Embossing Powder, Ink, and Pens

Embossing Powder

Embossing powder - "Regular" embossing powder is general-use powder. "Super-fine" or sometimes called "ultra-fine," is good for finely-detailed work such as art stamps, freehand drawing, or calligraphy. Use ultra-thick powders to get a tiled or crackled glass effect.

Embossing powder comes in many, many colors and in the following finishes: glitter, metallic, matte, tinsel, and opalescent, among others. It is also available clear to be used over colored inks.

Embossing Inks

Dye-Based Inks - dry quickly, and depending on the type of paper, may dry too quickly to apply embossing powder. They are usually non-permanent with the exception being archival inks. The image dye inks produce is somewhat translucent and they work for almost all paper types. The dye ink pads are often made of felt and should be stored upside-down so the ink is always at the surface, ready to go.

Pigment inks are thick and usually slow-drying, so they can often be used for embossing. However, some special pigment inks are fast drying, so make sure you check the label. You will find a greater color selection and more brilliant colors in pigments than in dyes. They are also available in metallic and chalk finishes.

Pigment inks generally will not dry on glossy surfaces without being heat set or sprayed with a fixative. Pigment inks may or may not be permanent and some are made permanent by heat setting. The pigment ink pads are often made of foam, and while they don't necessarily need to be stored upside-down, some people still do store them as such.

There are embossing inks available made strictly for heat embossing and they are usually found in clear or pale colors.

Solvent Inks - Solvent inks can usually be used on a variety of surfaces including (in addition to most papers) leather, wood, glass, tile, acrylic and many other non-porous substrates. Solvent inks are solvent based, require special cleaners, and must be used with proper ventilation.

Embossing Pens

Embossing pens have a slow-drying ink made especially for embossing. Some brands of pens have a tip at each end - a fine tip for finer lines and a broader tip for coloring in larger areas.

You can use embossing pens to draw or write freehand and emboss and you can even use an embossing pen to ink a rubber stamp by coloring directly onto the stamp. In addition to clear, any color of embossing powder can be used with the embossing pens.

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