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The Best Inks for Stamping: Types, Applications, Inking Tips

At-home crafters, schools, and businesses alike are turning to stamps for a wide range of uses. From scrapbooks and t-shirts to print marketing, stamps can spruce up your creative projects and business efforts. With so many types of stamps available and such a diverse set of uses, you may wonder: what kind of stamp ink do I need? 

The best inks for stamping depends on your application. Quick-dry ink, for example, provides a crisp image on glossy and non-porous surfaces, including metal, plastic, photographs, glossy paper and CDs. Other stamp inks are made specifically for fabrics or stamping on skin. 

Below, we take you through several different types of ink, so you can find the best ink for your event or project! 

Quick-Dry Ink

Quick-dry stamp ink is designed to dry in 20 seconds to 2 minutes on glossy and non-porous surfaces. Whether you prefer a pre-inked option or a rubber stamp with a separate pad, there are various solutions to fit your application. Due to the rapid-drying nature of this ink, accidental streaks and blemishes are minimized, maintaining a clean-cut, crisp image.

Types of Quick-Dry Ink

  • Dry-Ink Stamp Reactivator. Stamp reactivator is necessary to loosen up dry ink in stamp pads by softening the fibers. This item prolongs the life of your pad by enabling users to use the full extent of ink available in the pad. 
  • Colored Quick-Dry Ink. Our collection of quick-dry ink comes in various shades, such as black, red, blue, and white to add a pop of color to your projects or to adhere to your brand’s aesthetic. 
  • Quick-Dry Ink for Pre-inked Stamps. Re-ink a rubber stamp with quick-dry ink to create bold, attractive images, logos, and other designs. 

Quick-Dry Ink Applications

If you’re stamping non-porous surfaces—such as metal, plastic, coated paper, photographs or glossy paper, quick-dry ink is ideal. Standard ink can easily cause streaks, and the impression may be removed completely. Quick-drying ink decreases the likelihood of these types of blemishes. 

For those stamping a high volume of non-porous materials, quick-dry ink is also excellent in order to be able to stack or organize materials in a timely manner. Applications include photography businesses, industrial or factory settings, classrooms, and artistic endeavors, such as scrapbooking. Easily stamp designs, identifications numbers, logos, and more with quick-dry ink. 

Hand & Invisible Ink

Invisible ink, also known as ultraviolet ink, is only visible when viewed under a UV or black light. Many invisible ink options can be used on hands and skin. Hand ink dries quickly, is non-toxic, and will last on the skin to show a crisp image or design for up to one day. 

Types of Hand & Invisible Ink 

  • Invisible Stamp Pad. If you do not have a self-inking stamp, this felt dry stamp pad is intended for use with rubber stamps. 
  • Invisible Ink & Pad. Our kit with both invisible ink and ink pad ensures that you can refill your stamp pad or stamp when it runs dry. 
  • Invisible Ink. If you already have a stamp pad or self-inking stamp, but it has run dry, ultraviolet stamp ink can re-ink your pad.
  • Hand Ink. This non-toxic, waterproof ink is meant to be used on the skin, lasts for up to one day, and can be removed with alcohol. 

Hand & Invisible Ink Applications

Mark surfaces with no visible trace by using invisible ink. This ink can be used for official purposes, such as to mark property or a precious item. More common uses of invisible ink include stamping entrants’ hands at events, bars, or amusement parks. This enables guests to avoid having an unsightly mark on their skin, while bouncers and event staff can make sure all entrants are accounted for. Hand and invisible ink also work great for creative projects.

Fabric Ink

Personalize your fabric materials with fabric ink, which leaves a lasting, fade-resistant impression on cotton, canvas, muslin, and more. Fabric ink sinks deep into clothing fibers to maintain a beautiful, bold appearance while withstanding washing and drying over time.

Types of Fabric Ink

  • Textile Labeling. Customize a fabric ink rubber stamp in order to mark t-shirts, clothing, bags, and more with the words or design of your choice. 
  • Cloth Marking Stamp Pad & Ink. This package of both stamp pad and ink is ideal if you don’t already have a cloth marking stamp pad.
  • Textile Ink. Re-ink dried cloth marking stamp pads with pure textile ink.

Fabric Ink Applications

Fabric ink is intended for use with everything from various articles of clothing to tote bags. Add a personalized design or phrase to camp clothes or organization t-shirts. Textile ink can also be used to designate objects in an industrial setting or as a means of marketing a small company, such as a coffee shop or art business. Fabric ink can stamp on a range of materials, including cotton, linen, muslin, or canvas. 

Proper Inking Tips

Below we go through 4 essential tips for keeping your ink and pads in prime condition:

  1. When storing your pads, keep them upside down and level. This storage technique minimizes uneven ink distribution while making sure the surface is inked and ready for use. 
  2. Re-ink your pad with the same brand and color of ink to prevent chemical reactions and muddied color. 
  3. Clean your stamp when switching to a new color to prevent the impression and the pad from mixing with other colors. 
  4. Stamp on an even surface to make sure all parts of your stamp are bold and clear. 

How to Stamp on Non-Porous Surfaces

If you’re looking to make stamping impressions on non-porous surfaces—such as photos, plastic, or cellophane—there are a couple of things you should know beforehand. Unlike paper, fabric, and other porous surfaces, the ink does not absorb into non-porous surfaces. When stamping on glossy material, glass, and more, first make sure the surface is completely clean. Once you’ve made your impression, though the ink does dry quickly, it’s best to give the ink adequate time before immediately touching the ink or allowing other materials to make contact with the ink. 

The best inks for stamping depends on your preference and intended use. In some cases, you may only need new ink to refresh pads or re-ink self-inking stamps, and sometimes, you may need an entirely new pad and stamp. Whether you’re looking to add a unique, personal touch to your print marketing materials or a whimsical note to your art projects, trying out different types of ink on diverse surfaces can make for innovative design. Most ink is available in a range of colors to create colorful impressions or simply to be cohesive with your brand. With many different kinds of ink as well as the ability to customize a rubber stamp, you can create attractive, personalized marks that will enhance any project.

Stamping on Glossy Surfaces

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