Rubber stamps are used to create everything from wall art to furniture. These can be customized from local stationary stores or from online vendors.
Craftsman interested to purchase quality custom made stamps will have to consider different kind of stamps.
Mounted versus unmounted
Unmounted rubber stamp has to be mounted by the buyers on wooden blocks or handles. Online vendors use UM (Unmounted) and WM (wood mounted).
Unmounted rubber stamps are usually not trimmed. The buyer will have to cut off the excess rubber with sharp scissors. If stamps are not trimmed precisely, they leave undesirable stray ink marks. You will have to select from, ‘trimmed’, ‘professionally trimmed’, and ‘untrimmed’.
Rubber versus acrylic stamps
Using rubber and acrylic material has its own pros and cons. Rubber stamps are popular for producing clean, fine detailed image and are durable. If these rubber stamps are mounted on wood blocks, users cannot get an idea, where image has to be placed. They are more expensive than the acrylic stamps, which are mounted on acrylic blocks.
The users get visual confirmation of placing the image precisely for printing. Acrylic stamps are not permanently attached to block means less space for storage.
Rubber stamps on wooden mounts are prone to staining but acrylic wipes out easily with water and soap. Users have often complained about wobbly images created with twisted acrylic material.
Types of ink for rubber stamps
Every ink brand has loyal followers, but the fact remains that inks will leave stains on wooden mounts and rubber stamps.
Inks can be categorized under -
1. Dye ink
2. Pigment based ink
3. Specialty ink
Dye ink - It soaks in the paper and creates a design. They do not dry on non-porous or glossy paper surfaces. They work best with both rubber and acrylic stamps. Even though dye ink is ideal for paper craft, it is not right for scrapbooks because they are likely fade in due course.
Pigment based ink - These dry on the stamped object surfaces and appear brighter than dye ink. Pigment based ink has fade resistant property, which is perfect for creating scrapbooks. Even work best on metal and wooden crafts.
Specialty ink - This category includes solvent-based ink, hybrid ink, temporary ink, and washable ink. Hybrid means a combination of pigment based and dye ink. Solvent-based ink is good for glassware and ceramics. Temporary and washable ink is used in kid’s products.
Archival inks and paper
Archival inks and paper are products marked as acid-free and fade-resistant.
Is it wise to buy stained rubber stamps?
Second-hand or used rubber stamps are listed as ‘stained’. There are some inks, which can permanently discolor the mounting handles or rubber stamps. This does not affect the stamped image quality but it decreases secondary sale value.
Ink manufacturers claim that their products are stain-free. You can even get cleaners but there is no guarantee that these can remove ink stains. Usually, cleaners are formulated by ink manufacturers to clean a particular ink brand only.
Rubber stamps can add individuality and charm to gift bags, scrapbooks, home décor, and cards. Online stores are vital foe those craftsmen, who demand quality for a reasonable price.