Pigment must have a high tinting strength relative to the materials it colors. It must be stable in solid form at ambient temperatures.
Pigments are used for coloring paint, ink, plastic, construction, fabric, cosmetics, food, and other materials. Most pigments used in manufacturing are dry colorants, usually ground into a fine powder. For use in paint, this powder is added to a binder (or vehicle), a relatively neutral or colorless material that suspends the pigment and gives the paint its adhesion. A colorant can act as either a pigment or a dye depending on the vehicle involved. In some cases, a pigment can be manufactured from a dye by precipitating a soluble dye with a metallic salt.