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Clear Stamps

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   Read our rubber stamp testimonials from happy rubber stamping fun customers.

Clear rubber stamps (as they are often referred to) are not actually made of rubber...I'm sure you'd figured that out by now. Actually acrylic stamps are made of either a clear photo polymer or vinyl. The best quality clear stamps are made from modern generation photo polymers that have been tested in labs for years and are also used in printing plates. (Who would have imagined...) While the technology to create clear stamping supplies has been around for some time, the application to the crafts and hobbies industry has only been in place over the last decade. One name that consistently comes up when discussing clear stamps is Stewart Superior. Stewart Superior has been widely instrumental in the development of the acrylic stamp industry and has invested thousands of dollars of R&D developing photo polymers best suited for making quality acrylic stamps.

There are dozens of benefits to using acrylic stamps over traditional wood mounted rubber stamps. The most obvious benefit is the ability to "clearly see" where you are stamping. Some other benefits that avid scrap bookers mention is the ability to place alphabets together to create names and titles on a single acrylic block. Inking a clear rubber stamp is a breeze because you can see the overall coverage before pressing the stamp down onto your project. Long clear stamp images can be bent in curves and waves since the photo polymer is pliable. The best clear stamps are able to be repositioned many times without the need to clean the surface. Quality clear stamps should be mildly tacky and strong enough not to stretch when peeled from an acrylic mounting block.

While there are too many benefits to mention, there are also a few drawbacks in the current clear stamp manufacturing process that have some scrap booking hobbyists and stampers avoiding them. Since clear rubber stamps are "molded" on glass (a very non-porous surface) there is very little texture in the cured photopolymer. This becomes evident when the stamped images appears pale. Inexpensive vinyl stamps and poorly produced acrylic stamps also have problems with blurring the images when they are pressed down too hard. For these reasons, some have decided clear stamps aren't their "favorite". Chances are if you have ever used clear stamps and didn't like the outcome, try another company. The best clear stamping products provide crisp, dark impressions just like traditional wood mounted rubber stamps. Most companies offer the same rubber images in clear stamps if they happen to sell both.

Just as mounted rubber stamps sold in sets has become very popular in the last decade, clear stamps are also sold in themed sets that have a consistent look for all of your projects. This becomes a unique advantage since you can place themed clear stamps together on one acrylic block to "test your layout" before stamping. The easiest way to do this is to lay the clear stamps on your project page just as they will be stamped. Then simply lower the acrylic block to "pick them up" in that formation and ink accordingly. This provides a super easy way to make great layouts and perfect placement every time.

Polymer stamps are certainly here to stay! The first time you use a clearstamp you will be instantly hooked on how easy it is to get perfect alignment and placement every time. Using your clear stamp set, you will be amazed at how professional your finished artwork appears. Clear art stamps are shipped unmounted and usually on a piece of labeled acetate for placement when you are finished. Unmounted clear stamps can be washed with soapy water. Don't use harsh cleaners on your clear stamp sets as this can completely ruin the polymer or vinyl in time. Clear stamp storage is a breeze since they can be placed in albums and binders. One acrylic block can be used over and over for any stamp set. You'll want to purchase quality clear stamps to get the longest use of them and avoid clear dollar stamps since they are often made of low quality materials and won't last long. Perfectly clear stamps are a great addition to your craft room and will become an instant favorite for titles and names on papercraft projects because of there overall ease of use.

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