commonly used. Pigments are insoluble substances and could either be in powdered or granular form. They impart colour by reflecting only certain light rays. Their major end use industries are paints and inks. Pigments can be broadly classified as organic and inorganic.
The global colorant industry is valued at US$ 27 Bn and has been growing at 2-3% p.a. The dyestuff industry has seen turbulent times in the past decade. The decline of the traditional producers in the developed world, particularly in Europe, and the simultaneous ascent of new ones in Asia, particularly India and China, is arguably one of the most significant changes ever seen in this industry. The shift has been quite swift and followed the migration of end-user industries notably textiles and leather - to low cost economies of Asia.
Originally Published in New Cloth Market, January-2012