Friday, March 9

All about Inks...

Ink

Q: What is the difference between pigment ink and dye ink?

A: There are several differences. Dye ink absorbs into the paper; pigment ink sits on top of the paper and does not absorb. Pigment ink tends to be thicker than dye ink and is often preferred for scrapbooking because pigment inks are more resistant to fading than most dye inks. (However, some dye inks are specifically formulated for use in scrapbooks.)

Craft Stampin' Pads

Q: How is the Craft Stampin' Pad® different from pads we've carried in the past?

A: The Craft pad is different in several ways from previous pads we've carried, and these differences are addressed below topic by topic. The most general difference, however, is that the Craft pad is a pigment ink pad. So it differs from our Classic pads, which use a dye-based ink. We have been urged for some time to carry a scrapbooking ink in our exclusive colours.

Q: Is the Craft pad safe for use in my scrapbooks?

A: Yes. Craft ink is pigment ink and, as such, is more fade resistant than dye inks. The Craft pad contains binding agents that help seal it to fabric; these are natural binding agents and are safe for scrapbooks. Of course, our Classic inks are also safe for scrapbooks, and you may very well have customers who will choose the quicker drying time of Classic pads over the fade-resistant Craft pads. Think about it and choose for yourself. You will get the longest-lasting colour with Craft pads.

Q: What about drying time and Craft pads?

A: Pigment ink, by nature, dries more slowly than dye inks. Customers can heat-set the pigment inks to speed drying time or set them aside to dry. After heat-setting, Craft inks will resist all but the most deliberate efforts to smear them (such as wetting your finger and rubbing the ink). If you live in a humid area, you will want to heat-set the inks, because air-drying time increases as humidity increases. Heat-setting and air-drying produce the same colour results. When heat-setting, be careful not to heat too long and cause a scorched look. The best thing to use would be a heat gun but I suppose you could also try a toaster or electric stove element but be careful not to scorch your paper. I have used these methods before I got my heat gun.

Q: What about using Craft pads for embossing?

A: Because of the longer drying time noted above, you have time to apply your embossing powder without rushing; therefore, the Craft pads are an excellent choice for embossing.

Q: What about using Craft pads for watercolouring?

A: Craft pads work well for watercoloring your stamped image. You can use craft pads the same way you would classic--squeeze the pink pad together before opening it to provide a pallette of ink on the inside cover. Apply to your stamped image with a blender pen, aqua painter or watercolor brush. Or if you are using stampin'spots just press your spot to the inside of a yogurt container lid (or something similar) and the imprint will make a dandy little pallette.

Q: Can I use Craft ink on slick surfaces like tile, porcelain, and terra cotta?

A: The Craft ink will not dry on slick surfaces, even when heat-set. However, if you seal the ink with clear embossing powder, you get a delightful glossy finish. It's recommended that this technique be used for decorative purposes only, because the image can be scratched off with your fingernail or metal, but it doesn't rub off with just a gentle rub from your fingertip. So you could use this technique for a decorative tile to hang on a wall, but you wouldn't want to decorate the tiles on your kitchen floor this way.

Q: Can I use Craft ink on wood?

A: Craft ink works well on smooth raw wood and on wood already painted with a water-based paint, as long as it is heat-set. After heat-setting, you may choose to spray it with a fixative to add an extra layer of protection. My favorite choice is Krylon for this.

Q: Can I stamp walls with Craft pads?

A: Results with Craft ink on walls vary depending on texture, finish, and previous paint on the walls. Test on a small portion of unseen wall. If the image is dry after heat-setting, it may be used on the remainder of the wall. Acrylic paints are the best choice for stamping on walls.

Q: What about colour-on-colour with Craft pads?

A: Many of the Craft pads give a similar result to the VersaMark® pad when stamped on their coordinating card stock colour. Some, however, are much more pale. You'll want to experiment with colour-on-colour using Craft pads. For a sure watermark every time, choose VersaMark.

Q: Does the Craft ink work on fabric?

A: Yes, you can use the Craft ink for stamping on fabrics. You'll want to note that colours are less vibrant on fabric than on paper. Also, even after heat-setting, fabric inks fade slightly. This is true not only of Craft pads but other fabric pads available in the retail market as well. For a more vibrant image, try stamping the same image twice (one on top of the other) using the Stamp-a-ma-jig®. Here are some important tips to remember when stamping on fabric:

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Prewash the fabric.
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Tightly woven and smooth-finished fabrics work best.
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Test a small area of fabric first.
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Heat-set immediately after stamping.
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Wash as normal or hand wash, but air or line dry.
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For best results, re-ink pad frequently.

Note: The Whisper White Craft pad requires very high levels of pigment to get the opaque look on paper our demonstrators and customers love. To achieve this level of opacity, we had to give up the fabric option. Therefore, the Whisper White Craft pad is not recommended for use on fabric.

Q: How do I re-ink the Craft pads?

A: When re-inking, squeeze several drops of Craft ink on top of the pad and work in with the tip of the ink refill (or use a stamp), and stamp repeatedly until the refill ink is absorbed into the pad. Do not leave a layer of ink on top of the pad, as this may cake over time. As with any Stampin' Up! product, exposure to extreme temperatures may affect the quality of the ink. Keep out of heat and sunlight, and avoid extreme temperature changes such as might occur if stored in an unheated garage in the winter or in a car trunk in the summer. Pads subjected to extreme temperature changes may harden.

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