Combined Ink Test

Being a fan of waterproof inks, it has been a challenge to see find inks that are water resistant and yet have colors that are appealing in a fountain pen. As such, I made this quick and (perhaps fairly literally) dirty test. It is performed by dipping a Leonardt Principal EF in the ink, and writing the title, followed by full dips for the ink blobs in the middle column and the broad flex stroke on the right column.

All tests are performed on Kokuyo Campus loose leaf 5mm grid.

This is how one might read the test:

Column 1: Name

This column contains the name and make of the ink. The thickness of the line is indicative of how dry the ink is: A drier ink is more conducive to creating fine lines, and thick lines indicate wet inks. If bleeding is apparent (looks like the letters are cracked into the page), the ink is prone to bleeding into paper and may show through to the other side if the pen is wet enough.

Column 2: Blobs

In the middle column, a fully loaded Leonardt Principal is flexed to create blobs that are around the height of the squares on the page. This indicates how well the ink clings to the nib and ultimately its viscosity. Also, as ink is heavily loaded onto the paper at this point, it is also a good test for bleeding. Finally, shading is revealed in the ink as it runs out on the dip nib, so check out the last few blobs if this is relevant to your needs.

Column 3: Flex stroke

The flex stroke on the rightmost column shows the ink’s shading tendencies as it runs off the dip nib. More importantly, this is the water test. The water test is performed by adding a 0.4ml drop of water via a syringe to the middle of the broad stroke. Fully waterproof inks will not react to this test. However, any ink that is lifted off the paper will show the tendencies of certain inks to run off their colors. An especially washable ink would tend to have all its colors running off to the edges of the drop, causing the center of the drop to look rather pale. (Please forgive the nasty splotch in the water test for the early sheets. That sheet got tipped by the wind, and water spread everywhere. Will likely redo that later on).

A future post will cover the tests in more detail and any other noteworthy findings of these inks.

Good hunting!