Dye Ink vs Pigment Ink

Difference Dye Ink and Pigment Ink

Whether it is dye ink or pigment ink, after printing both the ink starts fading over time. Pigment ink is highly recommended for long-term and outdoor uses print and dye ink for a short periods of time & indoor uses for prints.

Dye Ink vs Pigment Ink

There are two types of ink used in the inkjet printer 1. Pigment 2. Dye Ink. It is very difficult to understand the difference between dye ink and pigment ink to the common man. Usually, Liquid form ink is made for inkjet printers that operated through piezo technology and thermal printing head.

How dye ink and pigment ink particles’ characteristics differ from each other lets us understand here in a simple way.

Dye Ink: Dye-based ink contains a water-soluble dye particle. Dye particles are very small in size and come out on the substrate through a printing head (a very tiny nozzle in form of droplets). It is cheaper in price and the dye ink printed product color looks very vibrant. Usually, dye ink printers have low-speed printing. Dye ink is most preferred for indoor uses.

Dye Ink

Pigment Ink: Pigment inks are very long fading the color is not very bright. It is costly compared to dye ink. According to the survey, the market share of pigment is 3%. These types of ink are used for long-lasting as well as signage making, government document records for the next generation, etc. Pigment ink is manmade ink and it is a plastic liquid highly bonded.

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End Result of Dye Ink and Pigment Ink

Dye InkPigment Ink
1. Translucent Ink1. 100% Opaque
2. Ink particles are very small in size, and easily passed into substrate pores.2. Big in size, stay on the upper layer on the substrates.
3. Ink starts fading sooner.3. It takes a longer time as it is ultra-violet proof ink
4. Pocket-friendly, low cost4. Very costly, per liter cost is very high.
5. It required enough time may cause a higher chance of smudged print5. Smudge-free print, it dries out instantly.
6. The property of the ink is very thin.7. Very thick (concentrate)
7. Very easy to write upon the printed substrate.8. Harder to write on it.
Difference Between Dye ink & Pigment Ink

Uses of Ink

Both inks are used in the inkjet printer for different types of uses.

  • Such as dye sublimation ink for transfer printing on the polyester of polyester blend materials. Dye sublimation ink is easy to remove from the substrate.
  • In a long term used likewise rubber stamp ink for documentation for the next generation.
  • Signage used for a long term even if it is straight in the sunlight using pigment ink is the best practice.

Each commercial printer is made of specific types of printing ink. Dye-based ink printer has no inbuilt setup to make print dry sooner after finishing the printing application so it takes enough time ultimately speed is very low and the high speed it defames the face of print quality.

The pigment ink printer required a special attachment of UV light just behind the printer head. It makes print dry sooner within a few seconds after printing.

Dye ink Best Uses

Colored Digital Photos, Gift Items, and Regular Home Document Printing are the most common products that get printed.

Pigment Ink Best Uses

Outdoor Signage, Long Term Record Printing


I (Suresh Kumar) have over 24 years of experience designing, printing, advertising, and printing technology space. During this period I have worked with lots of trusted printing machine brands. Experienced a variety of ink, print media, and post-press equipment .brand. I am fond of grabbing high technology and fast printing equipment even traditional and digital printing machines. Our continuous practice in offline print shops, online printing stores, the latest printing technologies, and learning curiosity made my in-depth knowledge of the printing industry.

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