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Rubber stamping, also called stamping, is a craft in which some type of ink made of dye or pigment is applied to an image or pattern that has been , molded, laser engraved or vulcanized, onto a sheet of rubber. The rubber is often mounted onto a more stable object such as a wood, brick or an acrylic block. Increasingly the vulcanized rubber image with an adhesive foam backing is attached to a cling vinyl sheet which allows it to be used with an acrylic handle for support. These cling rubber stamps can be stored in a smaller amount of space and typically cost less than the wood mounted versions. They can also be positioned with a greater amount of accuracy due to the stamper's ability to see through the handle being used. Temporary stamps with simple designs can be carved from a potato. The ink coated rubber stamp is pressed onto any type of medium such that the colored image is transferred to the medium. The medium is generally some type of fabric or paper. Other media used are wood, metal, glass, plastic, rock. High volume batik uses liquid wax instead of ink on a metal stamp.
There are three distinct types of rubber stamps: traditional, where the pad is in a separate container from the stamp; Self-inking stamps, which have a self-contained die that rests against the pad until the die is flipped 180 degrees to make an imprint; and pre-inked stamps, where the die itself is actually impregnated with the ink.
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