Comparison of Stamp Pad Inks on Fabric

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Here’s another post inspired by the “which one is best?” question. I like to stamp images on fabric postcards, art quilts, and even ribbon for paper crafting. So I got to wondering which stamp pad would work best on fabric (providing a nice, clear image) and which, if any, would survive a washing.

The contenders in this comparison are:

Using the same bee stamp by Anita’s Inque Boutique, I stamped each pad on a piece of 100% quilters’ cotton (ivory.) Use the alphabet chart above to reference what ink is which.

After looking at all the samples in natural light, I thought the stamp pad inks that provided the sharpest details and the least amount of bleeding included H) VersaCraft, K) Colorbox, and L) PowderPuff.

However, I note in the photos that J) Distress Ink also looks great!

Then I pressed the fabric with a hot, dry, iron to “set” the inks a bit….and then ran it through a warm water wash, and cold rinse using regular detergent and fabric softener. How did they hold up? Well, take a look:

After warm-water wash.

 

After warm-water wash.

 

There was only one disappointment- the A) Inkadinkado sample washed right off. Also, the J) Distress Ink faded quite a bit.

Amazingly, the rest of the stamp pads faired very well! I’d have to say that the H) VersaCraft pad- which is labeled for wood, fabric, and paper- was the clear winner- still sharp and vibrant after the wash.

But as you can see, many of stamp pads you probably already have in your craft box- like the Archival Ink pad, Staz On, or Brilliance Ink pads- will also do double-duty on wearable fabric crafts!

There you have it- stamp on with your crafty fabric selves!

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

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29 Responses to “Comparison of Stamp Pad Inks on Fabric”

  1. Debbi Glennie Says:

    Jenny, I think you must be telephathic – I want to stamp on a cotton apron and have been thinking over the last couple days about what inkpads I should use – so thankyou for this and I’ll give it a try
    Debz
    xx

  2. Victoria Sturdevant Says:

    Great comparison! One hint is to always pre-wash with no fabric softener. Stamping with acrylic paint is great, too.

  3. Jen Clark Says:

    Wow – I’m actually surprised so many of them did so well! LOL I am very surprised there was any Distress Ink left at all – given that it’s a water-reactive ink. Distress Inks always bleed when I use them on paper and put water over the top – even if they’ve been heat set. I never would have thought to try it on fabric…but I kind of like the washed out look, and it might be fun to layer it with a more permanent ink…so now I’m wondering…would it continue to wash out, or do you think it would stay put after the first washing? Hmm…

  4. Terri - Hawaii Says:

    Wow, thanks so much for doing this. I’ve always wondered of all the stamp pads, which would be the best for most media I would want to stamp on. As far as washing before and after, I think the main point was made to show us which held up the best on fabric after washing and even with fabric softner. Most sewers/crafters know to wash fabric before using : )

  5. MoMo Says:

    I am just getting into the hobby of creating gauze/muslin baby wraps, washcloths and burp cloths, what a great comparison as I went to my local craft store who stated they weren’t sure why ink would work on fabrics without bleeding. This is great!!

  6. Jason Says:

    Super helpful – we’re about to stamp 200 wedding napkins. Looks like we’ll be going with VersaCraft!

  7. Jenny Says:

    Glad it was helpful to you- and congrats on your wedding! : )

  8. Patti Romano Says:

    Thanks so very much for this information! We’re about to stamp 500 muslin bags for our Field Trips in a Box and were looking for the best fabric stamp pad. Am about to order right now!

  9. Brenda Says:

    Thank you for doing all this work. I ordered a versacraft pad and have successfully printed on muslin without it washing out. It looks very nice.

  10. PJ Says:

    THANK YOU for this comparison test! I was set to invest in some VersaCraft pads but am finding that they’re less and less available (if not actually Discontinued(?)) .. I have read that the VersaMagic pads are replacing the VersaCraft pads and are allegedly as good in terms of opacity and surviving washing – I see that you used the VersaMagic dewdrop (stamp “C”) but in both initial stamping and post-wash it seems significantly Less crisp than the VersaCraft stamp (stamp “H”) – would you agree with this (or am i confusing a not-true-black-color initial stamping with actual opacity both pre and post wash)?

  11. --ginger. Says:

    THANK YOU. I’ve been looking for an answer to his question forever. Yeesh. Totally appreciate your post.

  12. Katrina Says:

    You have just saved the day. Thanks so much for this post – I have been hunting and hunting for economical self-printing solutions for fabric and this hits the nail on the head. Thank you!

  13. robin Says:

    I’d be interested to know what inks lasted after many washings, nit just one.

  14. Jessica Says:

    Thank you for this great info! I’m using VersaCraft to stamp some drawstring bags and decided to search and see if that was the best thing to use and it looks like it is!

  15. Lisa Says:

    I tried using the Versacraft with a stamp on a cotton napkin and it’s coming out really light? Is there any way to get it darker?

  16. Jenny Says:

    Lisa- it’s hard to help you troubleshoot without seeing your stamp and results so far. Maybe post a pic on our FB page? Could be that the stamp you are using is not bold enough, or that you need to re-ink the stamp pad. Good luck!

  17. Darlene Says:

    thank you for all your work to get this information out for us crafters . . . I am wondering if anyone has results of stamping on silk?

    Best,
    Darlene

  18. Robin Says:

    Thanks for doing the work for me! I suspected some of your results- my jeans have a dropped-ink-pad stain from a Ranger Archival pad I dropped months (and many hot water washes)ago. Still pretty dark.

  19. Teresa Says:

    THANK YOU sooo much for posting this research project. I’ve been trying to stamp on fabric for a few days now and have had no luck with fabric paints and some stamp pads. Yippy…you’ve given me hope.

  20. Roche Says:

    Thank you soooooo much for this experiment which you documented so meticulously and still helping people like me,till today! You rock! Please keep documenting!

  21. Rachel Says:

    I was trying to figure out what ink pads would work best on cotton fabric and came across your post, which proved to be very helpful, so thank you. I wanted to point out, though, that while I was in the craft store looking at some of these brands, the Staz On actually says “Not recommended for use on fabrics.” right on the back of the pad. Versacraft and some of the other brands were not available to me, so I ended up purchasing MementoLuxe, which is an archival mixed media ink. It can be used on many surfaces, including fabric. I have yet to use it, but I will keep you posted!

  22. Jenny Says:

    Rachel- Staz-On may not be recommended for fabrics, but- the results will speak for themselves~ !

  23. Lisa C. Brooklyn Says:

    Oh…how I wish I could put you in my pocket as I shop for art/craft supplies. Often times instructions for a product are not explained throughly. Although not a writer, I do know if you do write something, write for the reader. You do this and more….thank you. I am getting into different crafts and often times I buy a variety of the same product and do my own comparison. This can be very time consuming and expensive, not to mention stressful. I love the fact you show each product, its recommended use and the result, following through with general care and maintenance. I cannot express to you how relieved I am to know “common sense know-how” is available on your site. Thank you again for your time, talent, and expertise. I know in the grand scheme of things (the world, life) creativity may seem trivial in comparison, but sometimes its these simple joys that make everything else tolerable. Your work adds to that joy, again thank you. (P.S. I am not a comment writer, but you deserve the recognition).

  24. Lynnsey Says:

    Thank you so much for this!

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