Colour Index™ Explained


The Colour Index works with various organisations to ensure that content is accurate and throguh this relationship we work with organisaitons around the world to keep the Colour Index up to date.

This provides the Colour Index with a global network of experts on which to call to keep this publication at the front of the coloration industry.

Details of a number of the organisaitons we work with closely are given opposite


Color Pigment Manufacturers Association, Inc. (“CPMA”)

Member Companies

CPMA members are located throughout the world, with sales and manufacturing in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Each CPMA member sells a specific list of color pigments which may not include all of the pigments represented in the Colour Index by the designation for CPMA. For further information on any specific pigment with the designation for CPMA, please click on the below links which will take you to the CPMA website. and for more information


The Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic Pigments Manufacturers (ETAD)

Was founded in 1974 to represent the interests of these industries on matters relating to health and the environment.

ETAD is an international organization and our member companies have operations around the world. ETAD seeks to base its positions on sound science. We coordinate the efforts of our members to minimize any possible adverse impact of organic colorants on health and the environment. Member companies are obliged to adhere to the ETAD Code of Ethics, which is based on the principles of responsible care. They must also comply with all national and international chemical regulations.


Introduction of China Dyestuff Industry Association

China Dyestuff Industry Association (CDIA) is an organization approved and registered by Ministry of Civil Affairs. It is composed of enterprises and public institutions engaged in producing and researching dyestuff, organic pigments, dyeing and printing auxiliaries, intermediates and master batches. Approved in 1984 and established in 1985, CDIA secretariat locates in Beijing, with three branches including Master Batches Speciality Committee, Organic Pigments Speciality Committee and Textile Printing Auxiliaries Speciality Committee located in Beijing, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai respectively. CDIA has over 220 members up to date.


Unite all members, abide by the constitution, laws, regulations and state policies, observe social ethics, implement the national policies for developing dyestuff industry, safeguard member’s legitimate rights, serve members wholeheartedly, act as a bridge and bond between members and governments, members and markets and promote the sound development of dyestuff industry continuously.


Be involved in researching and formulating plan, policies, regulations and technical standards for industry development; Coordinate internal relations and vindicate fair competition; Collect and analyze the production and operation situation of the industry and provide information service; Develop technical consultation and professional training and improve industry personnel quality; Organize technical exchanges and exhibitions abroad and at home;Safeguard member’s legitimate rights; Publish official journal and maintain official website.


Add: Room 1404,Baojing Plaza, Andingmen Street No.189, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100011.

Tel: 010-64400105-601~608, 010-64400106, Fax:010-64400107


Biological Stains Commission

The objectives of the Biological Stain Commission are:

  • To ensure the quality of dyes through independent testing according to appropriately rigorous chemical and performance criteria.
  • To promote cooperation and dialogue among manufacturers, vendors and users of dyes for histochemical applications.
  • To educate users of biological stains about sources of reliable dyes and how they might best be used.
  • To publish information concerning new or improved uses for biological staining with dyes and related histochemical techniques.

These objectives are met by:

  • Analysis in the Commission's laboratory of dye content and composition of samples supplied voluntarily by dye manufacturers or vendors.
  • Testing performance of dye samples in rigorous standardized procedures known to be discerning tests of the staining quality of the dye
  • Issuance of certification labels to be attached to the containers used by companies marketing accepted dyes to assure consumers that these dyes have met the performance criteria of the Biological Stain Commission.
  • Conducting and supporting research on dyes used for biological staining and in histochemical techniques
  • Publishing books concerning biological dyes and histochemical techniques, and publishing Biotechnic & Histochemistry, a bimonthly journal of microtechnique and histochemistry
  • Correspondence and annual meetings, maintaining active dialogue among scientists, manufacturers and vendors concerned with biological stains.

Terminology of staining. Online glossary.

In December 2018 the Biological Stain Commission published an online glossary of words, names and short phrases relating to staining and histotechnique, including fixation, tissue processing and, of course, staining – with dyes, histochemical methods and immunohistochemistry. Notable features are explanations of physical, chemical and immunological terms used in explanations of what the different kinds of fixation, processing and staining do to cells and tissues. There are abundant cross-links between entries, for speedy navigation within the glossary.

The BSC trustees have collaborated with the SDC to make relavent terms available as notes on the specific Colour Index™ Generic Names.


  • 27,000 individual products under 13,000 Colour Index™ Generic Names
  • Popular format with unique 'fingerprint' concept
  • Product listings, containing detailed information about individual products
  • All Part 1 information confirmed with manufacturers and suppliers
  • Part 2 information either confirmed with manufacturers and suppliers or marked as being carried over from the previous edition
  • Chemical structures depicted according to results of recent research on molecular conformation 

Designed for use by

  • Colourant users, manufacturers and suppliers
  • Textile manufacturers and suppliers
  • Paint manufacturers and suppliers
  • Plastics manufacturers and suppliers
  • Printing ink manufacturers and suppliers
  • Test houses
  • Libraries, regulatory authorities and academic institutions
  • Anybody with an interest in dyes and pigments

About SDCE

SDC Enterprises offers a comprehensive range of consumables for enhanced accuracy in BS, EN and ISO test procedures for textiles. Internationally-recognised as the industry leader, SDCE is specified by name by retailers worldwide seeking the assurance of reliability and consistency in textile testing.


AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals. AATCC provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for thousands of members in 60 countries throughout the world.

These goals are achieved through the activities of three interest groups—Chemical Applications, Concept 2 Consumer®, and Materials—by Committee and Section activities, and through the award-winning publications, AATCC Review and AATCC News.

Interested in joining the Colour Index™?

We can provide both individual, company and university based subscriptions for the Colour Index™. Companies benefit from a reduced per user pricing structure with significant discounts available for Universities / Educational Establishments which come as part of the charitable activities of the Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC), to help students, researchers and anyone involved in the education of colour.