Thursday, February 20, 2014

Water Based Dye Ink versus Pigment Ink - What's the Difference?

Ink plays such an important role in memory keeping.  When we document our stories for the generations that follow, we write them down with ink.  When we accent a page with a stamped image, we use ink.  As there are different types of inks, I wanted to give a brief overview to help you decide which type is best for your artwork or archival scrapbooking.

Close To My Heart Inks

Inks have two main components, the color and the carrier.  The carrier is the liquid (water, solvent or alcohol) that holds the color and transfers it to your page, which then evaporates and leaves the color behind.

A DYE ink soaks into the surface of your paper and bonds with it to change it's color.  A PIGMENT ink sits on top of the paper or surface it is applied to and hides the surface color beneath.  Dye binds and pigment covers.

Here are a few features and limitations...

Dye based inks:

  • Dries faster and soaks in
  • Fade in sunlight as sunlight changes the chemical bond between the dye and the medium
  • Great for porous surfaces such as paper
  • Can be blended with water
  • Uses a felt pad for crisper images

Pigment based inks:

  • Take longer to dry
  • Are great for embossing
  • More intense color
  • Resist fading in sunlight
  • Great for stamping a light color on dark paper
  • Will not run if water is applied to them so are better for archival use
  • Use a foam pad so images are not as crisp
  • Retains vibrancy of color since it sits on top of the paper
  • Store horizontally for best results

When stamping with pigment ink, use a gentle touch. Tap the pad lightly on the stamp straight up and down without rocking to avoid thick areas or bubbles

I hope this brief explanation of the difference in ink types has helped you see the unique characteristics of both.

Happy Stamping!

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