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Dyes, Pigments, Acrylic plastic


G’day again; I just got my last message to Orchid back, and it seems
that I managed to garbage bits - or my rotten spell checker did.
Forgot to read it over before I sent it off, didn’t I? Motto? Engage
brain (when I can find any) into gear and release the clutch before
hitting go button.

G’day; (Sorry, I’m addicted & obsessed and can’t restrain myself)
Acrylic plastics cannot be dyed when not in their original liquid
form. Materials like solid Perspex (Methyl methacrylate, Lucite to
Americans) are homogenous and virtually impervious to dyeing.
Painting, yes. Surface colouring using certain solvent based dyes and
pigments, yes. But not dyed. However, you can buy acrylic (and other)
resins in liquid form which when mixed with appropriate dyes and/or
pigments and the proper catalyst, become solid with the colour
homogenous throughout the material, transparent or opaque according to
what is used.

What, you ask (well, some of you), is the difference between a dye and
a pigment? Well, simply put, a dye will dissolve in some suitable
liquid; a pigment won’t. Dyes transmit light, pigments are opaque.
Thus; WOAD (the blue material made from plants which the ancient
Britons once wore - bit cold, eh?) is a DYE So is black current juice
and blackberry juice and cochineal. Whereas ultramarine blue is made
from very finely ground lapis lazuli and mixed with oils as a PIGMENT.
(LEONADO DA VINCI used it) So, to sum up, you DYE a piece of cloth,
and PAINT a house. But to thoroughly confuse the issue, you can paint
your nails with a transparent or an opaque paint!!! Isn’t English fun?
Bah, humbug. But Cheers anyway, – John Burgess


Hi John

I have to disagree with you about dyeing “Perspex”.

It is a very simple process using those little capsules of cloths
dye. I think it is called “Dylon”. There is a second stage after
immersing your Perspex in the hot dye, but it escapes my mind for the
moment. If anyone is interested in the formula, I will have a route
around my old university work for the process. I also have some test
pieces with many different methods of manipulation and dyeing
techniques applied.

I will have to scan then and use Orchids FTP process, is I can work
it out :slight_smile:

There is also a lady in London, UK. That specialises in making Body
Adornment pieces using this process. In fact it was her that taught

Brian Saynor


missed the first installment of this post, but if it is applicable,
the 70s artists using ‘perspex’ (uk designation)/acrylic for jewelry
used the powdered form to which the dye was added prior to heating -


Yes, I am interested in the formula and any other you
have available… Thank you for this

Mary Moore