Saturday, August 9, 2008

The MOTHER of all black ink tests...

Well, I finally did it... a no-holds-barred look at 14 different black inks, 3 different markers and three different card stocks.

I did a similar study back in early 2007, and posted my results on SplitCoastStampers; holy moly, was I ever a rock star then! The biggest names of stamping commented on that post, and the queen herself, Julie Ebersole, mentioned little ole me on her blog. Then I passed out.

But, I knew my work was not finished... there were MORE black inks out there, and clearly I needed them. So, now I've got them. I'm up to 14 black inks, some I've had for years, a few I just opened today (don't tell my husband!).

Here are the players, in alphabetical order by manufacturer:


Papers:
Georgia Pacific White
PaperTrey Ink Stamper's Select in White
Stampin' Up! Whisper White

Markers:
Copic Lemon Yellow
Prismacolor Deco Yellow
Stampin' Up! Barely Banana (yes, I know, this is not an alcohol-based marker).

Weather conditions:

79 degrees F, 44% humidity, a perfect August day in Delaware (just above sea level), and why am I inside again?

The process:

  • Created a grid and printed it on the three different card stocks with my laser printer.
  • Stamped each ink into its appropriate box.
  • Carefully cleaned the stamp between inks with a three-step process:
  1. Ultraclean, then dry
  2. Stampin' Mist, then dry
  3. Swipe with a baby wipe
  • Allowed grids to dry for 30 minutes while starting this post
  • Colored over the lines (on purpose) with the appropriate marker
  • Cleaned each marker nib, each time, by coloring on a sheet of printer paper
  • Swiped a line of the matching colorless blender pen through each colored area
  • Checked for bleeding, feathering & smearing
  • Ranked the inks 1, 2, or 3 on each grid
  • Entered the results into a spreadsheet, tallied and averaged the results
**Please note: I did not heat-set any of the inks, because I wanted to see the results of the average (lazy like me) stamper. Heat-setting the pigment inks would probably improve their performance**

Results:
  • A ranking of 1 indicated no black ink movement with the yellow marker or associated clear blender.
  • A ranking of 2 indicated no to minimal movement with the yellow, some movement with the clear blender.
  • A ranking of 3 was a hot mess. Movement with both marker and blender.
  • I threw the SU! marker results out of the averaging, because they were the true definition of hot mess. So, the averaging only took alcohol-based markers into account.




I was VERY impressed with Ranger's Nick Bantock Ink and Tsukineko's Memento... that stuff didn't budge with either of the alcohol-based markers or their clear blenders. Ranger's Adirondack and Distress inks also fared very well. As for the rest of them, well, you can be the judge (click for a larger view):




As for the papers, the PTI smeared the least, followed by the Georgia Pacific, and then the Stampin' Up! Whisper White.

Between the alcohol-based markers themselves, the Prismacolor smeared less than the Copic by 0.05 of a point (averaged), so I'd call that even.

Recommendations:

Ranger Nick Bantock or Memento on PaperTrey Ink. Anything else, you'll need to heat set or stay within the lines.

So what do you think?

19 comments:

Lisa said...

I think you rock and that I should be bowing down to you. But, I'm not a bower. Religious thing. :D)

Thanks so much for doing all of this work. You rock!

Lorri said...

You DO rock, and I'm bowing down to you!! LOL, as a retail store owner you just saved me heaps of work testing things - and for that I bow gratefully!
Way to go, and thank you for the time and effort into your research to help everyone out.

Cheri said...

Wow...you are amazing. What a great help you are to all of us. Thanks for all of the testing you do, I read it every day.
Cheri

Krissi's Stitchery said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm just starting to move from fabric-only work to mixed media and love having someone else's side-by-side comparisons!

Linda w said...

Wow Dana I am so impressed with all of your hard work on this test. Thank you so much for posting this one.

Linda w

Gailanne said...

Aahhhh...the definitive answer at last. Thank you for your careful and truly scientific lab work!

Amy said...

Holy cow! You put a lot of work into that! Way to go. I don't really want to buy new ink but you sure showed me the one I have isn't the best to use. Amazing that you OWN all that ink! Your craft room must be overflowing!

sarah said...

um... this is awesome! can you post this on CC??? I would LOVE that!!!

Mom to Deanna said...

WOW!! I love your testing! I have been wondering what ink to stamp with...

Anonymous said...

First of all. Excellent work! I am very excited to see a brilliant and methodical mind at work in stamping. :)

For future exeriments of this nature, could you have a control square of just the stamped image so we can see what each one looks like prior to being smeared by the ink?

Xerox Phaser 8550 ink said...

Great tutorial! Very informative in how well worded and descriptive you were! You know they say that if one knows how to describe what they want really well, then life is just as good as how you describe it :)
Its great for people who feel like time is running against them and then land on your blog and feel like a whole burden was just lifted off of their shoulder.. I admire and respect people who take time to make it easier for others.. Thanks a bunch! :)

Anonymous said...

You are fabulous! Thanks for your time and sharing with us.....

Lisa Renéa said...

Thank you so much for this very informative explanation! Invaluable!
Thanks!!!

Debbie said...

As a new copic collector, I thank you from the bottom of my stamping heart! :o)

liannallama said...

wow! you're a goddess! Thanks for the chart! I'm so mad because I stamped a dozen images this weekend with my Stewart Superior India Ink, thinking I could use them with my Copics and they smeared! I guess I'll have to stick to my memories pad, but I am also going to experiment with my Nick Bantocks--thanks for the tip!

LadyDoc said...

THANK YOU is not big enough, but will have to do! :)

scrapbookqueensassymouth said...

thanks for this results. it is very interesting!! and very helpful.

Brother Toner Cartridges said...

Great work very interesting...Love it...Thanks

print country coupon code said...

Saving this to my reading list (you gotta love the new Safari feature on iOS 5!). Great post.... P.S. Happy Friday, everyone :)