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Monday, May 6, 2013

Everything you Wanted to Know About Stamping Inks but were Afraid to Ask (sorta updated 01/07/2016)

** the original article was published in May of 2003 - so it's been up for 13 years now (as of January 7,2016, give of take a few) That is AMAZING to me!!  Please, if there is something you feel should be listed here, a question that you need answered, just either contact me at my email - listed in the sidebar - or leave me a comment.  


** May of 2003 - the original publication My old website,  goes into greater detail about inks if you’d like to read more – however, some of the ink pads referenced are discontinued.

**On 2/27/2015, Wendy Vecchi did a FANTABULOUS post on the Ranger inks - instead of me copying and pasting, why don't you hop over here and read it yourself ~

Let’s start with the most basic question –
What is the difference between pigment ink & dye ink?

Dye inks are water-based and are permanent once they are stamped on papers. This is a great general-purpose ink that can be used on all types of papers and is great for everyday stamping and scrapbooking. Dye-base inks will fade over time. These are harder to use for embossing because they dry quite fast; however, Ranger Distress Inks tend to dry a bit slower so they may be used for embossing. 

Pigment inks are wonderful to use on clay, mica, wood, paper, shrink plastic, and more. Pigment inks are thick and fade-resistant. The inking surface is usually a sponge because it is thicker and distributed better over a sponge. They are also archival and acid-free, and are perfect for embossing! Pigment ink will not dry on coated papers unless you emboss the image.

Any easy way to remember the difference between dye & pigment inks: think of dye as in dyeing a t-shirt – the dye (ink) literally sinks in to the surface – pigment ink stays on the surface.

Another question floating around recently:
Will solvent ink ruin my polymer stamps? I could find no definitive answer to this question – some websites said yes, some said no.  Personally I would err on the side of caution and just skip the solvent inks.

Some good resources on caring for polymer stamps & clear stamps info in general:
About.com - Rubberstamping
 
Not that you asked, but . . .
My favorite black ink pads – Black ink pads are the staple for those of us who use ink in our art.  I think that everyone has a personal favorite but since this is my blog (hahaha) I am going to tell you my favorites, in no particular order:
§      VersaFine Onyx Black – In my experience this ink pad truly delivers a fine crisp line.  There is more on the Versa line of ink pads further down.
§      Ranger Archival Ink Jet Black – I found this pad by reading Dyan Reaveley’s book on art journaling called “My Creative Journal Journey.”  I figured if this pad stood up to all the water & stuff she incorporates in her journal than it should work for me.  And it does. You can see all of the Ranger Products she uses and sells here

I do have a few more that I use occasionally but those two are the ones I actually keep on my desk – and I use them all the time (if I can find them).

Information on Ranger Inks (Rangers home page www.RangerInk.com ) **Also see what Wendy Vecchi recently wrote about the Ranger Ink Family!

The Adirondack line of inks is one of my personal favorites (truthfully, I love everything about Ranger!). I have been using Adirondack inks since I started on this wonderful journey & they are my first love.  I love the “earth tones” & have ink pads that are over 16 years old! 

*I think Ranger is in the process of discontinuing the specific product lines with the goal of merging all unbranded pads into one happy family, but I could be wrong. 

* This is where you'd want to look for more info on the Tim Holtz Distress Brand, as well as his website

Mostly everything that Ranger makes is coordinated with the other products they make. This is from their website: Adirondack Earthtones, Lights and Brights Coordinating Products, Adirondack Dye Inks, Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers and Adirondack Alcohol Inks are available in the Coordinating Colors palette of 12 Earthtones, 12 Lights and 12 Brights! The Earthtones are still available in all 24 colors, too. Adirondack Earthtones, Lights and Brights are corresponding hues of the same colors. This makes it easy to create monochromatic scrapbook pages, shadow-type stamping and tone-on-tone looks.

Adirondack Inks – Adirondack Inks are available in both pigment & dye Ink formulations.
Adirondack Pigment Inks give opaque coverage that air dries on matte paper surfaces. They are embossable and can be heat set on gloss paper, vellum, shrink plastic, metal and glass.
Adirondack Dye Inks are acid free, non-toxic & fade resistant. . Raised above the case, our pad allows easy use of any size rubber image, brayer, or for direct-to-paper techniques.

Archival Inks -  Archival Inks™ provide lasting stamping results that are permanent on many surfaces. Get a crisp image that doesn't bleed over water-based inks and markers, acrylic paint, water colors, Adirondack® Alcohol Ink or Perfect Pearls™ pigment powders.
• Acid free
• Non-toxic
• Waterproof
• Permanent on matte and gloss papers
• Air dries on matte surfaces
• Heat set on glossy surfaces

Tim Holtz Distress InksTim Holtz Distress Inks are a collection of 48 acid-free, non-toxic, fade resistant, water-based dye inks. They're perfect for the new vintage, stained, aged effect crafters are creating in their altered books, scrapbook pages, cards and paper craft projects.
Tim selected the colors and helped develop these inks to produce a realistic, weathered look on paper, photos and decorative fibers. All the colorful Distress Inks afford added versatility when photo tinting and color layering with the original, award winning tones.
The 2" x 2" pads are made with a higher raised felt for easier use with direct to paper techniques.
  • Acid free
  • Non-toxic
  • Fade Resistant
  • New Higher Felt
  • Water-based Dye Inks
Information on Stewart Superior Inks
Ink Chart from Stewart Superior this is the link to the Stewart Superior home page – they make Palette Hybrid & the Memories ink lines.  You can find the chart on their site)

The chart below does not cover all the surfaces there are in the world for rubber stamping! However, an avid stamper took the time to test our inks on the surfaces listed below. These are the results and of course your results may differ. Please use this chart as a guide and always test a small area or sample of the surface initially to be safe. Some inks have not been tested on some surfaces. We will update this chart as that information comes in.
CHART KEY:
X
indicates that the ink performed well on the surface.
X+ means that a heat-set and or fixative is recommended.
X- means that the ink performed unsatisfactorily on the surface.
X*
means embossing is required on that surface.
? means it hasn’t been tested on that surface

INK
SURFACE
Memories
Mem Chalk
MemPigment
PaletteMetal
India Ink
Hybrid

Paper/Card
X
X
X
X
X
X
Glossy paper
X
X
X+
X
X
X+
Vellum
X
X
X+
X
X-
X+
Photos
X
X
X-
X
X
X+
Acetate/CD’s
X
X
X+
X+
X
X+
Shrink Plastic
X+
X+
X+
X
X
X+
Vinyl
X
X
X-
X
X
X+
Glass/Ceramic
X+
X+
X+
X+
X-
X+
Porcelain
X
X+
X+
X+
X
X+
Terra Cotta
X
X
X+
X+
X
X+
Wood
X
X
X+
X
X
X+
Polymer Clay
X-
X-
X+
X+
X-
X+
Metal
X+
X
X+
X+
X
X+
Leather
X
X
X+
X
X
X+
Fabric
X
X
X+
X+
X
X+
Paper Clay
X
X
X+
X+
X
X+
Acid Free/Arch
X
X
X
X
X
X

The Palette Hybrid ink is a sorta new ink – it wasn’t around when I started stamping.  I don’t have any myself, but this is what the Stewart Superior website says about them (on the chart above it is referred to as Hybrid):
The Palette Hybrid ink pad represents an innovation in stamping ink technology. It eliminates all the confusion over which ink to use for what surface - because it works on everything and is a non-solvent ink. It doesn’t smell bad, it’s nonflammable and it won’t immediately dry out. It dries instantly on paper and porous surfaces and requires a heat-set on glossy surfaces and fabrics.  It dries too quickly for embossing - so a clear watermark/embossing ink pad is part of the line. This ink pad is the perfect answer for scrapbooking retailers and others who are tired of the confusion of different inks for different surfaces - now one ink works for all surfaces.
** Stewart Superior used to make an ink pad called India Ink - that stuff wad THE best when working with intricate stamps, like photo stamps.  Alas, unless they have changed the name it seems to be gone :(

Information on Tsukineko Inks  (All information from the Tsukineko Website )
Tsukineko makes several different kinds of inks. I have included as much information as I could get from the website and promotional materials.  There are more inks from Tsukineko than I have listed here.  For more information, got to their website.

All Purpose Ink - Acid-free, water-based and non-toxic
(this ink comes in a bottle – it is not available in inkpad form)
Due to its blendability, washability and versatility, this quick-drying craft ink has become a favorite among fabric artists. And because it's water-based and non-toxic, All-Purpose Ink is fun for artists of all ages. Use it on wood, paper, leather and other porous surfaces too. All-Purpose Ink must be heat set on fabric for permanence. Heat set between color applications to prevent bleeding. Or layer colors to achieve a blended "watercolor" effect.

Quick Tips
• Maintain the soft hand of your fabric while still applying vivid colors to all of your fabric masterpieces!
• Perfect for any porous surfaces—try it on wood, fabric, leather, paper and more!


Brilliance Ink  - Archival, water-based, acid-free & non-toxic
Fast-drying ink and rich pearlescent colors... you never thought you'd see this combination from a pigment ink. Designed for use on shiny papers, Brilliance dries to perfection on vellum, mica, acetate, photo papers, Sculpey clay, shrink plastic, and much more! Brilliance is the solution to all your tricky pigment stamping problems. Ideal for scrapbook embellishments - no smeared pages or smudged page protectors.

Quick Tips:
Pad is very inky- tap stamp lightly at first to avoid overinking.
Use Brilliance Inkers to occasionally rejuvenate dry edges.
Keep pad covered when not in use. Close lid tightly and reuse inner plastic cover!
Give ink approximately 3-5 minutes to dry completely. Individual results depend on paper weight and texture- always pre-test your surfaces
Try Brilliance on cured or uncured polymer clay
Stamp with Brilliance, then brayer over image with Kaleidacolor or Impress for a dazzling resist technique
Take Brilliance pad direct-to-paper for a shimmering background
Stamp or smear Brilliance onto acetate and create an elegant stained glass effect

StazOn Ink – Solvent based inks
StazOn is our only solvent-based ink, designed for decorating non-porous and semi-porous surfaces, such as metal, shrink plastic, acrylic, cellophane, aluminum foil, leather and some glass surfaces. Thanks to its mild smell, StazOn is much safer to use than other permanent inks. Wide mouth bottles are available for all 31 colors. For everything from industrial projects to home decor, StazOn is sure to remain the top crafting ink!

The “Versa” inks – ALL are pigment inks
VersaColor Ultimate Pigment Ink
Expect ultimate results with VersaColor Ultimate Pigment Ink. VersaColor combines the highest quality raw materials, including a superior ink recipe, a stackable container with a unique hinged lid and an ultra-dense foam pad for crisper stamped images. VersaColor Ultimate Pigment ink is perfect for every stamping technique, from embossing to archival projects.

VersaFine
Looking for an ink to give you extremely fine detail? An ink that you are able to watercolor or marker over and it won't bleed? Then look no further! This natural oil-based pigment ink dries instantly on matte cardstock. You won't believe it till you see it. Available in 10 colors, no inkers needed. Inkpad lasts 3-5 times longer than regular inks.

VersaMagic (chalk ink)
The perfect chalk pigment ink that dries beautifully on any color cardstock- even dark cardstock! Soft, opaque, chalk-like look with none of that chalky residue.

Other manufacturers not discussed are ClearSnap, Stampin' Up!, Close to My Heart, ColorBox and
with each stamp company now introducing their own inks things could get even more confusing.  But, my hope was, when writing this in May of 2003 was to take some of the mystery out of the different inks.  I think I've done that.

SOME OTHER RESOURCES
Besides the ink manufacturers themselves I found a few resources that also address the differences in ink pads:
Scrapbooking Tips
Altered Art (awesome site)
Carolyn's Stamp Store

Again, have anything to add? Leave a comment :)



5 comments:

  1. Wow, what a bunch of useful information all in one place. Thanks for posting, I will have to bookmark this one for future reference.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Claudine you are my VERY first comment!! Thank you! :)

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  2. WOW - I'm printing this for reference. You have all the information in one place! What a great and informative page this is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU for the comment :) Glad you found the post helpful :)

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  3. Can you make a recommendation for a black ink product to be stamped on, for example, a canvas or board painted with acrylic and then later, after stamping, over painted with a glaze or other transparent, water-based substance?

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