What is the Difference Between Pigment Ink and Dye Ink?

There are generally two types of Craft Inks, and that is: pigment inks and dye inks.A common question by many is ” what is the difference between pigment ink and dye ink?” In a nutshell, in order to understand the difference, it’s probably best to take a look at the properties and definitions of each ink, one by one.

Pigment Ink

The colour of a pigment Inks is quite vibrant in intensity and they are opaque. When it comes to colour, they appear to be the  same color in the pad as they do when they are stamped out on the paper.

Pigments are finely ground particles of color that are suspended in the liquid medium. Pigment Inks are slower-drying because the ink actually sits on top of the paper. Pigment inks are generally used for embossing. You can dry pigment ink with a heat tool.  Its interesting to note that due to their formulation, when you have a multi-ink pad, the colors will not bleed into each color.

Tip: Try using Versacolour White Pigment Ink on black paper for a fun effect! 

Dye Inks

Dye ink is the go to classic stamping and scrapbooking ink. Dyes are actually dissolved into a liquid like water to create the ink. Dye-based inks absorb into the paper, bind to it and dry quickly.
Furthermore, the visual color you see in the stamp pad will look different on paper, depending on the paper it is used on.
The good think about dye inks is that they are often easier to use and a little less expensive than pigment ink
You cannot use light colored dye inks on dark paper or cardstock because the dye ink seeps into the paper and basically will just now show.  


Here are a few inks that you can find in the Scrap of Your Life Store

Distress Ink Pads (Tim Holtz & Ranger)

Water-based dye ink pad. They’re perfect for adding a vintage, stained, aged effect to your papers and photos. These are slow drying inks which can be spritzed or wiped with water after inking an image or wiping the ink pad directly on paper to create an aged look. Acid free, non toxic, fade resistant. 

Archival Dye Inks (Ranger)

Manufactured with special fade resistant dyes. Archival ink will not deteriorate paper and photos or bleed when painted over with water based markers, blenders, watercolors, pigments or colored pencils. Non toxic. (My favorite ink for base images that will not be embossed)

Versacolor Pigment Pad (Tsukineko)

Most versatile ink in the industry is their claim. Non-Toxic, Archival and Acid Free. VersaColor is a good, high quality, pigment ink, with rich colors. I have been using it for years and it is my go to ink for many of my projects. 

It works great for embossing with embossing powders This ink contains glycerin, making it very slow drying and pigment coloring, making it opaque rather than semi-transparent, like a dye ink. Not suitable for stamping on vellum, glossy paper or other smooth surfaces.

Versa Craft (Tsukineko)

An all-surface multicolor ink pad. Works on paper, fabric, wood and shrink plastic. Heat Setting recommended on all surfaces. The ink is child friendly

ColorBox Dye Ink Pads 

ColorBox Dye-Stress Inkpad – The bright, translucent colours work well on coated and un coated papers like traditional dye inks, Featuring the transparency your’e accustomed to with dye inks, plus an extended open time, ColorBox Dye-Stress Blendable Dye Inks allow you to do many of the things you would  typically need a pigment ink for. Great for embossing and other mixed media techniques. The pads are enclosed in a 3 inch wide octagonal case which allows for easy gripping and can be stacked for storage. The covers press on and stay firmly in place.

StazOn (Tsukineko)

Solvent ink pad designed for NON-POROUS surfaces including glass, metal, shrink plastic, laminated paper, cellophane, aluminum foil, leather & acrylic. A little bit of ink goes a long way and it doesn’t  require re-inking the stamp pad between uses.
This ink is  archival and acid free. A special cleaner is sold for these ink pads. The cleaner is not recommended for clear stamps.

Ranger Watermark Resist Ink

http://Ranger Watermark Resist InkRanger Watermark Resist Ink is a versatile multi-purpose stamp pad. Use to create the look of a watermark on colored papers and as a crisp, bright resist for water-based dye inks on glossy papers. It is also a great embossing ink.

Lawn Fawn Premium Dye Ink

The Lawn Fawn ink pad has a raised durable surface for use with all stamp sizes. It is custom formulated to coordinate with Lawn Fawn products. Acid free, archival and fade resistant. Waterproof, fast drying and permanent. Package contains one ink pad. It measures 4.25×3 inches

 hope you enjoyed this information on all the available inks from Scrap of Your Life.  This article will be updated as more inks are added to the store. 

What is your favourite ink? and why?
Come and join the discussion over in our community

All about inks

Visit Scrap of Your Life Online Store and shop for all your favourite inks.

Enter the code “Inky” for 10% off your order. 

Join Our Tribe and Stay Up to Date