Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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vat dyes

Dyestuffs that are insoluble in water, but the "leuco" compounds of which, subsequent to reduction, are soluble in dilute alkalies. In this state vat dyes have a great affinity for cellulosic fibers, e.g., cloth, paper, etc. After being impregnated with the reduced dye, the material is then exposed to the oxygen of the air, which causes re-oxidation of the leuco compound back to the insoluble state. Vat dyes are among the fastest dyes known, and, despite the development of new classes of fast dyestuffs, they continue to be used where high standards of color stability are required. (17 , 235 )

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