Camlin ink

Are inks based on something else also? Why have they specified that their ink is dye based? What does dye based mean anyway?

What other bases for ink are there?


1 Answer 1


Inks are largely divided into two categories: dye-based and pigment-based.
Additionally, there is invisible ink, which usually consists of a variety of other ingredients that need to undergo a chemical reaction in order to become visible.

Dye is a soluble colourant, which means a dye-based ink is a solution, whereas pigments are colourants that consist of small particles, making pigment-based inks chemical suspensions (see also here).

Why the difference is important, is because both have different characteristics.
Without going into the chemical differences too much, the benefits of dye-based inks include:

  • Beautiful color quality
  • Easy to spread and paint with
  • Affordable and easy to find
  • Adheres to almost any surface

And the disadvantages are:

  • A tendency to fade out fast
  • A lack of resistance to external factors
  • More prone to bleeding

For pigment-based inks, the benefits are:

  • Resistant to most exterior factors
  • Can last for decades in paper
  • Doesn't fade out over time
  • Dry and adhere fast to surfaces

And the disadvantages:

  • Color can be a bit dull
  • Pretty expensive & difficult to find

Lists mostly copied verbatim from here

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