Lightfast ratings for alcohol inks
  • Hi there. My question is regarding the piñata inks. I use them regularly in my work but have concerns with fading. I realize these are dye based fugitive inks (aside from the metallics) and do take extra measures by adding UV protection on my finished work. However, can you please provide any lightfast tests that you have performed or where these inks sit on the lightfast scale? These inks are becoming more and more popular with artists and I get asked regularly about this topic through my social media platforms. Thank you. Jane.
  • The pinata inks are all in the 4-6 range meaning they are light resistant. We have done tests and 1 month of direct sun exposure shows just small changes in color. That is very good.

    After 5 months, the blues especially are noticeably different and so is Senorita magenta.

    In reality, provided they are not exposed to direct sunlight like this, they will look very good for a decade with very minimal fading. So, they won't last 100 years most likely, but in good conditions they can last a lifetime.
  • Ok. Thank you. :-)

    So when you say a ‘noticeable’ change with the blues and magenta, do you mean they're much lighter or changed changed in colour?

    I’m using HALS UV coated sprays and resin. So 4 coats of protection. I have a few pieces from several years ago that have not shown any changes so this is also good. I believe your brand to be the best overall.
  • We do use more lightfast dyes than our main competitor. It is actually one of the reasons we don't have as many colors.

    I think as long as you don't have the pieces in direct light and with the extra protection you have made that your paintings are going to last a very long time.
  • Ok one last question. How are the integrity of the inks affected when Claro Extender is used to lighten them?

    Thanks again. Appreciate your replies. :-)
  • The extender keeps the amount of binder(glue that holds the ink to the surface) the same. The extender is the ink without color, so it have alcohol and binder in it. It's about 10% binder and so are the inks. So when you mix the 2, you lighten the ink without compromising the stick at all because it always has 10% binder.

    When you mix with just alcohol you are lightening the color while also diluting the binder. So if you add half and half alcohol to ink, now you only have 5% binder, and the ink will not stick as well. This is no problem on a textured surface usually like a claybord or on paper, but it can affect adhesion on slick surfaces like glass or tile.
  • Point is you can lighten as much as you want with extender and the ink will stick as well as if it is full strength.
  • Yes thanks but I guess my question was really regarding fading now that the inks are lighter. Will less ink+ more extender fade faster than say that of full strength baja blue for example?
  • No, it won't change the rate of fading.