Our Artist in Residence answers your questions
Q: Mary wants to know: "I have several paper-crafting inks: Classic, Craft, Archival, Pigment, Solvent, Dye. I have no idea what any of the names mean. Would you please give me some help?"
A: Dye based inks are water-based (dye dissolved in water). They are reactive with water and bleach, and the ink usually dries quickly, soaking into the paper. They can be used for watercolor techniques, and they don't dry on non-porous surfaces. ("Classic ink" is Stampin' Up's line of dye inks.) Pigment ink is also water-soluble, but it's in a thicker base. The ink sits on top of the paper and dries slowly, which makes pigment ink great for embossing and blending. It can be used on porous surfaces, and is permanent when heat set. ("Craft ink" is Stampin' Up's line of pigment inks.) Solvent inks are alcohol based. They are quick drying, and can be used on porous or non-porous surfaces. I like to use solvent inks when I watercolor, because they are permanent when dry. Archival inks are also waterproof, and permanent when dry. They're essentially a dye-based ink, but will not fade. As a general rule, "opposites attract" - so pair the ink you choose with a medium that has a different solvent... dye ink with alcohol markers, solvent ink with watercolor, etc. I hope that helps!