Stamp pads are a wonderful, marvelous thing. Every paper crafter needs to have at least FOUR different stamp pads in their crafty toolbox. But there is always a question so which stamp pad works best for which jobs. So today, we’re taking a closer look at VersaFine Stamp Pads by Tsukineko!
From the website:
Looking for an ink to give you extremely fine detail? An ink that you are able to watercolor or marker over and it won’t bleed? Then look no further! This natural oil-based pigment ink dries instantly on matte cardstock. You won’t believe it till you see it. Available in 10 colors, no inkers needed. Inkpad lasts 3-5 times longer than regular inks.
- Versafine is Tsukineko’s unique pigment ink with an extraordinary ability to crisply capture finely detailed images; it is a favorite of seasoned stampers and is considered by many to be the finest stamping ink available
- 10 rich and fast-drying colors available in full-size and small inkpads
- A favorite for use with Memento water-based markers and other watercolor applications
- Cleans up easily with stazon all-purpose stamp cleaner
- Measures 3.70 by 2.634 by 0.695-inch
Let’s take a closer look!
The lid is on a hinge, which conveniently folds back behind the stamp pad. This is especially helpful if you are inking large stamps or want to use a direct-to-paper technique. Note that the ink pad is raised up about 3/8 inch from the base.
VersaFine stamp pads come in 10 colors, and I had five of them to play with- so I did some swatch testing for you !
Here I found a very detailed stamp- this intricate teacup- and stamped all the colors I had. Note that the “miss” on the blue color was user error. I also used a foam dauber to create the dot smudges.
Here you can see how VersaFine covers- it IS a pigment ink, which means that you will have some opacity to it. The images are crisp and clear on the patterned paper, and with a heavy application, the black almost completely obscured the pattern on the paper.
VersaFine touts that it dries the fastest on matte cardstock- so I thought I’d compare it with glossy cardstock:
After I stamped the hummingbirds, I ran a finger over the image. As you can see, the glossy smeared- but the matte sample was already soaked in and dry enough not to smudge. I was able to get the inks to dry on the glossy cardstock by using a heat gun.
Which lead me to my next text- how does it work on glossy?
Personally, I like this textured, uneven look. Very fun for backgrounds. I also tried inking up some embossing folders:
This leads me to think that the VersaFine pads would be great with your Fuse Letterpress plates. Since the inks soak in and “dry” so fast, it would be ideal for that faux-letterpress look.
Next up- water tests!
In the above sample, I stamped a swatch and then misted it heavily with water. The inks did NOT BUDGE. Then I brayered a background with the VersaFine inks, and misted it over with Glimmer Mist. Again, no running or bleeding!!!
This is a great feature for me- a pigment ink that dries fast, is embossable, and is water-safe?? Love that.
Oh…and speaking of embossing…. I thought it was only fair to do an embossing test. While the ink does dry rapidly on matte cardstock, it’s not so fast that you can’t emboss with it.
Now, if you recall, some time back I did a test on which stamp pads worked best on fabrics. So I did a quickie swatch test on fabric image and color-fastness after a wash. Take a look:
Here you can see that the printed quilter’s cotton yielded a sharp, clean image with no bleeding whatsoever. The polyester is not as sharp, but then again the texture is quite a bit coarser. But the big “OOOOOHHHH!” is what happened after I washed it it warm water (along with a regular load of laundry.)
See how nice that image still is on the cotton????? YOWZA! That’s just as good, if not better, than the VersaCraft pad that I used for my previous test (and which, by the way, was the winner.) Since these are “sister” products, I shouldn’t be surprised. But you can bet that from now on, when I’m getting ready to stamp on fabric, I’m going to reach for my VersaFine!
So lastly, I want to share what I made with the VersaFine Stamp Pads.
Since the VersaFine stands up to water so well, I stamped this tag and then used watercolors over it. It’s hard to see in this photo, but the black is a nice crisp black that holds it’s own against the watercolors.
Here I stamped a card using only the stamps and VersaFine Pads. (Stay tuned, you’ll see more of this stamp set later this month.) I think the colors are sharp and vibrant and layer very well.
So… here’s the skinny! Overall, the VersaFine performed incredibly well. Since I have new pads, I can’t report on how long the ink lasts, but I can say that the combined features of water-fastness, embossability, and color-fastness on fabric are all HUGE “plusses” for me. I’m not sure that the VersaFine holds stamped-image detail any better than the other pads I’ve tried, but the other benefits are enough.
These stamp pads retail for between $6-$8 USD online (before shipping costs) and up to $9.99 in stores. There is also a “mini” version available but I can’t tell you anything about those other than they exist.
On the whole, these are great pads and I’m going to have to get back to stamping some fabric soon!
How would YOU use them? Do you have them? We’d love to hear from you!
Disclosure: stamp pads provided for review.