Cover Page




Title Page


List of Contributors

Society of Dyers and Colourists


Chapter 1: The Structure of Wool

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Composition of Wool

1.3 Chemical Structure of Wool

1.4 Morphological Structure of Wool

1.5 Chemical Reactivity of Wool

1.6 Damage in Wool Dyeing

1.7 Conclusion


Chapter 2: The Chemical and Physical Basis for Wool Dyeing1

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Chemical Basis for Wool Dyeing

2.3 Standard Affinity and Heat of Dyeing

2.4 Classification of Dyes Used for Wool

2.5 Dye Aggregation

2.6 The Physical Basis for Wool Dyeing: The Role of Fibre Structure

2.7 Effect of Chemical Modifications on Dyeing

2.8 Conclusion


Chapter 3: The Role of Auxiliaries in the Dyeing of Wool and other Keratin Fibres

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Surface Activity of Wool-Dyeing Auxiliaries

3.3 Brightening Agents

3.4 Levelling Agents

3.5 Restraining and Reserving Agents in Wool Blend Dyeing

3.6 Antiprecipitants

3.7 Wool Protective Agents

3.8 Low-Temperature Dyeing

3.9 Correction of Faulty Dyeings

3.10 Aftertreatments to Improve Wet Fastness

3.11 Effluent Control in Chrome Dyeing

3.12 Antifrosting Agents

3.13 Antisetting Agents

3.14 Sequestering Agents

3.15 Conclusions


Chapter 4: Ancillary Processes in Wool Dyeing

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Wool Scouring

4.3 Wool Carbonising

4.4 Shrink-Resist Treatments

4.5 Insect-Resist Treatments

4.6 Flame-Retardant Treatments

4.7 Antisetting Agents

4.8 Fibre Arylating Agents (FAA)


Chapter 5: Bleaching and Whitening of Wool: Photostability of Whites

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Wool Colour

5.3 Wool Bleaching

5.4 Fluorescent Whitening of Wool

5.5 Photostability of Wool


Chapter 6: Wool-dyeing Machinery1

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Top Dyeing

6.3 Loose Stock Dyeing

6.4 Hank-Dyeing Yarn

6.5 Yarn Package Dyeing

6.6 Piece Dyeing

6.7 Garment Dyeing

6.8 Carpet Piece Dyeing

6.9 Drying

6.10 Dyehouse Automation

6.11 Laboratory Dyeing


Chapter 7: Dyeing Wool with Acid and Mordant Dyes

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Acid Dyes

7.3 Natural Dyes

7.4 Mordant Dyes

7.5 Specific Dyeing Methods


Chapter 8: Dyeing Wool with Metal-complex Dyes

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Dye Structure

8.3 Dye Application

8.4 Environmental Aspects


Chapter 9: Dyeing Wool with Reactive Dyes

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Commercial Reactive Dyes for Wool

9.3 The Chemistry of Reactive Dyes

9.4 Application Procedures

9.5 Novel Reactive Dye Systems for Wool

9.6 Identification of the Reaction Sites in the Fibre

9.7 Conclusions


Chapter 10: Dyeing Wool Blends1

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Wool/Cotton

10.3 Amination of Cellulosic Fibres

10.4 Wool/Silk

10.5 Wool/Nylon

10.6 Wool/Polyester

10.7 Wool/Acrylic

10.8 Conclusions


Chapter 11: The Coloration of Human Hair

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Structure and Morphology of Human Hair

11.3 Natural Colour of Hair

11.4 Physical Chemistry of Hair Dyeing

11.5 Toxicology of Hair Dyes

11.6 Oxidative Hair Coloration

11.7 Alternative Approaches to Permanent Hair Dyeing

11.8 Nonoxidative Hair Dyeing

11.9 Conclusion


Chapter 12: Wool Printing1

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Preparation for Printing

12.3 Direct Printing

12.4 Discharge Printing

12.5 Resist Printing

12.6 Digital Printing

12.7 Wool Blends

12.8 Cold Print Batch

12.9 Transfer Printing

12.10 Novel Effects



Current and future titles in the Society of Dyers and Colourists – John Wiley Series


The Coloration of Wool and other Keratin Fibres
David M. Lewis and John A. Rippon


Natural Dyeing for Textiles: A Guide Book for Professionals
Debanjali Banerjee

Colour for the Design Industry
Vien Cheung

Title Page

List of Contributors

Peter J. Broadbent, Colour Chemistry Consultant, UK

Stephen M. Burkinshaw, School of Design, University of Leeds, UK

Robert M. Christie, School of Textiles & Design, Heriot-Watt University, UK

Peter A. Duffield, Retired; Global Textile Associates Ltd, UK

Paul Hamilton, Bulmer & Lumb Group Limited, UK

Jamie A. Hawkes, Perachem Limited, UK

David M. Lewis, Department of Colour Science, University of Leeds, UK

Keith R. Millington, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Geelong, Victoria, 3216, Australia Co-operative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation, University of New England, NSW, 2800, Australia

Olivier J.X. Morel, Xennia Technology Ltd., UK

Muriel L.A. Rigout, School of Materials, University of Manchester, UK

John A. Rippon, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Geelong, Victoria, 3216, Australia

Arthur C. Welham, The Dyehouse Doctor Ltd, UK

Society of Dyers and Colourists

SDC is the world's leading independent, educational charity dedicated to advancing the science and technology of colour. Our mission is to communicate the science of colour in a changing world. We do this by:

We are a global organisation. With our Head Office and trading company based in Bradford, UK, we have members based worldwide and an international network of regions and activities. In India we have an office in Mumbai and regions in Hong Kong, Pakistan and China, with events and training extending far beyond this.

SDC was established in 1884 and became a registered educational charity in 1962. SDC was granted a Royal Charter in 1963 and is the only organisation in the world that can award the Chartered Colourist status, which remains the pinnacle of achievement for coloration professionals.

The dissemination of knowledge and information relating to colour is at the heart of SDC's publications activities. We offer print, electronic and Web-based products. Our publications include over 25 text books covering a full range of dyeing and finishing topics with an ongoing programme of new and revised titles. In addition we publish Coloration Technology, the world's leading peer-reviewed journal dealing with the application of colour, and the only journal that covers all aspects of coloration technology. Coloration Technology's scope embraces colorants of all classes, chemicals, application practice, application theory, analysis testing and the theory and practice of ancillary processes.

For further information please email:, or visit


An important series of books on wool dyeing, edited firstly by C.L. Bird (“Theory and Practice of Wool Dyeing”) and later by D.M. Lewis (“Wool Dyeing”) was published by The Society of Dyers and Colourists.

This book entitled The Coloration of Wool and other Keratin Fibres, has fully updated and expanded the content of the earlier publication “Wool Dyeing”. Even though wool has become a minority fibre, it is still cherished by consumers as the basis of clothing and furnishings that provide excellent warmth, comfort and drape. It is the only textile fibre that has been bioengineered over millions of years to be worn next to the animal's skin. No other fibre has such a delightfully complex heterogeneous chemical and morphological structure, consisting of thousands of proteins.

The subjects covered by recognised experts in the field in this book include:

The Structure of Wool, The Chemical and Physical Basis for Wool Dyeing, The Role of Auxiliaries in the Dyeing of Wool and other Keratin Fibres, Ancillary Processes in Wool Dyeing, Bleaching and Whitening of Wool: Photostability of Whites, Wool-dyeing Machinery, Dyeing Wool with Acid and Mordant Dyes, Dyeing Wool with Metal-complex Dyes, Dyeing Wool with Reactive Dyes, Dyeing Wool Blends, The Coloration of Human Hair and Wool Printing.

Compared with the earlier Wool Dyeing books cited above, additional chapters dealing with the bleaching and photostability of whites and the important area of human hair coloration have been included. The chemical and physical natures of wool and of human hair fibres are very close and yet there are remarkable differences in the dyeing methods used.

It is hoped that the new book will continue to provide valuable source material for science and SDC students, especially those studying the science of protein-based materials and those involved in the textile and hair dyeing industries.

The managing editors would like to thank the dedicated John Wiley & Sons team for their copy-editing and support throughout this project. Where appropriate, the assistance of the authors' employers in providing facilities and illustrations for inclusion is also gratefully acknowledged.

David M. Lewis and John A. Rippon