Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mama Elephant Pigment Ink Review

Hello my craft friends! I would usually post a card, however today's post is a little different. I recently purchased my very first set of pigment inks and I thought it would be a great idea to share them with you! I am by no means an ink expert and if you'd like to learn more about the different types of inks, Jennifer Mcguire has an excellent video that explains the different types in more detail (link to blog post).

Although I've started to accumulate quite the dye ink collection, I was always intimidated to take the plunge into pigment inks. While the vibrant, bold colors are gorgeous, between selecting the brand and determining if I really needed pigment inks, I was a little overwhelmed... to say the least. I spent a lot of time trying to decide between my top three choices: Mama Elephant, Avery Elle and Memento Luxe pigment inks. After scouring the internet and trying find every ink comparison post out there, I ultimately chose the Mama Elephant set based on the color palette and as Jennifer Mcguire mentioned, they're a lot less "juicy" than the Memento Luxe pigment inks. While pigment inks are slower drying inks in general, one of my biggest concerns was getting pigment inks that took ages to dry. I'm not the most patient crafter and I'm quite clumsy, so I could totally see myself smearing and smudging ink all over my projects lol.

So I hope you enjoy this post and at the very least, get a little bit more insight into the ME elephant pigment inks!

Now onto the ink pads! I purchased the entire set directly from Mama Elephant for $65 (USD). I threw in an extra stamp set I've been wanting (On Point Borders) to qualify for the free shipping. Like I previously mentioned, one of the biggest reasons I chose this ink bundle over my other top choices (Avery Elle and Memento Luxe) was the color palette. I absolutely love these colors!

Now before I began stamping all of the colors, I made sure I had my favorite stamp cleaner (Hero Arts Ultra Clean Stamp Cleaner) and scrubbing pad (Double Stamp Scrubber) on hand. You definitely want to make sure you clean your stamp well in between stamping. One thing I did really like about the pigment inks, is that unlike dye inks, they didn't stain my stamps at all.

Below are all of the pigment ink colors stamped out. I would have to say my favorite colors so far are Sunshine and Eggplant. I don't have a comparable yellow ink, and this yellow is so vibrant. And the Eggplant is such a pretty purple! I was happy to see that for the most part, all of the inks stamped true to color and provided nice, even coverage. The ink pads were not too "juicy" and you could apply moderate pressure to the ink pad without having to worry about ink smearing all over your stamp.

Drying Time
Once I had stamped all of my colors, the next thing I wanted to test was the drying time. I used Apple and Eggplant as my test colors since they're both pretty bold and any smearing would be more obvious. One thing I noticed is that Eggplant seemed to dry slower than Apple. This may be due to the actual color composition of the ink. I checked the drying time at 0 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min and 5 min intervals. I observed smearing for both colors up until the 1 minute interval. However, by 1 minute, the image stamped in Eggplant still had noticeable smearing, whereas the image stamped in Apple had subtle smearing. By 2 minutes, the image stamped in Apple was completely dry with no visible smearing. The Eggplant was visibly dry by the 5 minute interval. Overall, I would say the drying time is extremely reasonable. If I were in an absolute hurry, I could probably dry the inks much faster with my heat gun. But like I said, the drying times seem very reasonable. 

Stamping on Colored Cardstock
My next test was to stamp the pigment inks on to colored cardstock. For this test, I used Blush and Eggplant (I told you I just love this color lol). I started off by stamping both colors onto Neenah Desert Storm Kraft cardstock. Even though the Blush is such a light color, I was really impressed to see the level of coverage achieved on darker cardstock. The Eggplant looked absolutely gorgeous on the Kraft cardstock and stayed true to color.

I then stamped the same two colors onto some black cardstock. And in my opinion, this is where pigment inks really stand out! Because pigment ink sits on top of the paper, it still provides excellent coverage and beautiful color even on black cardstock. 

Heat Embossing
Perhaps one of my favorite qualities of pigment inks in general, is the ability to heat emboss them. While I have a few different colors of embossing powders, I don't always like the way they come out. They're not always true to color and with darker embossing powders, I tend to have an issue with strays. I was extremely pleased to see that the Mama Elephant pigment inks heat emboss beautifully. I was able to heat emboss the image below in Apple without having to rush. I used my favorite clear embossing powder: Hero Arts Ultra Fine Embossing Powder for a crisp, detailed embossed image.

Overall I'm extremely pleased with my purchase. I feel like this ink bundle is a great value if you want a set of pigment inks to start off with. They're high quality ink pads and include all of the basic colors you'd need to start off with. I do hope Mama Elephant eventually decides to expand their color selection in the future, I would love to see a pretty navy or forest green!

Thanks again for stopping by and until next time! ♥


  1. Wow! What a wonderful review of the pigment inks! Your pictures were great and I'm glad to hear the drying time was not so long. I might have to pick me up some ME inks now! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed my post :)! Thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping by ♥

  2. I'm exactly at the point you were back then ! So I'd like to know how you feel years after ? Do have try another brand ? In the long term are you still pleased by the Mama Elephant ?