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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

All About Inks


Inks can be divided into three basic types: dye-based, pigment and solvent. Each type of ink has its strengths. There is not one type of ink that works for every stamping technique.

Dye-Based Inks are the most commonly used inks for rubber stamping. Because they are water soluble, they are easy to blend and use for watercoloring techniques. They dry quickly and can be used on all types of paper including glossy paper. These inks usually come on felt pads that can be re-inked easily. Stampin’ Up! Classic inks are dye-based. Basic Black, Basic Brown and Basic Gray are different from the other Classic inks. Once they dry, they are not water-soluble.

Pigment-Based Inks are opaque and dry more slowly than dye-based inks, pigments. This makes them a great choice for embossing. The color is more fade resistant than dye-based inks. Pigment inks usually come on foam pads and the thickness of the ink makes it slightly more difficult to re-ink the pad. When using a foam pad, it’s important to remember to tap lightly when inking your stamp since the pad is more flexible than felt. The Stampin’ Up! Craft inks are pigment inks.
Versamark is a type of clear pigment ink. In addition to being used for embossing, it also leaves a watermark on many different types of paper for a subtle background technique.

The Encore metallic inks are also a type of pigment ink.

Solvent-Based Inks use one or a combination of solvents instead of water as the liquid part of the ink. They dry quickly which is why they usually come with an inner lid for the inkpad. Solvent inks are not water soluble and can be used on many non-porous surfaces such as glass, plastic, transparencies and shrink plastic. They are great for stamping line images that you will watercolor in since the ink won’t run when wet with water. While solvent-based inks may be sold as “permanent” inks, they can often be removed with rubbing alcohol. StazOn inks, alcohol inks and Sharpie pens are all different types of solvent-based inks.

Stamp Cleaners. Different types of inks can also require different types of cleaners. Stampin’ Mist is excellent for cleaning Classic and Craft inks. StazOn All Purpose Cleaner works well for all of the inks sold by Stampin’ Up! including StazOn, Basic Black, Basic Brown and Basic Gray.

Ink Refills. Stampin’ Up! sells ink refills that can be used to re-ink your inkpads. This is more cost effective than buying a new inkpad.

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Sharon Cheng

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