Frequently asked questions
What are Mica & Synthetic Powders?
Mica is a non-toxic natural mineral with shiny flakes. It is known for its shiny lustre appearence and when the mica is ground into a fine powder it becomes Mica Powder.
Mica Powder, can be used for multiple applications, such as cosmetics, resin art, to colour soaps, polymer clays and candles. Mica powders have that high sparkle, shine and lustre, and depending on the additives such as titanium dioxide depend on the high lustre and sparkle.
The difference between Mica Powder and Pigment Powders is Mica powder has a shimmer whilst Pigment Powder is matte.
Mica can either be naturally obtained from the Mica mineral or it can be manufactured in a lab which is called Synthetic mica.
Naturally mined micas are less expensive to produce, whilst synthetic mica (also called fluorphlogopite) is more expensive to product.
Synthetic mica is a more pure and bright powder, giving a more superior clairty of colour. Natural mica, whilst a naturally off-white colour, needs to have various dyes and pigments added to it to achieve the different tones and colours. These colours are generally not natural.
It should be noted that any powder with a micron size higher than 150, in Mica or Synthetic Powder, should be cautious when using around the mucuous membrane areas, as may cause irritation.
What is Pigment Powder?
Pigment Powder are in the form of mineral pigments, organic pigments and metallic pigments. Pigment powders is matte, and does not have a shine or lustre to that of
Natural or Mineral Pigments (Oxides, hydroxides, metal sales) are naturally found in the ground such as red and yellow ocher. The only process done to these powders are extraction, washing, decantation, calcination, grinding and packaging. Synthetic pigments are obtained by thermal and/or chemical reaction between several materials. The hues are brighter in colour saturation to that of the "natural" mineral pigments.
Organic Pigments (azo pigments, phthalocyanines, quinacridones). Nowadays, organic pigments are essentially azo pigments (yellow, green, purple), phthalocyanines (blue, green) and quinacridones (red, purple).They have a greater coloring power than mineral pigments, but are often more transparent.
Metallic & Metal Pigments (bronze, copper, silver, gold...) are metals or alloys in the form of powders, obtained by spraying or by chemical precipitation.
Average characteristics of mineral pigments:
- Excellent resistance to light and weather ;
- High resistance to water, acids, alkalis ;
- Good coloring power ;
- High coverage ;
- Better resistance to chalking.
What are the Synthetic, Mica & Pigment Powders used for?
Both powders have a wide range of uses. Generally Mica powders are used for the arts and crafts projects beause of their high lustre and sparkle. Pigment powders can also be used for arts and crafts, as well as making oil and acrylic paints, clay colouring and used to make dyes because of their high colour saturation.
Resin Art/Flow Art: Yes
Mica powders are especially great for this type of project, as they have the high lustre and sparkle, and when intergrated in flow art, all the different shades and lustres show through the project. Highly saturated pigment powders such as
metallic silver powder looks stunning as a resin flowart creation.
Soap & Candle Colouring: Yes, however, some colours bleed through the soap, so it's a matter of trial and error for each colour.
Clay Colouring: Yes Ochres and Oxides from our Pigment Powder range are great to use for colouring clay as they won't "burn-out" the colour as much when firing the clay.
Rendering: Our Matte powders are perfect for this type of application as a cement base or lime plaster/wash.
Jewellery/Craft: Mica powder is great to use for this, as it as a high sparkle and glitter to it, which gives jewellery a three dimensions look. Our Matte Pigment Powder is also good to use if you want a more solid colour look.
Paints: Both work well as a paint mixture