Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Memento vs Versafine - the details

Both Memento and Versafine inks are manufactured by Tsukineko. Both are fast-drying inks that are billed as great for detailed stamping. Memento inks are fade-resistant water-based dye inks that are suitable for most paper surfaces. Versafine is an oil-based pigment ink that is most suited to uncoated papers.

When I posted on a stamping forum about having used the new Memento inks, one question that came up was how it performed on glossy. I hadn't tried it, so I put that on my list of things to test. I'd been using it on uncoated cardstock and found that it worked well with Copic markers and with the magic colored pencil technique--click on the "Memento ink" label at the end of this post to see examples that I've posted. I particularly like the London Fog because it's more subtle than black for these techniques. I hadn't been all that impressed by its ability to pick up the finer details in stamp images though. These are juicy inks and tend to bleed and blur just a bit when first stamped. For detailed stamping I was still of the opinion that Versafine was by far and away the best ink. It's good for watercoloring, but tends to smear occasionally when used with certain solvents or solvent inks, so it does have its own drawbacks.

Today I decided to compare these two inks that have been billed as great for detailed stamping. I have two different cards in two styles, mainly because of the ink colors that I used. I used the same stamps on the same glossy paper though. These are Hero Arts stamps and the windows were cut out using Sizzix Movers & Shapers dies.

This is the card stamped with Memento London Fog dye ink. The border punch is the Martha Stewart Lace Doily.

Here's a closer view of the stamped images. I wasn't able to get a good true color, but you can see that the lines in the images are blurry and the ink bled. Not a very impressive result. I did notice that it had looked a bit cleaner when I'd first stamped it, so I decided to give it another try, this time giving it a blast with the heat gun.

This was better, but I still wasn't bowled over. This wasn't clearly better than other dye inks that I've used.

This next card was stamped using my trusty Versafine ink, even though I don't typically use it on glossy papers.

And here is a closer view that shows that it did pick up the finer details. I'd thought that I'd taken a pretty good shot, but I think that the glitter threw off the focus of the camera just a bit.

Still, I think you can see that the details are finer and clearer with the Versafine ink.

I like both of these inks. I think they each have a place in a stamper's arsenal. What will be done with an image after it's been stamped (watercolor, magic colored pencil, coloring with markers....) will probably be the best indicator of which ink would be best for that particular situation. When it comes to stamping highly detailed images though, Versafine ink will still be the first ink that I reach for.


  1. Thank-you for this review. I came looking for info on Memento. I might get one or two just for the range of colours otherwise I guess it's back to my trusty Versafines!

  2. I agree--I love the look of Versafine best. But it just won't work with Copics for me so I also use Memento too.


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