Thursday, March 09, 2006

Inklings for the confused ...

One of the questions I am asked most often by new stampers is why are there so many different types of ink? That's an excellent question, and one I didn't have an answer to before I threw myself into stamping! Here is a brief explanation that I hope will make sense.

Dye Ink - (aka Classic ink) - Dye or Classic ink is water-based. It cleans up quickly and easily with plain water. Dye ink dries rapidly and therefore is less likely to be smeared while you are working {however, remember since dye ink is water-based any moisture will cause the ink to smear or run}. Dye ink works best when stamping on cardstock or paper.

Pigment Ink - (aka Craft ink) - Pigment or Craft ink is not water-based, takes longer to dry and is perfect for heat embossing with those wonderfully colored powders! This ink is thicker and also more opaque than dye inks. Once dry pigment inks are fairly permanent so they work well on fabrics (be sure to heat set with an iron), walls, wood and other craft projects with porus surfaces. If you enjoy scrapbooking, consider using Pigment inks and embossing for the most permanent image.

Chalk Ink - (aka Colorbox) - Chalk inks are a unique hybrid of dye and pigment ink. They dry quickly, are permanent, acid free and have a beautiful matte finish. When stamping with chalk ink on fabric, be sure to heat set.

Solvent Ink - (aka Stazon) - Solvent ink is fantastic for stamping on non-porus surfaces such as glass, acrylic, plastic, transparencies etc. Solvent ink not water soluable which makes it the perfect choice for stamping an image on cardstock, or other papers that you wish to watercolor. Solvent ink should not run or bleed when exposed to moisture.

Embossing Ink - I am listing embossing ink here because of it's unique use. There are two types of embossing ink (other than pigment ink listed above): Watermark and Tinted.

Watermark ink (aka Versamark) has no color! It is clear and when used as stamping ink only will slightly darken the paper to leave a faint image similar to a watermark. Watermark ink dries slowly and is perfect for heat embossing with any color of embossing powder, including clear, and on any color of cardstock.

Tinted ink (aka Top Boss) has a slight pink tint to the ink so that you are able to see exactly where your image is stamped. This can be an advantage in many ways, but can also limit your options for stamping. Tinted ink dries slowly and must be heat embossed with a colored embossing powder. In addition, it does not dry clear as Watermark ink, excluding the watermark effect when left to dry without heat embossing.

Most inks are acid-free, however, before using ink in scrapbooks or other archival materials be sure to check the label!

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