Colors – Synthetic Pigments

Colours pervades all aspects of our lives. In textiles, there are in the form of colorants.

Dyes and Pigments together are referred as colorants. First we look at two synthetic colorants which ruled the world – Egyptian blue and Prussian blue..

Synthetic colorants have an ancient history – the Egyptian blue is the first ever artificial pigment – Made of Silica, lime and copper which brings the colour! They added the gemstone pigments in to their paintings, ceramic ware and tombstones.

Featured image: Egyptian blue shown in an image of Ramses III 1170 BC


It was also known as “Alexandria blue” – For Egyptians it was the color of heavens, associated with Nile, and the luminescence of blue was due to Lapis Lazuli, which made it expensive!


Prussian Blue was the first modern synthetic pigment – also called as “engineer’s blue”, and used in blue prints, laundry bluing and of course it was the uniform of Prussian army too. It was first synthesized by Diesbach, a German dye producer.


Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night uses Prussian and Cerulean blue pigments




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