8. Colorants and Their Mixture

  1. Rolf G. Kuehni

Published Online: 9 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118533567.ch8

Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Third Edition

Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Third Edition

How to Cite

Kuehni, R. G. (2012) Colorants and Their Mixture, in Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118533567.ch8

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 9 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 9 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118173848

Online ISBN: 9781118533567



  • colorants;
  • fluorescent dyes;
  • fluorescent pigments;
  • pearlescent flakes;
  • transparent materials


Colorants are materials having light-absorbing and, in case of pigments, also scattering properties. Colorants have a given solubility in a particular solvent, the maximum dissolved concentration depending on the temperature of the solvent. Dyes in transparent media result in volume color experiences; pigments result in translucent or opaque materials. In fact, pigments are used to make transparent or translucent media opaque, for example, synthetic fibers, or paint media. Dyes having absorbing properties only can be used to color transparent materials such as films, liquids, plastics, and so on. Fluorescent dyes and pigments represent a special group among colorants. Pearlescent flakes are made from transparent materials with high refractive indices. A more recent interference color technology relies on deposition of thin films from metal vapors on inert materials.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

fluorescence; pigments