Naphthol dyes are used for many designs. The naphthol is not available as a ‘finished dye’ in the market for sale as it combines with another compound for the final results.

 (Naphthol are insoluble the azo dyestuff that is produced on the fiber by applying a naphthol to fiber and then combining it with the diazotized base or salt)

 These naphthol dyes are classified as Fast dyes and are relatively inexpensive. Furthermore, applying this color is a bit complicated, and the color range of naphthol is limited.

 There are several ways to dye naphthol. Among them, the immersion method is one of the most widely used methods in the art of Batik (batik dyeing).

The use of this dye is dangerous because they contain toxic chemicals, so it should be used with extreme caution. This article will state safety precautions at the end. 

Therefore be sure to read it before use.

Uses of Naphthol dyes

Hand printing, Batik dyeing and Hand painting


  • Perfect for Cotton, silk, rayon, Russia.
  • Reacts quickly
  • Cheap
  • It can be used at low temperatures

A simple description of this immersions method

Make a naphthol solution in one bowl, put the waxed cloth in it, and keep it for a while.

Make the diazo solution into another bowl, and take the cloth from the previous bowl. Next, put this prepared salt solution into it. Then reaction will commence quickly with this Diazo salt solution and create the color.

* You Must understand the type of naphthalene and salt to be selected to obtain the desired color. It will be easy for you to understand it by studying the color chart below.

Color Chart

Use this for chart-Read

Naphthol solution and Dye type, naphthol dyes for batik
Naphthol solution and Dye type

Naphthol solution

Required materials-

  • A vessel
  • Spoon
  • Assw (naphthol)
  • IPA (wine spirit)
  • Slightly warm water (Boil water)
  • Caustic soda

Steps to make:-

Step1– Prepare a bath and fill the dye with the required amount of water. (Depends on the quantity of the dye and the number of pieces of fabric needed)

Best Fabrics used For Batik

Step2– Take caustic soda and dilute with cold water using the required amount.

Step3 – Take a vessel and apply the ASSW naphthol solution to it.

Step4– Add IPA (wine spirit) to the ASSW solution and dissolve it continuously.

Step5– Add a little warm water and mix well.

Step6– Add caustic soda little by little and dissolve.

Step7–  Mix well and dissolve until sweet.

Step8– The caustic soda is then added to the original bath, and the naphthol solution is filtered through a sieve.

Step9– Mix well in the shape of number eight (8).

Measurements required to prepare naphthol dyes solution:-

  • About 20g Naphthol
  • About 30ml hot water
  • 4g Caustic soda
  • IPA 20ml (Wine Spirit)

Naphthol dyes types

  • ASSW
  • ASSG
  • ASG
  • ASBO

For all dyes used in naphthol fabrics. All fabrics soaked in naphthol solution should be washed with saltwater and kept in the dye bath until all the fabric is colored.

Countries where Batik is popular

Malaysia, Indonesia, Island of Java, India, Sri Lanka

Naphthol and salt

How to set up a dye bath

(These measurements vary according to naphthol types)

Inside the dye bath for 5-15minutes in a place where there is no sunlight.

How to make naphthol dyes

  1. Take the required amount of naphthol and apply it to a container.
  2. Then add wine spirit and mix (constantly)
  3. Then slowly add half a cup of lukewarm water to the naphthol solution.
  4. Once it is well dissolved, add caustic soda little by little and mix well.
  5. Dissolve until its color turns soft.

You will need 03 pots to color the naphthol dyes.

The second bowl

  • 10L of water should be added to the second pot
  • 50g red turkey oil
  • 40g cubes of caustic soda
  • The bath is prepared using 50g salts, should be pre-filtered with the naphthol chemical, and prepared according to the above steps.

Put the waxed cloth in a soaking solution (teepol) and let it soak for about 5minutes. Turn the soaked cloth upside down in a bowl with the naphthol mixture and shake for 15-20 minutes until the water evaporates. It is mandatory to wear gloves, masks, and protective clothing for this purpose.

  • When applying fabric to a dye bath, it is not advisable to put a piece of cloth on it.

Add salt and caustic soda (a little) to the second jar filled with water and set aside. First, remove the cloth from the naphthol container, wash it in a salt bowl or two, and allow it to escape from the sun.

The third bowl

  • 10L of water
  • Fast salt between 40g-60g(Red B/Scarlet R/ Blue B)
  • 400g-500g salt(Black K- Blue B, 200g salt 2ml about acetic acid)

Transfer the cloth washed with salt water to the third container {Dye [Fast salt]} and leave until the desired color is obtained.

The third container(salt) can be used simultaneously when applying the cloth.

If the third jar(salt) can be applied simultaneously to the fabric, each piece can be obtained with the same color. Otherwise, the first applied fabric will be darker, and the last dipped fabric will be lighter. If you want to get a light color, you will have to reduce the amount of dye (salt) used.

                                                   Discarded clothes should be washed with clean water to prevent water from escaping and should be placed on top of each other.

Read the previous article on how to dye a silk cloth with naphthol dye in this way (with info-graphics)

How to Dye a Silk Fabric using naphthol dye + How to make wax and remove wax (with info-graphics)

Read this articles to know about the Hand painting method-read more

♦ Before using this dye, mix different Diazo with different naphthol for your convenience. Take samples; create your color chart for future use.

 ♦It is essential to check before working, as it will not be removable if the wrong color was applied.  ♦ Compared to Cotton, naphthol tends to shade relatively intense than silk fabric.

Safety Precautions

Safety for Dyeing
Safety for Dyeing
  • These dyes are carcinogenic. Therefore it should not be used at home.
  • Be sure to use them in a Lab, dye studio, or outdoors.
  • Cleanliness is essential
  • Be sure not to touch the skin with dye powder and solutions.
  • The dye powder should not be allowed to air out.
  • Food and drink should not be consumed at the dyeing site.
  • Please do not use it in a place with children’s presence.
  • Do not allow children to handle paint powder
  • Be sure not to inhale the dye powder.
  • Wear a dust mask.
  • Pregnant women should be especially vigilant.
  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Wear protective goggles.