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Explaining the Different Types of Inks and Ink Pads

Below, we explain the differences between ink types as well as ink pads that can be used with a variety of rubber stamps.

To use a wooden rubber stamp, you will also need an ink pad to re-ink your stamp in between impressions. This begs the question, are there different types of ink pads and if so, which one is best to purchase? The answer to the first part of the question is simple - yes, there are different types of ink pads! The second part isn’t as clear-cut however - the type of ink pad you purchase will depend on the size of your stamp and on which kind of surface you’re looking to create the impression.

On the other hand, if you own a self-inking rubber stamp, you don’t need to worry about a separate ink pad as self-inking stamps have built-in pads. However, just like with a wooden stamp, you’ll certainly want to think about the surface on which you are creating your impression and therefore, the ink type that’ll best fit your project.

Ink Pad Sizes and Casings for Wooden Rubber Stamps

An important attribute to consider when purchasing an ink pad is its size relative to your wooden stamp’s dimensions. Some ink pads are placed inside a casing, therefore, one that is too small for the stamp will make it difficult to conveniently and properly ink your whole stamp.

Consider the following stamp pads. The first ink pad on the left is within a case and measures 4.25” in width by 2.5” in height. The second ink pad has a raised pad, meaning larger stamps can be inked without a problem even though its measurements are smaller at 2.9” in width by 1.8” in height. For example a 3” by 3” wooden rubber stamp would not fit into the casing of the pad on the left (due to its 2.5” height), but wouldn’t be an issue with the ink pad on the right given its raised surface.

allpurposeinkpad.jpg A black ink pad for wooden rubber stamps

To facilitate the calculations above, here at Stampmore we simply do the matching for you so you don’t have to worry about it. You can find different colored ink pads here: Ink Pads for Wooden Rubber Stamps

Types of Ink

Whether you are using a wooden stamp or self-inking stamp, it is important to consider the different types of ink that are available. Some attributes to consider when shopping for ink may be drying time, ink permanence, ink thickness, and whether or not your ink is waterproof, among other things. Here are some descriptions for different types of ink:

Blacklight / fluorescent inks

As the name suggests, this ink will glow in the dark or “pop out” under a blacklight. This type of ink can be quite fun for different events or in dimly-lit venues.

Pigment, metallic, archival, fabric, and permanent inks

Compared to all-purpose inks, pigment inks tend to be thicker, somewhat slower-drying, and are great for crafting. Metallic inks also tend to be thick and opaque. While both are water-derived inks, they are not fully composed of water, therefore their water-resistance and drying times are slightly improved over standard, all-purpose inks.

Archival inks are waterproof and will dry quickly on matte paper. After several hours, archival inks can even dry on glossy paper or plastic. Fabric inks can be used on regular materials but they will need heat setting to become permanent when used on fabric. Lastly, some inks are solvent-based, which means they will dry quickly and are permanent.

One item to keep in mind is to use the same type of ink you previously used when you choose to re-ink your pad. Also, to prevent your ink pad from drying out, make sure you always cover it back up with its case once you’re done using it. Finally, to refill your self-inking rubber stamp, you may want to check out these ink vials: Ink Refill for Self-inking Rubber Stamps