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Posted by: Annie Goldberg on 11/19/20 1:30 PM

One of the questions our sales guys get asked most about the iJetColor envelope presses is, “Is the ink water-safe?” Until now, the answer to that was no, but with the launch of our newest product, the iJetColor Pro 1175P, we can happily answer, “Yes, the pigment-based ink is water-safe!” So, what does that mean and what other advantages does pigment ink bring to the table? Keep reading to find out! 


Pigment vs Dye

Both the Memjet and HP envelope presses use aqueous-based or water-based inks, but the big difference is that the iJetColor Classic, NXT, and Pro powered by Memjet, use dye-based ink and the iJetColor Pro 1175P with HP technology, uses pigment-based ink.

A dye-based ink uses a water-soluble dye as the colorant. The dye ink works best on porous substrates to allow the ink to soak into it, which means that it cannot be used on coated substrates.  Due to the small color particle size, dye inks tend to have less fade resistance, but are also typically more economical and good for applications that require a short lifetime such as event tickets and billing statements.

Pigment-based ink uses insoluble pigments as the colorant, making it water-safe. Pigment is made from powders that are mixed into a base, which creates colorant particles that run throughout the base. This kind of ink sits on top of the substrate, rather than soaking into it. The color particle size of pigment inks is larger than that of dye inks, making them more fade-resistant and water-safe. This increased durability allows for a variety of substrates to be used from coated mailers to labels and packaging. 

There you have it! Which ink best suits your print operation depends on what print applications you typically see. If you need help deciding which ink is right for you - contact us at

Topics: Inkjet
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