Hints & Tips: Ink-Pads

There are a number of different types of ink pads available for use with rubber stamps, all have different uses and work better on different surfaces.

These are the main types of ink-pads used for stamping:

  • Pigment Inks – These water-based inks dry slowly and are ideal for heat embossing. They can be used for general stamping and also used with a water brush for blended water colouring effects. They can be used on many types of paper, but using on shiny surfaces should be avoided as they will take a long time to dry and may not dry on some surfaces at all. Pigment inks come in a huge variety of colours which include metallic, fluorescent, multi coloured pads, etc.
  • Dye Based Inks – These are water-based inks that dry quickly on a variety of surfaces, including non-porous surfaces. As these inks dry quickly they are not suitable for heat embossing and the image may run if it gets wet. Great for general stamping as they will give a good image even when using a very detailed stamp. There are many colours that are now available and the choice gets greater on a daily basis.
  • Permanent Inks – These inks are available in both water-based and solvent- based forms. They can be used on most types of surface both porous and non-porous; card, paper, wood, acetate, shrink plastic, glass, metal, foil, leather, acrylic, etc. You will eed to use a permanent ink cleaner to clean your stamps after using these types of ink-pads.
  • Brush Marker Pens – These are usually available containing pigment inks and the colours available are countless. They can be used for stamping by colouring in the image and then stamping it. This gives a lot more freedom to use several colours on one stamp to give unusual, rainbow type effects.
  • Chalk Inks – These inks dry with a soft, pastel, chalk-like finish. They come in a variety of colours but are usually muted and subtle. They can be used for a variety of projects and are great for direct-to-paper techniques.

Just a couple of tips with regards ink-pads and stamps:

  • If you find that your ink-pads are not “wet” enough, don’t throw them away or buy a re-inker, try storing them upside-down for a couple of days, this will bring the ink to the top of the pad. If they are old pads, storing them upside down will make them available for use any time
  • Most inks can be cleaned from the stamp using a wet wipe, if possible, try to purchase alcohol-free wipes, they will be gentler on your stamps. However, use this method should only be used on a temporary basis. Every once in a while, clean all your stamps with a specially formulated stamp cleaner. Doing this will protect your stamp and preserve them for a lot longer.

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