In today’s post I will be reviewing; Brushables by Zig Memory Sytems
- Manufacturer/Brand; Kuretake; Zig Memory System
- Item: Brushables
- RRP at time of writing: around £9 for set of 4
Reason For Buying
These pens have been on my wish list for some time, especially after seeing how flexible the nibs were, on a demonstration show on Create and Craft TV. I was lucky enough to be sent some samples and asked to review these pens by Kuretake.
Being a rubber stamper at heart, I put these pens through their paces, not just for lettering but for a whole range of crafting situations. Here’s how I tested the pens and the results
- For lettering these pens excel, they have super smooth flexible nibs that make expressive styles possible.
- Colouring Rubber Stamps; Excellent for multi coloured stamping. Resulting stamped image was clear even from a detailed stamp. As when using other pens for this purpose, you will need to huff on the ink before you stamp to keep it wet.
- Colouring Clear Stamps; These pens work well on clear stamps. I found it best to colour entire image, stamp on scrap card, then re-ink the stamp to use on actual card. This resulted in less beading on clear stamps. Again, they worked well on detailed images.
- Colouring Stamped Images; On some cardstock the ink did bleed, so do a test on scrap card first. Great on small areas but although the brush tips are great for filling in large areas, as with all pens of this type they did leave lines if you over lap previous strokes. Also being quite so juicy they did saturate the card. Try on card over 160 gsm.
- Heat Embossing images. I had mixed success with this, small text stamps worked ok if you get the powder on FAST. A lot depends on the paper/card you use and how quick you are with the powder application. Heat immediately as the powder dries fast on the ink.
- Easy Clean Up; After using the pens on the rubber stamps, if I cleaned the ink off immediately they left no residue on rubber and only slight staining on clear stamps. If you have coloured a larger stamp and the ink has partially dried, you will find some residue of ink. Try using stamp cleaners and it should come off fine. (Not yet tested that).
- Colour & Ink Quality: Excellent. Bright vivid colours and very juicy pens. Although the pens say they are non bleed, do test them on the card you wish to use them on before you use them on your main project. There was no bleed when colouring a rubber stamp and then stamping onto the card. But for colouring in a stamped image there was some fuzzing 7 bleeding. The same was true if I tried lettering. Just do a scribble test on spare card first There are currently 24 colours in the range.
- Storage; Big advantage over ink pads, in that the pens are easy to store. Keep them stored flat, so the ink doesn’t all flood to one end or you will get a pen where only one end works! These pens feature double ended nibs, you get a tint of the colour from the other end of the pen. So 2 colours for each pen!
Brush Tip: The nib is flexible and perfect for lettering, it is forgiving on rubber stamps. The pens just glide over paper making them a joy to use. Some of the pens I received were ex demo and had a furry tip to the pen, this suggests over time they may wear a little. My suggestion would be to keep a separate set for letting than the ones you colour stamps with, as the abrasion from the stamp may cause wear over time.
Lids: The lids fit well and stay in place.
Value for Money
These pens are good value for money, especially as you get two colours per pen. There are 24 colours in the range making a total of 48 (one at each end). Plenty of scope to play with. I would recommend these for new stampers as a top quality product that will last well. A good way to have a generous collection of inks to stamp with.
Would I buy it Again?
Yes, and I definitely want to explore more of their range of pens. Especially the calligraphy markers. I use their Zig Writter for Art Journalling and the Zig Glue pens all the time and find them excellent. These are a quality product by a well-respected company.
Great value for money, great for travelling as you can take a large selection of colours in a small space. They compare well to the Tsukeneko pens I have, with the advantage of a much more flexible nib. The only downside I can really find is that, although the manufacturers can supply individual colours to retailers, I’ve only been able to find them for sale as sets of 4, in colour tones. I would have bought these pens before If I could have bought them individually or in sets of say 12 in mixed colours.
If you love lettering you’ll love these pens I’m off to practice some calligraphy
Kuretake The UK Website with full range of products. You can download a catalogue which will show you entire product range with visual of the entire pallet of colours in the range.
Zig Brushables This is the Brushables page on the Kuretake Website. It includes a video demo of lettering
Lettering Demo; Featuring Brushables
In the coming months, when there is better light. I hope to make my own tutorial video featuring these pens and show you how to use them with rubber stamps. At which point I’ll add the link to the demo here.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon
When I posted this review on Twitter this morning, Kuretake sent me this message: