What is Pigment Ink (Pigment ink vs Dye ink)

What is Pigment Ink (Pigment ink vs Dye ink)

Typically when establishing a new card producing and stamping business, it’s natural to question the distinction between pigment based inks and dye based inks. For instance, some of your queries may include: What is a pigment ink, and which ink works best for designing cards? What makes pigment ink and dye ink distinct from one another? 

Now let’s start with the difference between pigment vs dye ink, how each type of ink differs, followed by their advantages and disadvantages.

Pigment vs Dye Ink

DetailsPigment Based Ink
Dye Based Ink
  • Opaque
  • Archival
  • Vibrant
  • Spongy and foamy pad
  • Glycerin base
  • Rich and thick
  • Acid-free
  • It sits on top of the paper
  • Long-lasting
  • Water-based
  • Smooth and crisp
  • Dyes the paper
  • Acid-free
  • Vibrant
  • Absorbs into the paper
  • Translucent
  • Ideal for porous surfaces
  • Pros
  • Since it takes a while to dry, it works well with heat stamping methods.
  • It resists water.
  • Watercoloring and other water-based techniques may be done with it. On dark paper, lighter ink colors can be stamped. It produces a great, clear image upright.
  • It rapidly dries
  • It does not blur or stain
  • For this kind of ink, the majority of businesses sell re-inkers
  • Applying it on rubber and transparent stamps is simple
  • It works well with various card-making techniques, including stamping, stacked stamping, and mixed media
  • It resists fading
  • When compared to pigment ink pads, leakage is minimal.

  • Cons
  • The drying process is too slow.
  • Easily smudged or smeared.
  • It must be set using a heating device.
  • Requires more frequent reinking
  • It may take too long to dry into the paper and spread out.
  • Dries far too fast.
  • It isn’t water-repellent.
  • It may first seem blotchy.
  • Your finger is stained.
  • Watercolors or other water-based materials cannot be used with it.
  • Color Stability

    Apparently, the fibers of the paper soak the dyes. In contrast, pigment particles adhere to the fiber and rest on the paper’s surface. To imply, pigment-based particles coat a substrate with a thicker coating than dye-based particles. Because of this, prints made using pigment-based inks can withstand a variety of outside factors, including UV (Ultra Violet) radiation and gases.

    Pigment based ink prints are fading-resistant and often endure longer. In short, pigment based prints last significantly longer than dye based prints in terms of color retention.

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    Choosing Functionality and Good Exterior

    Choosing Functionality and Good Exterior

    Dye based inks are a suitable option if long term fade resilience is not essential and your main requirements are for vibrant color and excellent appearances. When employing the same amount of colors, dye inks often perform better than pigment inks in terms of color gamut.

    Dye inks won’t provide the same level of fade protection and, in certain situations, can dissolve rather quickly. Projects like brochures, visual arts demonstrations, greeting cards, and promotional materials are great owing to this potential.

    Interaction with Water

    When it comes to how they react with water, pigments win over dyes in the “pigment vs dye” battle. When dyes on paper come into touch with water, they often begin to flow. However, pigments are more resilient. If you don’t use a specific type of paper (coated label paper), the colors on a print generated using dye-based inks may leak. Until the labels are brushed against anything, these prints remain water-resistant.

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    Which Lasts Longer? Pigment or Dye

    Which Lasts Longer Pigment or Dye

    Ideally, how long would you expect your prints to maintain their color? Is it ten, twenty, or seventy years? Or to put it another way, do you require the prints to withstand fading like a lab print of a high caliber? If the second alternative is affirmative and the timeline is more than 25 years, then pigment inks are recommended.

    Prints can withstand fading for the longest period possible thanks to the chemistry underlying colors. If you use pigment inks, and premium inkjet paper, and keep prints away from direct sunlight, it is unlikely that you will see noticeable fading before the age of 50.

    Benefits of Using Pigment Ink vs Dye Ink – Quick Overview

    • Compared to dye-based inks, pigment-based versatile ink may be used on a wider variety of materials, such as polyester and nylon.
    • Preferred option for personalized textile products like bags or t-shirts.
    • Superior color fidelity compared to dye-based inks.
    • Dries rapidly and prints onto cloth substrates with little fading or smearing.
    • Ink made with pigment is waterproof.
    • It is resistant to a lot of dampness.

    What is the Advantage of Dye Ink?

    What is the Advantage of Dye Ink

    Compared to pigment ink, dye inks may produce softer colors that appear more bright and more spectacular. Unless they are printed on a specific coated label material, they may fall off upon coming into touch with water. As provided that the label does not touch against something unsettling, and the print is water-resistant. In terms of quality, dye ink often prevails.

    What are the Advantages of Pigment Ink?

    What is the Advantage of Pigment Ink

    Pigment inks offer several advantages when used in water-based inks. These inks utilize tiny particles of color, known as pigments, suspended in a liquid medium. Here are some advantages of pigment ink:

    Archival properties

    Pigment inks, especially when used in water-based formulations, often exhibit excellent archival properties. The pigments used in these inks are resistant to fading, making them ideal for applications where longevity and color stability are important.

    Solid matter

    Pigment inks contain a higher concentration of solid matter compared to dye-based inks. This means that the pigments remain on the surface of the substrate, resulting in vibrant and opaque prints. The solid particles also contribute to the durability and resistance of the ink.

    Outdoor applications

    Pigment inks, due to their solid particles and archival properties, are well-suited for outdoor applications. They can withstand exposure to UV light, moisture, and environmental elements, ensuring that the prints maintain their color and integrity over time.

    Low cost

    Pigment inks, especially in water-based formulations, are generally more cost-effective compared to other ink types. The pigments used in these inks tend to be less expensive than certain dye-based alternatives, making them a more affordable option, particularly for large-scale printing projects.

    What is Pigment Ink Used For?

    The best ink for “professional” standards is pigment ink. It is usually more enduring and timeless and often has higher scratch resistance and is more resilient to UV light’s harmful effects. Due to their capacity to produce a larger spectrum of monochrome colors, pigment inks are frequently preferred by photographers who create black and white prints.

    It’s possible that pigment ink won’t hold up as well outside, although this is arguable. An outdoor print will last longer if it is laminated. Pigment ink is a preferable choice if you want to show prints that are of the best quality and most long-lasting in an indoor setting.

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    Difference Between Pigment and Dye Ink Pads

    The use of colored ink pads in papercraft is nothing recent. This vivid, opaque, water-proof ink is perfect for using heat embossed techniques. Since it rests on the paper’s surface and does not sink into it, it is the ideal ink for thermal embossed methods. Additionally, drying takes more time. When contrasted with a dye ink pad, such inks are much more foamy and porous. It is additionally fade-resistant, smoother, and thicker.

    Which is Better: Dye vs Pigment Ink?

    There is no definite response to this subject. Your demands, choices, and limitations will all be taken into consideration. As technology has developed over time, both have fewer drawbacks.

    Compared to their counterparts using pigment ink, dye based printers are typically less costly and more accessible. Pigment ink is a better option if you want prints with the highest possible quality and long-term durability and don’t mind spending more on hardware and ink.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The default kind of ink for inkjet printer is dye based ink (while the toner vs ink discussion is a completely new chapter). They are made up of fully suspended and dissolved coloring agents. An incredibly thin powder of pure colorant particles contained in a liquid medium makes up pigmented ink.

    For any endeavor involving paper making, pigment ink is a must. If you want to create colorfully, textured mixed media art, such as cards or journal pages, this is the best choice. Watercolor papers, wood veneer, cloth, and much more surfaces may all be used with these all-purpose inks!

    Pigmented inks are extremely water-resistant since they are not soluble in water. The fact that pigment-based ink is waterproof is one of its many advantages. Compared to dye-based ink, pigment ink appears to be more water and UV light resistant. It can also withstand fade for up to 200 years. Compared to dye inks, pigment inks are often lighter in color, strongly water-resistant, and produce a deeper consistent black.

    The Epson Stylus C80 served as the launch vehicle for the emerging pigment-based ink technology known as Epson DURABrite Inks. Use ink bottles of Epson 502 with the ET-15000. The color bottles each print 6,000 pages while the mono ink bottle produces 7,500 pages using pigment-based ink. For papers that survive a long time, the pigment-based Epson 502 black ink is used. 

    Both pigment-based and dye-based inks are produced by Epson. Their pigment-based UltraChrome Hi-Gloss, which is utilized in its elevated Stylus Photo R1800 printer, is rated to last 250 years. Epson’s Claria Hi-Definition is said to last 98 years and is utilized in printers like the Epson Stylus Photo 1400. Epson’s  PRO10 UltraChrome inkjet set is used by the P700s.

    Dye vs Pigment Ink Roundup

    Knowing which ink works best in each situation should help you make a more informed decision about which ink will produce the best results. If you frequently print images and papers with a lot of colors, pigment ink will provide you with a wider range of colors. On the other hand, printing using dye based ink is appropriate for papers that need to survive longer.

    But keep in mind that ink technology has advanced greatly over time, and you’ll probably discover that your printer employs both pigment and dye based inks. Just remember to be mindful of factors like sun exposure and the potential for blurring.  

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