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Thread: Dye use in ink

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    Senior Member Ole Juul's Avatar
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    Default Dye use in ink

    I just had a comment from a friend that of course my writing sample washed away in water because it was dye ink. That got me thinking. If it was dye it wouldn't wash away because by definition dyes bond to the substrate. To my thinking, if something colored doesn't stick, then it's not a dye but just a colored material like pigment, only a soluble one.

    So I checked a couple of internet sources.

    Britania
    "Dye, substance used to impart colour to textiles, paper, leather, and other materials such that the colouring is not readily altered by washing, heat, light, or other factors to which the material is likely to be exposed."

    Wikipedea
    "A dye is a colored substance that chemically bonds to the substrate to which it is being applied. This distinguishes dyes from pigments which do not chemically bind to the material they color."

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    Senior Member silverlifter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    I would assume that dyes used in fountain pens have varying degrees of colour fastness https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_fastness - ie., some exhibit quite strong water resistance, and others (washable inks, for example) almost none.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Senior Member Ole Juul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    I would assume that dyes used in fountain pens have varying degrees of colour fastness https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_fastness - ie., some exhibit quite strong water resistance, and others (washable inks, for example) almost none.
    I would too, and it seems that way. My original quick test where this post originated was when I saw a piece of paper (100% cotton) which had some months old writing with Sailor Shikiori Miruai which is very similar to the KWZ Hunter Green which I was just using. So, I wrote with the HG next to the Miruai just to compare. I then left it overnight and the next day thought I'd dip it in water. This did not seem to touch the Miruai at all, but the Hunter Green washed away completely - nothing readable at all. This surprized me so I redid the test, and this time with fresh Miruai instead of a well aged sample, and waited about 20hr. The result was the same. So here we have one ink that bonds extremely well, and one that does not bond at all.

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    Senior Member silverlifter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    This is why I almost exclusively use iron galls. I want the ink on the paper to dry fast, and stay fast. I don't worry too much about spilling water, but I do frequently thumb back and through pages I have written and I abhor smears. IG inks, and a couple of others like Seiboku and Carbon Black go down and stay down.

    It also occurred to me later that there are classes of dyes that are like the adhesive on PostIt notes: they are designed to only adhere a little. Food dyes, come to mind.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    I suspect the makers of fountain pen inks don't consider the dictionary definitions of "dye" as binding on their formulae.

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    Senior Member Ole Juul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    I suspect the makers of fountain pen inks don't consider the dictionary definitions of "dye" as binding on their formulae.
    I hadn't thought this to be about semantics, but sure. So what would you call a substance that behaves like a pigment, but is water soluble?

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    ...So what would you call a substance that behaves like a pigment, but is water soluble?
    Ink.

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    Ole Juul (March 17th, 2021)

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    Senior Member Ole Juul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    ...So what would you call a substance that behaves like a pigment, but is water soluble?
    Ink.
    lol

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    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    Dye is imho the correct term.

    We distinguish between dye inks (most of the inks) and pigmented ink (like Platinum Carbon Black).

    Pigmented inks are inks that hold solid colored particles in suspension.
    Dye inks get their color from colored liquid chemical substances (no solid particles that have to held in suspension).

    Due to itˋs nature are pigmented inks more prone to clogging.

    As far as I know e.g. White is a problem for ink makers, as there is no white opaque dye which could be used.
    White pigments have the problem that they are too coarse grain for fountain pens and tend to clog pens because of their viscosity .
    Also technical pens have this limitation, e.g. Rotring Zeichentische is not suitable for pens under 0.25 and this one is one of the best regarding pen size (most canít be used in a 0.25).
    And everyone that used white in technical pens will know how finicky white ink is compared to black ink regarding clogging.

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    Dyes have been around for centuries. They are purchased by ink manufacturers and are mixed and used to colour ink. Some dyes are and always have been marketed as permanent while others are not and it may not solely be the dye or dyes that makes ink permanent but other chemicals that make up the ink mixture.
    Last edited by Chrissy; March 18th, 2021 at 01:54 AM.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member Ole Juul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    So when did this kind of dye come into use in inks? Does anybody know? I believe the technical term used in industry is non-staining.

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dye use in ink

    Ole see if this link is helpful

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    Ole Juul (March 19th, 2021)

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