By Sheelagh Tomsett

Ink Pads Explained

Ink pad types
Permanent on
non-porous surfaces
(ie acetate)
on porous
(paper, matte & glossy card)
Water soluble  
on porous surfaces
(paper, card)
Heat setting required
Can be used with embossing
Waterbased Dye Ink
Big and Juicy
Waterproof Dye Ink
Solvent Based
Pigment Ink
Brilliance Pearlescent
Adirondack Pigment
Oil Based
Chalk Ink
Clear Embossing Ink
Tsukineko Emboss
Ranger Clear Resist
Perfect Medium
Metallic Ink

There are a wide variety of ink pads available,  and all have their different uses.  They come in a wide range of colours and sizes, most having reinkers available to keep the pads moist with ink. Some will become your favourites depending on what you require from your ink pads.  Several of the ink pads although not intended to be used with embossing powder are excellent for the job, especially if the ink pad is juicy and not too dry. You can even emboss with Stazon if you are quick - although always replace your lid between stamping.

As the pads have a raised surface, they can be used with any size stamp. The

best way to ink the stamp is to turn the ink pad upside down, and pat it onto the surface of the stamp.

There are also larger pads of ink available, sometimes several colours within each pad. These will need to be stored flat to stop the colours blending together.

Smaller ink pads are useful and cost effective if you need a large range of colours. They are usually named as Cat's Eye, Dewdrops, Mini pads etc

You can also purchase an empty pad by Ranger on which you can spray Dylusion

inks (2 or 3) to use for stamping, the pad will dry and need to be resprayed between uses.  The Dylusion white spray is excellent used with this pad, it will

stamp evenly and bright onto dark card.

Store ink pads flat and face up.  There is no need to store them face down unless the pad is dry, this then will encourage the ink to go to the surface of the pad.

As you can see from the guide they fall into different catagories   Water based dye ink, Permanent Dye Ink, Solvent Based,  Pigment, Oil based,  Chalk based, Clear and Metallic Ink.

Take a look at our quick look guide below, and scroll down the page for more information on the different ink types.

Water Based Dye Ink Pads (Ranger Adirondack, Ranger Distress, Ranger Big & Juicy).

These are acid free, fade resistant but not waterproof (can be used with embossing powder).  Distress Ink has more properties to allow it to wick easily when wet.

These are the most useful ink pads as not only can you use it with rubber stamping but also;

  1. Tap the pads onto a non porous surface such as silicone mat/glass sheet or ceramic tile, mist with a little water, lay your card down into the ink, move around, lift and dry, repeat to lift any remaining ink.  Flick droplets of water onto the card, blot and dry, where the droplets have been will leave a paler colour.
  2. Ideal for watercolouring stamped images, tap onto craft sheet/glass/tile, pick up with a paint brush to use.
  3. Ink can be picked up from the pad using a foam pad or bristle brush (shaving brush or stencil brush) this can be blended onto card starting at outside edges and build up with the addition of more colour.
  4. The a few drops of ink from the reinkers can be used in a small mister with water to make your own ink sprays.
  5. A brayer can be used to pick up ink and transfer to glossy or matt card.

Waterproof Dye Pads (Tsukineko Memento, Ranger Archival)

Waterbased and fade resistant, water resistant once stamped and colour will not migrate. Permanent,  fast drying and can be used with watercolours or solvent based markers (Copic or similar)

Solvent Based (Tsukineko Stazon)

Stazon is permanent and can be used on acetate, glass, metal, plastic and glossy paper.  It is fast drying.  (Also available in white and metallic colours - these  pads are sold with a reinker bottle as the pad will need to be reinked each time you use it).

Pigment Ink (Tsukineko Brilliance, Tsukineko Versacolour, Ranger Adirondack Pigment Ink)

These inks are of a thicker consistency than dye inks and available in an array of colours, the pads are foam.  The ink when stamped stays on the surface of the paper and generally needs to air dry, heat set or embossed with embossing powders.  Ideal to stamp on vellum and on dark card.

Brilliance have a Pearlescent range which gives a pearly finish, there are also solid colours without this finish.

Oil Based Pigment Ink (Tsukineko Versafine)

A fast drying Archival natural oil based ink for uncoated paper/card.  It will give the finest detailed images, resists water when dry and is therefore ideal for outline images and watercolouring.  This ink is water soluble and will wash off stamps easily plus as a bonus will leave your stamp conditioned.

Chalk Ink Pads (Clearsnap Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink, TsukinekoVersamagic)

These quick drying ink pads create a matt chalk pastel effect, waterbased and fade resistant.  Permanent when heat set.  The paler colours can be used on dark paper/card.  Not suitable to use with embossing powders.   Heat set on non porous surfaces.

Clear Embossing Ink (Tsukineko Versamark, Tsukineko Emboss, Ranger Watermark Resist, Ranger Perfect Medium

These pads are juicy and have no colour.  Used with embossing powder or as a Resist (when dry) under dye inks either by brayering over or blend with a foam pad.   Also can be used between coats of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder). All of these pads can be used with Perfect Pearls mica pigment powder (and similar), brush the powder over immediately after stamping from clear ink pad, the ink will hold the powder.

Metallic Ink Pads (Tsukineko Encore, Tsukineko Opalite)

Encore have a range of metallic inks and are quick drying on porous paper/card.  Opalite has interference colours and can only be used on dark card.

#Water #Waterproof #Solvent #Pigment #Oil #Chalk #Clear #Metallic




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