Tuesday, August 11, 2009
"An ink is a liquid containing various pigments and/or dyes used for coloring a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush or quill. Thicker inks, in paste form, are used extensively in letterpress and lithographic printing. Ink is a complex medium composed of solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, particulate matter, fluorescers, and other materials. The components of inks serve many purposes; the ink’s carrier, colorants, and other additives are used to control flow and thickness of the ink and its appearance when dry."
Pigmented inks contain other agents that ensure adhesion of the pigment to the surface and prevent it from being removed by mechanical abrasion. These materials are typically referred to as resins (in solvent-based inks) or binding agents (in water-based inks). Because pigmented inks stay on the surface of paper, less ink is needed to create the same intensity of color as with dye-based inks. Pigmented inks also tend to be more resistant to washing out. For this reason these inks are frequently recommended for applications where erasure is undesirable. The particle size of the pigment is very important for the ability to diffuse in the solution of an ink. Qualities such as hue, saturation, and brightness or lightness are inherent in the ink, and vary depending on the source and type of pigment.
Examples include: Colorbox, Encore, Fiskars
Dye-based inks are generally much stronger than pigment-based inks and can produce much more color of a given density per unit of mass. However, because dyes are dissolved in the liquid phase, they have a tendency to soak into paper, thus making the ink less efficient and also potentially allowing the ink to bleed at the edges of an image, producing poor quality printing.
Examples include: Vivid, RubberStampede, Distress Ink.
The word "indelible" means "cannot be removed". Some types of indelible ink have a very short shelf life because of the solvents used, which evaporate rapidly. I would also put water-resistant dyes in this category.
Examples include: StazOn, Ranger
Ink preference can be a hot topic, with pros and cons on all sides. My personal favorite type of ink to use for stamping hand-carved stamps is dye ink, followed closely by indelible, namely StazOn. I really like the Ranger products, as well. My favorite metallic ink is Encore, hands-down.
At the suggestion of one of my favorite 'boxers, I'm putting up a poll as to ink preference. Please take the time to vote (find the poll in the sidebar of this blog -->). I'll be using brand names, as opposed to generic types of ink so that we may be tempted to try some ink brand that is unfamiliar. If you choose 'other' in the poll, I would love it if you would add your favorite ink as a comment to this post.
I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting ink products, so be sure to add your two cents to the discussion!
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