Ink is a specific type of liquid with chemical compositions that help make it different colors. The two main methods of bringing colors to an ink are using dyes or pigments. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re interested in making or producing your own shirts or other products, you should understand the difference between dye inks versus pigment inks when working with custom vinyl printing.
Benefits of Dye Inks
Most manufacturers derive dye from plants and other natural resources through synthetic chemistry. Dye ink is very common in printing because it’s accessible, affordable, and produces vibrant colors. However, while it’s often the more affordable and visually pleasing option, it may start to fade or run faster than pigment ink.
Benefits of Pigment Inks
While pigment inks require a large monetary investment with slightly less vibrant colors, they offer greater longevity. This is because pigments are organic colors suspended in small droplets of resin. These particles are larger than those in dyes and can typically withstand more environmental effects like water and sunlight.
Which Is Better?
When trying to figure out whether dye inks or pigment inks are better for your custom vinyl printing, know that there isn’t one right answer. Both ink options provide high-quality prints, and your decision may come down to whichever factors work better for you. We recommend dye inks for those starting out since they’re more affordable and require less investment for beginners. While dye inks have more vibrant colors, you won’t notice much of a dip in quality unless you’re doing a side-by-side comparison.