Vat dyes are a large class of water-insoluble dyes such as indigo and the anthraquinone derivatives that are used on cellulosic fibers. Vat dyes are natural coloring dyes and are insoluble in water, have a high color fastness and a poor rubbing fastness. Amarnthrene, Calconoid, Benzanthrene, Navidon, Carbenthrene, Indanthrene, Solanthrene and Supranthrene are some of the brand names of vat dyes. The original vat dye is indigo, once obtained from plants but now produced synthetically. Vat dyes were so named because of the vats used in the reduction of indigo plant through fermentation. Vat dyeing is a process that refers to dyeing that takes place in a bucket or vat. Almost any dye including direct dyes, and acid dyes, can be used in a vat dye. Wool, cotton and other fibers can be all dyed with vat dyes. Vat dyes tend to have poor rubbing fastness, but this can be mitigated with special treatments to the fabric. Vat dyes can be divided into several groups, depending upon their origin and chemical nature as follows: carbazol derivatives, of which Hydron Blue is the chief representative; indigo, including both natural and synthetic; indigo derivatives, such as the bromindigos ; usually not derived directly from indigo itself, but built up synthetically and anthraquinone derivatives.
Vat dyes are used for coloring specialty cotton fibers and cellulose fiber. They have excellent all round fastness, which includes?washing, light, perspiration, chlorine and rubbing fastnesses. They can also be applied for dyeing polyamide and polyester blends with cellulose fibers. A wide range of different techniques are used in coloring processes with vat dyes. Nevertheless, all processes involve three steps: vatting, oxidation and after treatment.
The market for vat dyes depends upon the fortunes of its principal end-user, textiles, which account for majority of the total demand. In addition, demand would stem from consumer preference for environmental friendly vat dyes that meet stringent and increasingly rigorous quality and performance standards. However, raw material price volatility, global over capacity, falling profit margins and high production costs could hamper the growth of this market.
Asia-Pacific, with its thriving economies and rapidly expanding manufacturing bases, is expected to be the fastest growing market for vat dyes in the coming years. There has been a migration of manufacturing facilitates from the U.S. and Europe to the emerging markets of Asia Pacific due to stringent environmental regulations. China would continue to be the single-largest market due to vast consumption of dyes by the local textile industry. Over the years, China has emerged as the leading global manufacturer, trader, as well as consumer of dyestuffs. India is expected to be the second largest market for vat dyes and the industry has witnessed substantial growth due to government concessions to small and medium sized establishment. In addition, the industry has witnessed export opportunities because of shutting down of manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Europe following strict enforcement of environment regulations by the government.
Some of the key players in this market are Sinocolor Chemical ( China), Kiri Industries Ltd (India), BASF (Germany), CPS Color AG (Switzerland), E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Co. (U.S.) , Flint Group (Luxembourg), Huntsman Corporation (U.S.), LANXESS AG (Germany), Rockwood Holdings Inc. (U.S.), Sudarshan Chemicals (India), Clariant International Ltd (Switzerland), Jagson Colorchem Limited (Turkey), Royce Associates (USA), ECKART GmbH (Germany) and Atul Ltd( India) among others.
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