CB21-063 - pigment vs dye ink what is the difference (the best ink)

Pigment vs dye ink: What is the difference? (The best ink)

What is the difference between pigment ink and dye ink?

Pigment ink lasts twice as long as dye ink, is water resistant, and better for printing pictures than dye ink. However, dye ink is cheaper which makes it preferred for printing text while pigment prints higher quality photos.

Pigment and dye ink are both viable options for printing quality pictures for creative projects. However, they do have different qualities.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between pigment and dye ink in terms of:

  • Composition
  • Long-lasting quality
  • Color variety and quality
  • Water resistance
  • Price
  • Appropriate project use

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What is the difference between pigment ink and dye ink?

Pigment ink is typically a better choice for photos while dye ink is best for text. Dye ink is cheaper, but not water resistant. Pigment ink reflects light while dye ink absorbs light.

Let’s take a look at some of the main differences of pigment and dye inks.

What Is the Difference in Material Composition of Pigment Versus Dye Ink?

Dye ink is in the form of a liquid where the colors dissolve in water. Pigment ink comes in a powdery form held in a liquid suspension. The difference between the two can be compared to sugar dissolved in water and sand suspended in water.

The nature of the composition affects both water resistance and color quality. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what the composition of each is. 

How Do Pigment and Dye Ink Differ in Color Detection?

Our eyes detect color by absorbing or reflecting light into various materials. In the case of pigment ink, light reflects off the pigment particles to give off the color we see. Light is absorbed into the ink itself for dye ink, thus displaying a brighter color to our eyes.

The difference in how these materials display color also affects their ability to fade when exposed to ultraviolet light. Since pigment reflects light, it is resistant to light’s capacity to wear away the color over time. However, dye ink absorbs light, allowing the color to weaken due to the ultraviolet rays breaking it down.

Does Pigment or Dye Ink last longer?

Pigment ink lasts longer than dye ink. Pigments are designed to be fade-resistant for at least fifty years. Dye ink is more suitable for projects not intended to last more than twenty-five years. After this time, the color in dye ink begins to fade. 

Keeping your printed pictures away from ultraviolet light will also help ensure color longevity.

Does Dye Ink Offer Better Color Quality Than Pigment?

Dye ink tends to boast bolder and brighter colors than pigment. Dye ink offers a more excellent color range and more distinct hues and shades than pigment. The difference between dye ink and pigment can be obvious to the trained eye even when using the same colors. However, a more amateur printer may not detect the difference.

Dye ink color will appear more solid and vivid. By comparison, pigment can be a bit duller and more grainy than dye ink. Thought pigment does have the ability to blend colors more naturally. Since the colors aren’t as bright and stark, they can fade into each other with softer lines.

Which Is More Water Resistant: Dye Ink or Pigment?

Pigment tends to be way more water-resistant than dye ink. This happens because pigment ink is not water-soluble, while dye ink is. Since dye ink is already dissolved in liquid, it can bleed when it comes into contact with water.

Even when dye ink prints are completely dry, reintroduction to liquid may make the colors run. On the other hand, pigment pictures can withstand water contact because the particles are insoluble.

Is Pigment More Expensive Than Dye Ink?

Pigment ink is more expensive than dye ink because it is more labor-intensive to produce. Most times, pigment ink is custom-made by hand. The advantage is that pigment allows colors to blend more smoothly.

Dye ink is more readily available on the market and can be found at a much lower cost.

What Projects Are Better for Dye Ink Versus Pigment?

Due to its cost and ability to fade quickly, dye ink is more suited to printing text. Text projects can be printed boldly and are usually not for long-term use.

On the other hand, pigment ink is more appropriate for picture printing. With the ability to resist water and time, pigment allows colors to stay fresh. Though not as bright as due ink, pigment colors tend to harmonize together for a more natural look. Pigment also prints much cleaner on glossy paper than dye ink.

Summary: Pigment vs. Dye ink: What’s the difference?

Pigment ink is the preferred color material over dye ink for crafting projects, especially printed pictures. Although pigment is more expensive, the colors will not bleed if exposed to water. The quality is less likely to fade over time than dye ink.

Although pigment is not as bright or bold as dye ink, the colors blend beautifully together for a natural appearance. Overall, whether you’re scrapbooking or putting together a photo collage, pigment is your best ink choice.