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Purple Ink Comparison

Hi All,

I know this is sort of a random comparison, but why not? I noticed that I had a lot of purple inks. I decided to stamp all of them to see how they compare.

This isn’t an official comparison of ink brands, because I think you could be swayed by how much you like the shade of purple. Also, it’s just one stamp of one color for each brand. The dryness of the ink pad will affect the results. I did, however, have some interesting observations. Click the image below to get a larger view:

Purple Inks

And here are a few zoomed-in images:

Purple Inks

Purple Inks

Purple Inks

Purple Inks

Purple Inks

Notes about the process:

  • My camera has a micro lens on it. As a result, it picks up details that you cannot see with the naked eye. So, take the photos with a grain of salt.
  • I used Neenah Solar White cardstock, except for the first Stampin’ Up! sample, which is on Stampin’ Up! Whisper White paper.
  • I forgot to include the Altenew and Distress Oxide inks, which is why I added them on separate paper.
  • The zoomed images are not different photos – they are actual zooms of the original photo.

My observations:

  • For some reason, there is a chemical formula for ink that is used by many brands, giving you the same results. Personally, it’s not my favorite. I don’t know the reasons why this chemical formula is continually used – maybe it has to do with cost. Maybe it’s because of patent restrictions. Whatever the reason, I can usually tell which companies are using this formula. Above, you’ll notice Umbrella (a scrapbook.com brand), Hero Arts, and Simon Says Stamp are all very similar. They use this formula. Although MFT is a marketed as a hybrid ink, I see similar results with this ink as well. The images stamped with this type of ink are usually not very crisp. If you take a look at the small dots, they look a little grainy. And, the lines are not quite as straight. No, it’s not the camera focus, although it sure does look that way!
  • Altenew gave surprisingly fantastic results. I would say the winner by far! Not only did it stamp with crisp lines, it’s also exceptionally smooth. There is no blotchiness or white showing through whatsoever. Dare I say it’s perfect?! I did not see this coming when I started the experiment. I may have to buy more of these.
  • Ranger Dye ink was my runner-up favorite. I get consistently good results with this ink. However, the problem is that it stains your stamps, as does Simon Says Stamp. I’m not concerned with the actual long-term staining of my stamps. What DOES concern me is that the ink stays on the stamp and shows up in the next color you use. When I have to switch colors with the same stamp, I usually need Staz-on to truly get the color off for re-stamping. That’s kind of a biggish problem.
  • The Distress Oxide ink was probably my third favorite. Although the lines weren’t quite as crisp as the top two, they were better than the others.
  • I’m afraid to say that Stampin’ Up! didn’t perform as well as usual. It could be that my ink pad is too juicy. I usually get crisper results. Although it wasn’t as crisp as the top 3, it was the second-best in smoothness, next to Altenew.
  • Not surprisingly, Stampin’ Up! inks stamp much better on Stampin’ Up! paper. Also, Stampin’ Up! needs a better purple in their standard ink line-up.
  • Distress inks are not good for stamping, but we kind of already knew that. 🙂

All in all, a fun little experiment. Hope you enjoyed. 🙂



Wisteria Wonder
Wisteria Wonder Ink
MFT Grape Jelly Ink
MFT Grape Jelly Ink
Umbrella Lilac Lane
Umbrella Lilac Lane
Ranger Lavender Field
Ranger Lavender Field
Hero Arts Lavender
Hero Arts Lavender
Simon Says Stamp Wisteria Ink
SSS Wisteria Ink
Shaded Lilac Distress Ink
Shaded Lilac
Altenew Shades of Purple
Altenew Shades of Purple
Distress Oxide - Wilted Violet
Distress Oxide – Wilted Violet
SSS Artsy Flower Parts
SSS Artsy Flower Parts
Neenah Solar White Cardstock
Neenah Cardstock
Stampin' Up! Whisper White Cardstock
Stampin’ Up! White Cardstock


  1. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 10:31 am


    Thanks for this post, always interesting to see the comparisons. i have to say that my stampin up pads are also super juicy and they look very splotchy when i use them, which is disappointing. Any suggestions of how to use their inks to get a better impression? i love their colors but rarely reach for them due to them being too juicy!

    • wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Carol Mac

      Hi Sarah, if your SU pads are too juicy, you can run your bone folder across the pad to push the ink down and some will be on your bone folder and you can just wipe it off. HTH 😎

      • wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 4:04 pm


        i will try that trick thank you!

  2. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 1:08 pm


    Thanks for the post Darlene. Nice job.

    • wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 2:36 pm


      I find with SU, that not pushing the stamp into the pad, but rather tapping 3 times lightly gets a fully even coverage without those spots or bubbles of too much ink.

  3. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 1:34 pm


    Thanks Darlene. I haven’t yet found a purple ink that I really love. I have the SU Wisteria Wonder, but it’s just got too much gray in it. Every time I go to use it I find myself pulling another color for that purpose. I may have to try the Altenew Lavendar Fields.

  4. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 1:58 pm


    This is a great post and it’s clear that a lot of work went into it. I don’t have half this many pads of purple but from what I see the grayness of Stampin up’s purple is unpleasant. I think the oxide looks thick and bright. Thanks for presenting this!

  5. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 2:33 pm


    Thanks, Darlene, for your comparison. You are always going out of your way to make things easier for all of us. I appreciate that very much. I have several of the Altenew inks and I really like them. Have a great day! Blessings,

  6. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Jean McGee

    I have a Memento Grape Jelly ink pad and I am v.e.r.y happy with it.
    Jean McGee

  7. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 4:00 pm


    Catherine Pooler has 3 new purple inks in her new collection. Her inks are so vibrant and beautiful.

  8. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Carol Mac

    Hi Darlene, I agree about SU,wisteria wonder, it’s a yucky gray purple. I still have and use SU Lovely Lilac but will soon run out of paper! I have the old ink pad and a re-inker and still use it for a good purple! The new SU in colors don’t have a nice purple (again). ;-( Thanks for doing this! 😎

  9. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Lesley S

    Like Darlene, I love the crispness and vibrancy of the Ranger Dye Inks, but I know I’m going to have to do a serious cleaning of the stamp. I find the Hero Arts Ultraclean does a good job of that. And the problem happens with some of my Simon Says and Hero Arts shadow inks, especially in the stronger colours, but the shades are so lovely, it’s worth the extra cleaning. Purples seem to be a tough colour family. I also have and like Memento’s Grape Jelly and the Ranger Grape Soda is fantastic. I like the Altenew Purple set, except that the lightest shade is simply too light to be of much use for me. Thanks for another comparison Darlene!

  10. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 7:09 pm


    Love the MFT color the best. I agree SU needs a better purple. Thanks for the comparison. May need to get some Altenew colors….

  11. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 9:03 pm


    Thanks for giving us this ink comparison test. I have some Altenew inks that I have yet to use. So I will make a point of using them soon. I like the Distress Oxide ink very much though and Wilted Violet is one of my favourite colours.

  12. wrote on May 8th, 2017 at 9:12 pm


    Thank you for this. I do enjoy the comparisons you do. I also find a “real” purple hard to find. The Oxide color looks really pretty though. I am going to get a couple Altenew Inks and try them. I have lots of Stampin Up inks and just do not care for the extra juicy consistency.

  13. wrote on May 9th, 2017 at 7:25 am


    I agree with Isnodg. The Catherine Pooler inks are really good. They have a foam pad and stamp a solid, crisp image. (She was a SU demonstrator in the past.and they seem similar to SU pads to me.) They can be a little juicy so you might have to wipe off the pad before you start. One of her claims is you will not get contamination from one color to another like you mentioned with other inks. Watch out for the black though, it is permanent and will stain. I have really been enjoying using these inks.

  14. wrote on May 9th, 2017 at 11:25 am


    I’m with you on the SU purple. I hate wisteria wonder! I was so upset when they did their color adjustment and got rid of most of their purples. Silly!

  15. wrote on May 9th, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Colorful Card Maker

    I have one purple and i like it. It’s from Fabrico but they changed their name and I can’t remember the new name. Not only did I take a class in card making from a rubber stamp store in CT that has since closed up but I took a class in how to stamp on fabric. Fabrico can be used on both fabric and paper and wood and some other things. It is purple and it’s a nice shade of purple. It stamps very crips and clean.I also have a re-inker. It’s a grape purple, nothing like most of the colors you showed and no dots in it, at least none that I have ever seen. Its kind of like the color of distress oxide violet only a little darker. Then I discovered this amazing ink that is also good for fabric and paper. Its called MementoLUXE and the color is Lilac Posies. Yellow is my favorite color but this color is very pretty too. I love ink pads that do double duty especially for someone like me. It makes me mad when I need to separate pads for fabric and paper. It costs me more money that way. All of my ink pads make clean, crisp colors.
    Do you know what this reminds me of? It reminds me of when I buy markers.I bought a marker that has a pink cap. By pink I mean carnation pink or bubble gum pink. The cap was that color and I wanted a pink color. I didn’t have anything to try it out on in the store so I took it home. I was so disappointed! The color was a reddish pink, nothing like the cap color. Boy was I mad! That’s how I would feel about the Stamping’ Up purple. It’s not purple at all at least not how it looks on your paper. It’s an ugly color. I would not be happy if I bought that color hoping for purple and got that. Boy would I be mad!
    You guys won’t believe what I use to clean my stamps. A friend of mine who used to have stamping classes at her house once a week and now sells stamps and paper for a company where you sell it like Tupperware uses this to clean all of her stamps. I asked her about mounted and unmounted stamps and she says she uses this on all of them every time she cleans them. She says she has never ruined a stamp yet from using it. When I clean my stamps with this, they look like I’ve never used them they come that clean. I used to use something I got at that stamp store that closed up and I don’t remember the name but it was light blue in color. That was okay but this is better. It’s called LA ‘s Totally Awesome All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner/Degreaser Spot Remover. I don’t know how Claudia discovered this for her stamps but boy does it work! She and I use it straight from the bottle. Just thought I would throw that out there.

  16. wrote on May 9th, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Colorful Card Maker

    Forgot to say that I can take pictures of my 2 purples and you can see how they look. I mean I can stamp something and you can see the crisp, clear images. As far as I know the Fabrico ink under the new company name is the same purple color as the one I have. Personally I love colors, hence my name on here and I try to have as many colors of ink as I can and the brighter the better!

  17. wrote on May 10th, 2017 at 4:20 am


    That was very interesting Darlene. I am so glad to see that Altenew inks have performed well as not too long ago I bought 5 sets of these inks and I am yet to use them. I have finally relented and bought 6 Oxide Inks. They are coming via a friend from San Francisco to Australia at the end of May.

  18. wrote on May 11th, 2017 at 8:37 pm


    thanks for this Darlene. I was relieved to read your thoughts on the Simon Says Stamp inks as that happened to me trying to make a whole set of ink swatches, most of them ended up not the true colour. I have so many different brands and am often just not happy with the stamping. have just bought some Gina K cubes to try and so far they are stamping really well. I am also considering what for me (in Australia) will be a massive investment and getting the new range from Catherine Pooler. have you, or any one on here tried them yet? Probably like a lot of people I just want a reliable ink pad, that comes in a range of colours from brights to softer pastels to cover our stamping. I am happy with seperate inks like distress ink and the oxides for different uses but just want a reasonable number of stamping ink pads that don’t end up filling half a cupboard!

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