Cards · Product Reviews

Black Ink Comparison

I haven’t had much time to write blog posts lately but I do have a lot of content in the works. I will be sharing some new cards soon and I will be traveling later this week and through the summer, so more photography will be featured in the near future.

Recently, I did find the time to compare some black inks and I would like to share my findings with you. I mostly color with alcohol based markers so in these tests, I only compared alcohol friendly inks. In other words, inks that don’t bleed when colored over with alcohol based markers.

Disclaimer: these are strictly my opinions and I am not affiliated with any of these brands. I purchased all of these inks with my own money and have not received any discount for reviewing these products.

The inks I compared are: Momento – Tuxedo Black, Gina K – Amalgam Black, Lawn Fawn – Jet Black, Ink on 3 – Blackout, Brutus Monroe – Raven Detail Ink and Altenew – Permanent Black. All of these inks are safe to use with alcohol markers (as in, it won’t bleed when colored over), and all but Momento are fine to use with water based markers as well. I chose these inks as I see them mentioned regularly among stampers as favorite black inks and I wanted to see for myself which ones I should use in my card making.


In order to easily compare these inks, I wanted to keep my method consistent. To do this, I used a stamp platform and kept the stamps in the same place for each ink test by moving my paper around. I cleaned between each brand using stamp shammy and a little stamp cleaner, and allowed the stamps to fully dry before inking them up again. I tested these inks in two different tests.


For Test 1, I loaded two stamps with ink. On the left side is a swatch stamp from Simon Says Stamp, and on the right side is a sentiment stamp (from Altenew) that has 2 different fonts in it. I wanted to show how well each ink covered a stamp, as well as how crisp the ink remained for tiny letters. I only added ink to each stamp once and did not re-stamp to cover any missing spots.

Results:

As you can see, the Momento ink is a slightly different shade then the rest and I think it has the best coverage out of all of these for both the swatch stamp and sentiment. Altenew did well on the swatch stamp but Gina K, Lawn Fawn, Ink on 3 and Brutus Monroe leave a very slight speckled look in the areas that should be solid black. As for the text, only Momento gave 100% coverage, with all the rest looking very similar to each other.


For the Test 2, I used the same sentiment from Test 1. On the left side I added ink once and stamped it using my stamp platform. On the right side, I inked the stamp and stamped once, then added more ink and stamped again. This allows me to see how sharp/crisp the letters remained if I added more ink to improve coverage.

Results:

As you can see with these results, Momento is the clear winner with only one layer of ink, however, when I added more ink and stamped again, Momento became bolder and lost some of the sharpness in the text. When I added a second layer of ink to the remaining brands, the result was much better coverage and perfectly crisp text.

To conclude, if you have a stamp platform and don’t mind adding ink and re-stamping for better coverage, you can’t go wrong with any of these brands. If you want to stamp once and be done with it, Momento may be the best ink for the job. Keep in mind however that Momento will run if you try to color over it with water based inks or watercolor paint.

One thing I noticed in this experiment is how similar some of these inks are to one another. Excluding Momento, the remaining inks appear identical in color and very similar in coverage and crispness. The Gina K, Lawn Fawn, Ink on 3, Brutus Monroe and Altenew inks that I tested here are also safe for both water and alcohol based coloring (some companies call these hybrid inks). In many industries, it is common to find the exact same product under different labels and while I am not sure if that is the case here, I suspect that the ink formulas used are very similar to one another. To my eyes, you only need one of these inks in your stash, but if anyone with inside knowledge of these inks are reading this, I would love if it you could comment on what makes your brand’s ink formula unique compared to your competitors.


What craft product would you like me to compare next?

2 thoughts on “Black Ink Comparison

    1. No I didn’t. I’m about to do some travel but when I get back, I can test that for you and post an update.

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