View Full Version : Define 'waterproof'

May 29th, 2010, 05:55 AM
When I read various ink reviews I'm unsure of the definition of waterproof. Considering many inks that are called WP do stain the paper when wet. Would something like Waterman Havana, which isn't, smear from mild humidity or moisture in the skin or would it require saturation?


June 5th, 2010, 10:30 AM
I think waterproof should mean that when water gets spilled on your paper the ink doesn't get washed off and smear all over like water colors.

June 7th, 2010, 10:28 AM
That's what I'd call it too... I think I asked the question wrong, what I meant was in your experience what have you found the manufacturer's definition to be. How do inks that are called waterproof and those that aren't behave? Do various manufacturers have vastly different definitions?


Ernst Bitterman
June 10th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Would something like Waterman Havana, which isn't, smear from mild humidity or moisture in the skin or would it require saturation?

I'd get pretty crabby about an ink that got shifted by simple skin moisture (barring handling by those unhappy few whose hands are over-damp), and in decades of using really cheap ink I don't think I've found one. I generally think of the paper direct contact with liquid water, and the ink's reaction to it. Some examples of my own scale:

PROOF: The various more clingy Noodlers, Lamy blue-black. Won't shift, but it might get a little paler.

RESISTANT: Pelikan Blue-black, many Herbin inks (Lis de The is the most notable). Colour changes substantially, likely to loose some definition, but remains legible.

NOT: Diamine Majestic Blue, Lamy blue. Beware of licking thumb to turn pages in journal-- ink lifts and spreads easily, can with prolonged exposure be removed entirely. Legibility issues rapidly develop.

ABSORBANT: A cheap cartridge-borne Polish brown ink found on eBay a couple of my correspondents have used. Jumps off the page at a hint of wetness, leaving no legible mark whatever after short exposure.

The main difference between water-proof and -resistant is that once the page has dried you can tell something happened to the ink with the latter, but some people will have a broader definition-- for example, some of the Noodler's inks will go a different colour to indicate that there may have been an attempt at tampering, but don't actually lift out of the paper. Water-proof just sits there, clinging to the fibres, and I think that's what the manufacturers would offer as their own definition (if pressed-- I suspect the only one you'll get any sort of non-laywer-amended answer out of would be Noodler's). For the most part, if it's not labelled as water-proof, expect some degradation starting the moment the water hits the page, while with water-proof you can expect the image to remain pretty much as it was before it was moistened.

June 10th, 2010, 07:59 PM
Ernst, I agree with you about Diamine Majestic Blue. Even though it is a brilliant ink, I traded off my bottle because of its propensity for smearing. Not good for note-taking at work!