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?
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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