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Thread: Ink questions

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    Senior Member mreeveshp's Avatar
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    Default Ink questions

    So as I'm wanting to learn more about inks I have a few questions I'm sure people smarter than me would be able to answer, and maybe stimulate a nice discussion.

    What might cause an ink to be wet vs dry if they were used in the same pen, for instance is there something in the ink? And what would make an ink "over saturated", would it be more dye in the ink and is over saturated more of a personal preference? Just asking to try to learn more, I wish there was a website that explained all of this.

    I know the main ones that I always look for like bleed through and feathering, I would just like to learn even more.

    Thanks
    mreeveshp

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    Default Re: Ink questions

    'What might cause an ink to be wet vs dry if they were used in the same pen?'

    I am no Ink expert, but my answer is viscosity.

    See here: https://www.britannica.com/science/viscosity
    And here: https://rheonics.com/viscosity-stand...%20consumption.

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    Default Re: Ink questions

    Hi,

    ...and wetting agents reducing surface tension - tensides etc.

    Best
    Jens
    Schaumburg_Swan aka SchaumburgSwan
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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    Default Re: Ink questions

    When making ink you have some basic ingredients that include, but aren't restricted to, different dyes, wetting agents, mould inhibitors, shelf life extenders and water. The addition of water makes the resulting mixture more or less saturated. Inks that contain less water percentage and heavy dye bases are usually more saturated and can be more viscous depending on the amounts of their other ingredients.

    A fountain pen is basically a long tube for getting ink from it's container to the point of it's nib. Lots of factors can slow down or speed up that journey at any point as there are so many differences between pens even on different days in different temperatures. It takes a great deal of skill to get exactly the right recipe of ingredients so that ink is not so wet that it all pours down out of any particular tube in any particular pen or all gets stuck in the tube somewhere and doesn't make it to the nib tip.

    Getting any specific ink recipe to perform perfectly inside every different pen on every different paper in every different part of the world must be an almost impossible task so ink makers use their expertise to get their inks to perform as well as they can, while pen makers design their pens to perform as well as they can with different inks or papers.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Ink questions

    Another thing to consider is "What do You personally consider as a wet/dry ink?" To figure that out one must have a *Standardized* ink in which to judge the others. I have used plain old Waterman Serenity Blue ( Old name Florida Blue) for almost a decade and know how it behaves in a favorite pen. This particular ink is slightly wet, well lubricated (flows across Rhodia well without any drag because Rhodia and Clairfontaine is what I use almost exclusively for testing), not saturated (low dye ink load), and safe for everything from very old lever fillers and diaphragm pens to piston and converter pens. This is the known *Standard* ink that I judge new inks against, with a pen that has been also been used for a while.

    A strong factor to consider is what the ink formulator has in mind. Pelikan pens have long been noted for being ink "gushers" ( I wouldn't know since I don't own any Pelikans) and so their old line of 4001 inks are formulated dry to tame the flow of their pens. I also find this true compared to my "Standard", and note it in my ink book. The later Edelstein inks are much wetter, have more lubrication, and have a higher dye load compared to the 4001 series.

    As a general observation I have found (for me anyway) that Montblanc inks are well lubricated, low to moderate ink saturation, moderately wet. Monteverde inks (with ITF) are very well lubricated, wet and have moderate to high ink loads. Noodler's inks are all over the board but all have high to very high dye loads. Of course no one can standardize Nathan Tardif! Papier Plume tend to be dry, low to moderate ink load, and low to moderate lubrication.

    Sorry for the long post.

    All the Best.

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    Senior Member mreeveshp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink questions

    Thank you all for the great information, I know it helped me learn more and hopefully it can help others that are new or just want to know more than brand and color. Any more information would be appreciated.

    I was always told "always try to know more than you did yesterday" and I try to always do that

    Thanks
    mreeveshp

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    Senior Member DrPenfection's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink questions

    One other factor that I would like to add is the paper. Many above has mentioned it, but it forms one point on the triad of pen, ink and paper.

    If a paper is really absorbent, the pen and ink may have an entirely different feel when writing than if you are writing on a very smooth, less absorbent paper.

    This is why when many people are testing a new ink, they use a pen for its consistent behavior (generally neither wet nor dry) and a paper that they know well, such a Rhodia or Clairfontaine. From consistently using the same pen and paper across all of their inks, they will be able to gauge the characteristics of the ink.

    For example, I am currently testing a new ink and I am using the same pen (a moderate pen with moderate nib) as I always do on the same paper (Rhodia) I test my inks on. I have already found that on my test paper, this ink is dry with no lubrication. That means that when I do use this ink, I must load the ink in a pen that is wetter (i.e. allows more ink into the feed and on to the nib), and I likely will not use this ink on very absorbent papers (i.e. cheap notebook paper). Since I purchased the ink to use mainly in my journal and planner (both Tomoe River paper which is smooth, less absorbent paper), this ink should be fine for that purpose.

    Another characteristic of some inks is that they can sheen (have a shiny effect many times in a different color when dry). These types of inks generally are fairly heavily saturated. Sometimes some inks that have heavy sheen will also smear on papers, particularly smooth papers. For me personally, I hate this. This can also occur with inks that are heavily saturated, but have no sheen. So I have tendency to avoid heavily saturated, high sheening inks for that reason.
    Last edited by DrPenfection; October 4th, 2021 at 03:16 PM.

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