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ISSN: 1579-4377



Padma S Vankar* and Dhara Bajpai

Facility for Ecological and Analytical Testing (FEAT). Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur-208 016, India

Ecc-friendly black dye, leather dyeing.

Our work illustrates that dyeing of chrome tanned leather by conventional drum dyeing using black
dyestuff (Eco-Black), with low concentrations(2 and 2.5%) shows very encouraging results. Soft leather
showed the color strength of both grain and flesh sides in good depth. The total dye penetration through
cross-section of the dyed leather has been calculated by optical microscopy. The adherence effect of this
new ecofriendly dyestuff on chrome tanned leather for light and wash fastness were studied.

Due to stringent environmental norms set up by EPA concerning the discharge of effluent from leather
industry, eco-friendly approaches to processing are being emphasized and enforced. At every step
environmentally friendly options are being for proposed in leather processing. The main emphasis is on
the usage of dyestuff and auxiliaries which are ecofriendly and also aims at the following:

Reduce excess usage of chemicals particularly dyestuff (which is a major pollutant), thereby
having low discharge of unused dyestuff and chemicals in the waste streams;

Reducing the time of processing by enhancing the rate of chemicals diffusing through the pores
of the skin or hide matrix; and

Improving the texture of finished leather.

In India it is estimated that 70% of all leather made is dyed black. In our industry, the black colored
leather is very popular in great demand. Leather dyed in black thus is expected to have good fastness.
Good and even dyeing necessitate penetration of the dye. Several new technologies have aimed to achieve
this, however the most popular black dye used for leather dyeing is reactive dyestuffs specially for leather
products like garments, bags, belts, coats and sadallery . Various approaches have been developed to
improve the uptake of dyes on leather and also to improve dye adherence, the most common being to
increase the cationicity of the surface and thereby enhance the electrostatic attraction operating between
the dye and the substrate. However, we tried to use the eco-black dye without any pretreatment to the

Electron. J. Environ. Agric. Food Chem.

ISSN 1579-4377
Padma et al. EJEAFChe, 5 (4), 2006. [1454-1457]

Chrome tanned leather of thickness 3.0 mm was used.

Black Eco-dye specially developed from safe dyes

The ecofriendly black dye that we have developed in FEAT laboratory for leather dyeing, we have used
combination of safe dyesThese belong to the following class:

1-p-sulfophenylazo-2-hydroxynaphthalene-6-sulfonate, disodium salt,

Trisodium 1-(1-naphthylazo)-2-hydroxynaphthalene-4',6,8-trisulphonate and

4-(N-ethyl-p-sulfobennzylamino) phenyl- (2-sulfonium phenyl)methylene 1- N-ethyl-N-

p-sulfobenzyl)2.5 cyclohexadienimine.


Drum dyeing recipes of both soft and hard tanned leather were used dyestuff

Dyeing properties

Color measurements

The dyed leather samples were evaluated for color strength, expressed as K/S (where K is the absorption
coefficient and S is the scattering coefficient) and the CIELab value using Premier color Scan . On the
other hand, the dye uptake of all the used dyestuffs were calculated by sampling the dye bath before and
after the dyeing process using Perkin Elmer lamda 40 UVVis Spectrophotometer.

Flesh side
Black Eco-Dye L* a* b* C H
Control 56.560 6.355 14.903 16.201 66.879
2.0 % 52.908 0.437 -0.295 0.527 325.992
2.5 % 52.912 -0.344 -0.699 0.779 243.771

Grain side
Black Eco-Dye L* a* b* C H
Control 63.525 5.168 15.218 16.222 69.709
2.0 % 59.456 2.622 -0.949 2.788 340.111
2.5 % 59.743 -0.179 -0.415 0.452 246.641

Degree of the dye penetration

According to Haroun1,2 and Przepiorkowska3, a novel method to calculate the degree of dye penetration is
by using stereo zoom microscope compact with Video Camera. The model of our microscope is CZM4
(stereo zoom microscope), made by Labomed, India. The CCD camera is also made by Labomed, India.

The degree of penetration was calculated along cross-section of dyed samples with 12-15 times
magnification and 1 mm scale as shown in figures 1A and 1B

Electron. J. Environ. Agric. Food Chem.

ISSN 1579-4377
Padma et al. EJEAFChe, 5 (4), 2006. [1454-1457]

For 2 % and 2.5% Dye solutions are:

% Penetration from the grain side= 14.21 % and 25.92 % respectively.

% Penetration from the flesh side= 37.89 % and 36.96 % respectively.

The total dye uptake by leather from 2 % Black Eco-dye is 52.10 % and from 2.5 % dye solution is 62.88

Light fastness of dyed leather samples: For evaluation of resistance of color of leather to the action of
standard artificial light source, the leather samples are tested by exposure to light from Xenon lamp. The
change in reflectance K/S is also observed as shown in Figure-2 A and B.

Wash Fastness: Dyed leather were dipped in water for 30 mins and 24 hours and the dye released in the
water was analyzed by Perkin Elmer lamda 40 UV-Vis spectrophotometer for dye content released in
washings. Figure-3 shows the release pattern.


The color strength (K/S) and dye bath exhaustion of the grain and flesh sides of treated leather by 2% and
2.5 % black eco dye is shown in figure-1. With 2 % dye the results achieved in the case of soft leather are
satisfactory in terms of commercial viability.

Table-1. Effect of the dye concentration on the fastness properties of dyed leather using drum dyeing technique

Fastness with respect to color

Dye types Dye concentration (%) Leather types 30 min 24 hrs Light
Eco-Black 2 soft 34 3 3
2.5 soft 4 34 3

The type of interaction between the dye and the leather that occurs4, which may be called secondary
valence interaction (dipoledipole and hydrogen bonding interactions), involving the hydroxyl, amino and
sulphonic function groups present in the dye molecule and the amide groups of the collagen fibre
explained by Sriram et al, as shown in figure-5.

From the economical point of view, in the case of using Black Eco- dye, if the complete penetrated dyed
leather was demanded (soft or hard leather) with minimum dye concentration (2%) and maximum are
strongly recommended.

It can be concluded that if we need penetrated dyed leather with 2% and 2.5% Black Eco-dye, it gives
most preferred dye penetration for chrome tanned leather. It can be concluded that if we need black dyed
leather with strong shade at the grain surface, dye concentration (2.5%) is strongly recommended.

Electron. J. Environ. Agric. Food Chem.

ISSN 1579-4377
Padma et al. EJEAFChe, 5 (4), 2006. [1454-1457]

The affinity of the dye to leather depends mutually on the structure and state of both the dye and the
leather as well as on dyeing technique. We can use the drum dyeing technique, in which this new black
eco-dyes considerably reduced the consumption of the dye concentration was shown to have decreased
and the total time and temperature of the processes were saved, the wet-finishing processes of leather
improved economically.

1. Haroun, A.A., El-Sayed, N.H. ad Stoll, M., Leder HeauteMarkt., 2001, 10, 25.

2. Haroun, A.A.,Dyes and Pigments, 2005, 67, Issue 3, 215.

3. Przepiorkowska, A., J Soc Leather Technol Chem.,1997, 81,162.

4. Sriram, M. and Mallesam, P.T., Leather Sc., 1986, 33, 101.

Electron. J. Environ. Agric. Food Chem.

ISSN 1579-4377