Dye vs. Pigment Inkjet Inks - Which to Choose for your Labels?

Dye vs Pigment Ink

Dye inks are made up of artificial or natural dyes (from plants, as an example).

They diffuse little light and provide saturated and vivid colors when printing. Also, dye-based ink offers excellent color dispersion, maintaining the glistening look of the label.

When printing with dye ink, then the molecules spread out uniformly on the label. Dyes are sensitive to moisture and light, and therefore dye-based inks should sometimes be avoided depending on the job. The durability of these prints can be reduced in more rugged usage.

Finally, dye-based ink cartridges are cheaper, ideal for office prints that aren't exposed to an environment that can alter the color quality.

Pigment-based inks contain organic molecules encapsulated in a synthetic resin before being placed in suspension in a liquid. Pigment inks molecules are more abundant and better resist external forces such as light and ozone moisture than dye inks.

Pigment inks are less fluid; they stick to the labels and dry quickly without ever penetrating the label. With this type of ink, it’s also possible to adjust more precisely the colors, shades, gradients. The accuracy is better than that of dye inks.

Finally, the cost of pigment inks is slightly higher than that of dye-based inks.

Choosing the right color label printer for your needs is essential. If your labels need to resist high levels of UV, moisture or chemicals, then pigment-based inks are recommended with high gloss or chemical labels.

On the other hand, dye ink with matte labels will be entirely satisfactory if your needs are for vibrant graphics with less emphasis to resisting UV, moisture or chemicals.

Bear in mind that some dye-based inks are quite flexible with certain inkjet materials, so testing these combinations is sometimes the best solution. Generally, Inkjet label printer ink cartridges are chipped and designed to allow you only to use the correct inks with the Printer.


John McIntyre, Writer

John is a American who grew up to be a nerd with a philosophy degree and too many hobbies to count. He emigrated from California to New York in 2013. While he is not writing he is busy taking care of his two kids Claire and Vicky.