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When the stamping hobby first became popular, stamps were created by placing a rubber image permanently on a wooden block. The image was then placed on the back of the wood for the stamper to see which stamp they were using. If a person collected a lot of stamps, storage became an issue because of the bulkiness from all the wooden blocks. Special care had to be taken to keep the rubber from drying out. Placement was also difficult because you couldn't see through the wood to determine exactly where the image was being stamped.
Foam block stamps later came out on the market as an inexpensive way to enjoy the stamping hobby. Although they were flatter than wooden block stamps, their bulkiness still caused storage to be a problem. They also made stamping difficult because of not being able to determine exactly where the image was being stamped.
This didn't detour avid stampers from avoiding their favorite hobby, but most stampers were relieved when clear acrylic stamps came out on the market. Clear acrylic stamps were created with a polymerization of acrylic acids, resulting in a flexible plastic material that has the ability to cling to other plastics and acrylics. These stamps work by placing the clear image onto a clear acrylic block. The image is then inked and stamped onto the paper.
With the stamping image and acrylic block being clear, this made stamping a lot easier since the image could easily be seen through the block for proper placement. The popularity of clear acrylic stamps grew rather quickly. Stamping with these type of stamps gives the stamper the ability to be more precise, making less mistakes, creating less waste, and enjoying their hobby much more.
When a person is finished stamping, the image is then cleaned and carefully peeled off the block. It is then placed back on the clear protective sheet it came on. Plastic protective sheets keep the stamping images free from debris. A smaller and more organized storage space is achievable because the storage for the clear acrylic stamps is flat and often comes in its own plastic sleeve.
Clear acrylic stamps come in a variety of sizes and need the right size of acrylic block when being used. Acrylic blocks can be bought in a variety of sizes and stored easily, using them over and over. The stamps can be easily cleaned with warm soap and water if they do end up with debris on them. The stamps are very flexible and can be bent or angled on the block before stamping to create different designs.
If the stamping image's ability to cling to the acrylic block begins to wear off over time, this can usually be fixed by washing off the back of the clear acrylic stamps with warm soap and water. This will clear off any lint, ink or dust particles that maybe have accumulated there. Proper cleaning and proper storage will keep the stamps soft and usable for a very long time.
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