Ask Maria Pigment Ink vs Dye Ink

Reader Question: What is the difference between a pigment ink and a dye ink? Is one better than the other for stamping?


Answer: A pigment ink is a slow drying ink that is water resistant. A dye ink (sometimes called watercolor ink) is not water resistant unless it is permanent ink and is not as color fast or fade resistant as pigment ink. Differences include the color palettes, time to dry, and transparency.

Pigment inks can be used for embossing, the process of stamping an ink image, covering it with embossing powder, and heating the powder so it rises. Dye ink just can’t match the consistency of pigment ink. You can add to this mix inks called hybrids which were designed to have the best features of pigment and dye inks.

Which type of ink you select really depends on the technique you want to achieve. Dye inks have brilliant transparent color. Pigment inks are best for embossing and if you want to stamp on a non-porous surface you’ll want a permanent ink. Most stampers have a variety of different inks to experiment and don’t forget that all these inks mix well together.

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