The Essential Ink Guide

Are you trying to choose the best ink pad for your stamping & papercrafting projects? We can help!

The Essential Ink Guide from Ellen Hutson LLC

We will give you an overview on the types of inks available for stamping (dye, pigment, hybrid, solvent), talk about some of their basic properties and discuss choosing the right ink for your project. We will also show you some of the most popular inking tools available on the market, allowing you to apply all of these inks in different ways.

Not all inks are created equal.  Some inks do things that others don’t.  Sometimes you may want an ink that’s waterproof.  There may be other times that you want an ink that reacts when exposed to water.  Knowing your inks can be helpful in predicting your results and choosing the right for the job.

Here are the quick notes on ink types...

  • Dye Inks – Dye inks are the most common. They may be water reactive or permanent when dry.  The translucent ink sinks in to the fibers of the paper and dyes the paper. Dye inks dry fast to avoid smudging.  You may notice that the color softens or intensifies as it dries. Dye inks are available from a wide range of stamping companies in a whole lotta colors!
  • Pigment Inks – Pigment inks are rich and vibrant, and change very little as they dry.  Pigment inks are a more opaque type of ink that sits on top of the paper (almost like a very thin paint). Pigment inks are slower drying, making them great for techniques like embossing.  You may want to heat set your pigment inks to avoid smudging.
  • Hybrid Inks – Hybrid inks combine properties of dye inks and pigment inks. They are often slower drying than a traditional dye ink and faster drying than a traditional pigment ink, making them versatile and easy to work with. Hybrid inks are the most wide ranging in their properties. It’s harder to apply a basic rules and properties to these types of inks.

Now that you know all about inks, check out the fabulous selection available in the Ellen Hutson shop HERE!

And thank you for stopping by today! And if you have more ink questions, be sure to ask us in the comments below!


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  • Reply terebene October 15, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for all this. It would be really helpful if someone could create a table of all the different manufacturers and inks and what types they are (dye-water soluble or not, etc) including the various range of hybrid inks and how much dye or pigment they have relatively. Also, it would help if you could include if they are really Copic friendly. I know I have bought several that said they were Copic friendly that weren’t. It’s such a trial and error. That would be an invaluable resource!

  • Reply Henriëtte October 16, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Thank you very much for this great usefull post. I marked the post, it’s always good to know where to go when I doubt about what ink to use.
    Have a wonderful day.

  • Reply waterhiker1 October 16, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    This is a keeper! Great to know about the different ink types, uses and their characteristics. I will be using this as a reference to try some differnt techniques as well! Thanks for the specialty ink portion of the lesson as well.

  • Reply katetdarnell October 21, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Very informative and useful! Thank you for this.

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