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A frequent question asked by customers particularly concerning the Epson printers is when to run Pigment inks versus Dye Based inks. Below is a chart showing the advantage of one ink over the other.

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Dye based Inks
Claria, Standard Dye Based Inks
Pigment Based Inks
Durabrite, Ultrachrome, K3
Extreme brilliant high gloss images that leap off the page. Flatter, more muted colors with less luster.
Not water fast. Will wash off the paper.
Canon and HP specifically adds a black pigment cartridge to many of their dye based printers so that the printer can be used for check writing and official documents.
Pigments are water fast and will not run if they get wet.

Limited archivability with reds usually fading sooner than other colors. Depending on paper and UV glass, fade can vary from 1 - 3 years.

Substantially longer archivability with Ultrachrome and K3 having the longest life without fade. Epson has made several claims ranging from 60 -100 years before fade under perfect circumstances such as paper and UV glass. Ultrachrome and K3 have more resins giving the inks a better contrast and more gloss. Pop Photo Lab claims 200 years although these claims are virtually impossible to substantiate since actual tests have never been done.
Cost is very inexpensive and if you want to save then dye inks are very cost effective. Cost is more than double than dye based inks.
Dye inks have excellent adhesion to high gloss papers.

We have found some pigments that will wipe right off of certain high gloss papers hours after having been printed like a dry dust that simple would not adhere to the paper.
Dye based inks will fade quicker on T-Shirt Transfers but are okay if you are on a budget.

Pigment inks are great for T-Shirt transfers and have excellent longevity although not quite as good as sublimation inks. Sublimation inks have become almost cost prohibitive making the pigment inks a viable choice.
Dye based inks will work in virtually all inkjet printers including those designed strictly for pigmented inks IE Ultrachrome, K3 and Durabrite printers. If you switch you MUST flush the cartridges and print head with
Print Head Clog Buster otherwise you will coagulate the dissimilar inks and plug the print heads.
We carry a full line of cleaning cartridges for most of the Epson and some HP printers.



You can only use the Ultrachrome and K3 inks in the printers they were designed for. If you attempt to use the OEM compatible to Ultrachrome and OEM compatible to K3 in any other printers you will fight chronic print head plugging issues. You can use the OEM compatible to Durabrite inks in all Dye Based Printers without any issues however we recommend you do a nozzle test or simply print something with your printer at least every 3-4 days since the pigments tend to plug a little faster than the dye based inks.
Again be forewarned when switching from one type of ink to another to flush the system with Print Head Clog Buster to prevent coagulation.
Color gamut is so close from dye to pigment that there is is little if any discernable difference when making the transition. Color gamut is so close from pigment to dye that there is is little if any discernable difference when making the transition.

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