Q&A: What is a Pigment Ink Pad?

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With so many different types of ink on the market, it can be overwhelming and confusing. Believe me, I know!

I’ve had a lot of questions from you all on inks, so I thought I would do a series of videos explaining and showing you how the different inks work, what they are used for and what the differences are.

Today’s video focuses on Pigment Ink Pads.

As I show in the video, pigment inks are like paint (P – P, that’s how I remember).  They are thick, heavy and take a while to dry.  The actual pad is spongy – don’t press your stamp TOO hard onto this type of ink pad, otherwise you’ll have ink all over the place!

There are several unique features of Pigment Inks:

  • the ink sits on top of the paper rather than being absorbed into it like Dye ink is.
  • VIBRANT colors –  you will find the colors are rich and deep.
  • fade-resistant.  Once that color is dry, it will not fade.  This makes Pigment Ink perfect if you are stamping something for home decor.
  • dries slowly – which enables this ink to be heat embossed!
  • shows up on dark cardstock.
  • you can stamp color on top of color and they don’t contaminate each other.


Personally, I use dye inks almost exclusively in my paper crafting.  If you are a patient and neat person, you might want to go with the Pigment Inks instead.  They really are wonderful!

Leave me a note below and let me know if you have any Pigment Ink Pads, if you have a favorite brand and what other ink questions you have!

I have linked below SOME Pigment Ink pads that you can find in the Ellen Hutson store.

Thank you for visiting with me today, I will see you on Thursday when I show you how to use these inks on a card.


  • HJ December 15, 2014, 6:33 pm

    Great video to clarify my questions about the different ink pads and the ways to use them. Thanks.

  • Linda Grady December 15, 2014, 6:38 pm

    My new favorite pigment ink is the Memento Luxes; very vibrant colors. Started collecting these when they came out last year; have all the dye ink colors and markers. I used to use Tseu. Brilliance inks and still do occasionally, because I have so many.

  • Christine Smith December 15, 2014, 7:30 pm

    Brilliant and informative video, thank you! I don’t know anything about chalk ink pads so would find information on those really useful sometime please xxx

  • Barbara December 15, 2014, 10:42 pm

    Enjoyed the video. Very informative.

  • Janelle Graham December 16, 2014, 5:34 am

    Thanks for such an interesting and informative video. Sometimes it really needs to be seen to really understand something. :)

  • Connie Brooks December 16, 2014, 6:36 am

    I agree with Christine Smith who commented about CHALK INKS. I would like to learn about them. Thank you too, for your vid today on Pigments. I’ve always been afraid of using them. I just recently purchased several of them, willing to give them a go…we’ll see! I want to tell you your topic was informative for me. So thank you again. Keep these vids coming.

  • Melissa Friedrich December 16, 2014, 7:11 pm

    I use dye inks mostly, but I’m finding myself reaching for my pigment inks more and more as some techniques I really love with the vibrancy of the color. I think it’s because I’m making more cards with kraft color instead of white or cream, and the true color of the pigment inks look great on that color paper. I LOVE the Momento Luxe inks, I bought the ones I could find locally once I saw you use them in a video. Thanks so much for your informative video, love those helpful hints!

  • lilola December 17, 2014, 4:03 pm

    Thanks so much for clearing up the differences!

  • Helen O'Neill December 17, 2014, 7:24 pm

    Catherine, how interesting about the pigment inks!! I know I’ve heard the term, but I never knew what is was. Thank you!!

  • Kristy December 17, 2014, 8:08 pm

    Thanks for the video. What would the benefit be to use a dye ink over a pigment ink? The pigment ink seems more vibrant on all papers that you used.

  • Catherine December 17, 2014, 8:45 pm

    Kristy, the biggest benefit of the Dye inks is that they dry instantly. Since the pigment inks take a bit of time to dry, they can be messy if you’re not every careful!

  • Cathie December 17, 2014, 9:11 pm

    Hi – as a new comer to all this card-making/crafty stuff, this was a particularly helpful video – thank you!

  • Sonjia December 18, 2014, 2:03 am

    Loved the pigment vs dye ink video! I have just recently started learning/experiencing with pigment ink and the visual you gave in your video was very helpful!!! Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  • Pat Roth December 18, 2014, 11:17 am

    Thanks this was helpful. I would love to hear more about the different inks.

  • Lynne Ingram December 24, 2014, 12:02 pm

    Yes, I love pigment inks. I primarily use Memento Luxe, but have some Versa Magic that work well too. Have heard some rave reviews of Mama Elephant but haven’t dried them yet, nor have I tried the hero arts. Thanks for the video.

  • Melinda Yrojo January 19, 2015, 2:39 am

    Hi Catherine,
    Thanks for sharing the info.


  • Jamie April 28, 2015, 8:23 pm

    Very informative! I’m not sure why but I had it completely mixed up. I thought dye ink stayed wet longer! Thanks for clearing that up for me!

  • Mary April 29, 2015, 1:29 am

    Hi Catherine,
    This was an extremely helpful video, thank you! What makes the “Distress” ink so good for sponging because I see a lot of people using that specific ink for it.

  • Karen Donnelly August 25, 2015, 6:48 am

    Wondering. what would be a reason to buy dye ink? Is there something dye ink can do that pigment ink cannot? Thanks.

  • Catherine August 25, 2015, 9:34 am

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