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Photopolymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate(HEMA), in the presence of ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate(EGDMA) and 1-Hydroxycyclohexyl phenyl ketone as crosslinker and photoinitiator, respectively, produced crosslinked poly-HEMA hydrogels. The hydrogels were colored by the exhaustion of vinylsulphone-type reactive dyes. Good colorfastness to laundering was achieved when colored with C.I. Reactive Black 5. We investigated that the effect of coloration on the hydrophilicity and swelling properties of the films. More hydrophilic gel-surfaces were generated with an increase in coloration and crosslinking. Higher surface energy was observed with higher crosslinking level. The more rapid and higher water swellability of poly-HEMA gels after coloration may be resulted from a more opened gel structure by the easier hydration of the hydrophilic sulphonic acid groups of the reacted dyes in water.