EveryThink Ink Library

More information on the ink test procedure here

Part 2 – Of Greens and Gold

I received a shipment of 21 iron gall ink samples from Konrad of KWZ Ink, a Polish independent ink manufacturer. While the inks were shipped gratis for the purpose of this ink test, EveryThink Else is not being remunerated for this exercise and all opinions are expressed as objectively as is possible.

Full disclosure done, it must be noted that KWZ Ink is exceptional for a very special reason: This company produces a wide range of Iron Gall inks of different colors. Yes, you heard that right, this company actually has iron gall inks across a goodly bit of the color spectrum. That is a very good bit more than the offerings of the likes of Rohrer & Klinger, offering the more traditional blue-black in Salix and purple (which is really actually grey on oxidation) Scabiosa.

This ink test report will be the first of a three part series featuring the KWZ inks and their properties. All ink tests were done with the standard Iron Gall ink test format, with two scans done, one at 2 hours after writing and another 48 hours later. It must be noted that the inks were laid down with a Leonardt Principal EF dip nib, which will produce darker lines more in line with what may expect from a rather wet fountain pen sporting a very flexible nib. However, the ink colors are in the ballpark of what one would expect from using these inks.

The short of this ink test can be summarized in that all the iron gall inks were indeed ranging from water resistant to waterproof, and did oxidize rapidly after writing. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am scanning the ink tests, there was no way to scan them while wet to show the color difference from when the ink is freshly used up till its oxidation. This is a pity, because the color change is quite remarkable. I could film the change for your reference, but do let me know in the comments if this is what you would like to see. For purposes of the 48 hour test, inks did not noticeably darken further and are in fact very similar to how they looked at the 2 hour mark.

With all that said, let’s look at the ink tests:

KWZ IG Blue #1

IG Ink Blue #1 is a very classic deep blue with starts off looking like a slightly dusky Royal Blue which oxidizes into a dark grey with an ever so slight hint of blue. I would rate this as the archetypical iron gall blue, and that is a good thing: This ink is essentially waterproof like the classics and would prove to be a very reliable ink. It is also of moderate wetness.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Generally fearless
Drip Resistance – Practically waterproof, minimal color bleed.
Flow – Normal

KWZ IG Blue #2

IG Ink Blue #2 is a slightly lighter version of Blue #1 , moving subtly into the purple end of the spectrum. It oxidizes into a lighter grey than #1, with a more distinct blue coloration to the ink. It is of similar wetness, and loses a little waterproofing but not enough to be a problem.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Slight effect on legibility
Drip Resistance – Practically waterproof, minimal color bleed.
Flow – Normal

KWZ IG Blue #3

IG Ink Blue #3 is the truest blue of the lot, being squarely where blue ought to be and leaving out any greys or hints of purple. On writing, it oxidizes into a dark grey-blue which lies further down the blue spectrum than #2 does, though of course it will not be mistaken for any brighter shade of blue by a long shot. Waterproofing wise it is still quite resistant and just a hair drier than #2.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Generally fearless
Drip Resistance – Practically waterproof, minimal color bleed.
Flow – Normal

KWZ IG Blue #4

IG Blue #4 is actually hard to classify as a blue at all, being almost grey from the onset before oxidation would set in. An IG of average wetness, it is less water resistant than #3 and dries to what can only be described as a dark neutral grey. If one is seeking a grey IG that definitely tries to look like a darkly overcast sky without its blue, this will be the ink for you.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Slight effect on legibility
Drip Resistance – Water resistant, moderate color bleed.
Flow – Normal

KWZ IG Blue #5

IG Blue #5 starts the slide down into turquoise territory, with a blue-green coloration that is reminiscent of Sailor’s Nano Blue Black from the bottle. However this coloration is short-lived as the ink dries to a dark blue that distinctly smells like it has green in its heritage. It is an exceedingly dry ink (which I like in an iron gall) that is also quite waterproof indeed. For its physical properties alone, I would say that this ink is quite desirable.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Generally fearless
Drip Resistance – Practically waterproof, minimal color bleed.
Flow – Dry

KWZ IG Blue #6

IG Blue #6 ventures yet deeper into the realm of greens, with an ink that is unmistakably turquoise with its lineage still primarily with the blues.This blue of dubious allegiance is in fact remarkably wet, and incidentally not particularly waterproof with that color bleed going. It is a dark offering of turquoise on drying, which I find rather fetching actually. It certainly is unique for an iron gall ink.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Moderate effect on legibility
Drip Resistance – Generally water resistant, noticeable color bleed.
Flow – Wet/Normal

KWZ IG Blue-Black

Ah the Blue-Black. This would be a blue that has gone over to the dark side and never looked back. It starts off masquerading as a blue with a dark secret, blossoming into a grey so dark that it may as well be black. At this point it hides its blueness to a large extent, being somewhat ashamed of its somewhat pedestrian lineage. As an ink it is reasonably waterproof and dry, as a well behaved iron gall should be.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Generally fearless
Drip Resistance – Practically waterproof, slight color bleed
Flow – Dry

And that concludes this current edition of KWZ Iron Gall ink tests. There is more to come, with the iconic KWZ offerings that are less predictable than the standard blues, and I think that should prove to be quite a treat for IG fans.

Part 2 of the KWZ ink feature has been published. Read it here.

For those who are interested in acquiring these inks, you may contact Konrad at his KWZ Ink website here.

[Ink Test Library] Click here for all previous ink tests

 

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