002jConfused by all the ink pads at your local rubber stamp store? Here’s a quick rundown of the characteristics and key brand names currently available in water soluble inks:

Dye Inks

Similar to office supply type inks

Usually come in rich, bright colors

Extremely versatile

Can stamp on matte or glossy papers

Dry quickly, which makes them unsuitable for embossing

Give sharp, detailed images, so well suited to finely detailed stamps

Clean with water, although darker colors will often stain rubber

Look for the words “dye ink” on label

Brand Names: Frescos, Memories, Ancient Page, ColorBox Fluid Chalk, Adirondack, Excelsior

Pigment Inks

Thicker than dye inks

Well suited for embossing

Slower drying time

Stamp on matte paper and cardstock

Must be embossed on glossy papers

Brand Names: ColorBox, ColorBox Cat’s Eye, ColorBox Petal Points, Antiquities, Brilliance, VersaColor, Imprintz

Embossing Ink

Designed solely for use with embossing powders

Brand Names: Top Boss

Washable or Children’s Inks

Specially formulated to wash out of clothing

Some colors are more washable than others

Not suitable for stamping projects that require colorfastness