Introduction to Scrapbooking Pens
12 March 2009
Author: Spotted Canary
Every pen is not created equal. When buying a pen for crafting make sure you read the label and understand what type of ink is the in barrel. If you want to preserve your memories through the years, make sure your scrapbooking pens use archival quality pigment ink. Below are a few other terms you should be familiar with when shopping for scrapbooking pens.
- Types of Ink
- Pigment Ink - Acid-free, lightfast, fade proof and waterproof. While it is permanent on most surfaces, it will not stay permanent on such surfaces as plastic or acrylic. It is archival, chemically stable and therefore is a good choice for most scrapbooking and paper crafting projects.
- Dye Ink -Water based ink that will soak into porous surfaces. Dye ink pens are not suitable for archival projects like scrapbooks.
- Oil Based Ink - Many gel ink and ball point pens are oil based. Oil based inks may write on multiple surfaces, but not all are acid-free.
- Permanent Ink -Alcohol based that writes on any surface. It will not smear once dry. However, the alcohol inks will separate and fade over time.
- Archival Quality - For something to be considered archival quality, it must be durable, chemically inert and proven to be long lasting. Below are some other key terms you should be aware of when looking for archival quality writing implements.
- Acid-Free - Products are considered acid-free if the pH level is 7.0 or higher. Materials with a lower pH level will break down over time and may cause deterioration.
- Lightfast - Does not fade when subjected to light.
- Fade Proof - Does not fade or change color over time.
- Water Proof - Also referred to as water resistant, this means it is not affected by water.
- Non-Bleeding - Will not bleed if the mark comes into contact with water or moisture, nor will it bleed through the paper to show ink on the other side of the paper.
- Tip - Refers to the end of the pen. Tips come in many different sizes and shapes, depending on the style of writing you are trying to achieve.
- Fine Tip - Creates a thin line.
- Bullet Tip - Creates a thick round pen stroke. It can be a great example of writing something in bold print as opposed to a fine tip’s thin line.
- Calligraphy Style Tip - Wide and flat. When used correctly, this tip can create unique artistic strokes and elegant lettering, like on a wedding invitation.
- Chisel Style Tip - Wide and flat like a calligraphy tip, but also shaped at a 45 degree angle. This allows for bold lettering and the addition of fun serifs to any handwriting style.
These tips should help you select fun and functional scrapbooking pens for your next project!