Ink - Dye or Pigment? Advantages/disadvantages of each
General Queries -
The main difference between dye and pigment inks is that dye ink is a solution of colorant completely dissolved in liquid, where as pigment ink is solid colorant particles suspended in liquid.
Both pigment and dye inks have their advantages and disadvantages, so it depends on what type of printing you are doing as to which ink you should choose to print with.
Firstly, optical compounds are added to dye ink which makes the colours produced much more vibrant. However, because of these optical compounds, and also because dye inks are spread more thinly than pigment inks, it means they are much less resistant to UV rays. This means the colours will fade much quicker in sunlight than you would find using pigment inks, which can last up to 80+ years when used with archival papers. Leading on from this, as dye inks are spread more thinly on paper than pigment inks, they tend to work better with high-gloss papers as the ink sits on the surface of the paper, and therefore the image stays vibrant rather than appearing washed out. Dye inks should also be water and oil resistant when used with glossy papers. Pigment inks on the other hand work better with semi-gloss and matt papers as the amount of ink laid down is much greater, so it doesn’t effect the print if some of the ink is soaked in to the surface.