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substantive dye

any of a class of coloured, water-soluble compounds that have an affinity for fibre and are taken up directly, such as the benzidine derivatives. Direct dyes are usually cheap and easily applied, and they can yield bright colours. Washfastness is poor but may be improved by aftertreatment. Most packaged dyes sold for home use are direct dyes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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