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Inks used for Giclée Printing

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Unlike small domestic inkjet printers, which print with dye-based inks, a giclée printer uses high quality, pigment based inks. Whereas a dye is essentially a broken-up pigment, pigment based inks consist of a whole pigment in a water based carrier fluid. This makes the prints extremely fade-resistant.

Most light sources, including outside sun light and indoor electric lighting, emit UV rays which are harmful to pigments. If they encounter a whole pigment, rather than colours that have been broken up into a dye, then it will take much longer for this colour to be susceptible to fading. Based on age testing, it is estimated that giclée prints will not show any signs of deterioration for up to 100 years, provided they are not exposed to extreme lighting conditions.

Finally, we only use the original Lucia pigment based inks, which guarantee the widest colour gamut and prevent scratching (pigment based inks don’t soak into the paper, so we need to take extra care when handling giclée prints!). The sophisticated printer differentiates between matt and lustre papers by using a different set of inks for the two types of substrates.

So, summarised:

Pigment based inks are resistant to fading and give the best colours reproduction.

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