Abbey Color is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of solvent dyes (or solvent-based dyes) and we have been for many years. You may see these referred to as “oil based dyes”, as the names are used interchangeably. Same dye, though, we promise!

A solvent dye is a dye which is soluble in organic solvents and is frequently used as a solution in those solvents.

This category of dyes is used to color items such as waxes, lubricants, plastics, and other hydrocarbon-based nonpolar materials. Any dyes used in fuels, for example, would be considered solvent dyes and they are not soluble in water.

Solvent dyes come in red, yellow, blue, and green colors.

A characteristic physical property of a solvent dye, like we said above, is solubility in an organic solvent. Some of the typical solvents are alcohols, ethers, ketones, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, oils, fats, waxes, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.


Their very nature – soluble in non-polar mediums – allows their versatility and many uses. Solvent dye is used in applications such as foil printing, printing inks, marking pens, ballpoint pens, candles and other waxes, polishes, leathers, wood stains, acrylic resins, varnishes and shellacs. They are used in signaling smoke and in the pyrotechnics industry and are also used to color lubricants in the automotive and industrial cutting industries.

However, the most frequent application of solvent dyes is in the plastics industry. Within the industrial plastics community, solvent-based dyes are used to color a variety of solid materials, such as acetates, nylon, polyester, acrylics, PVC, PMMA, PETP, polystyrene and styrene monomers.

In addition, many solvent dyes are used as components by the biological stain manufacturing community to produce stains that will identify various cell structure components in medical diagnostics and scientific research.

New uses are always being found for solvent and oil soluble dyes, so please contact us today for help with your specific application.

Allow Abbey Color to color your world.