EveryThink Ink Library

More information on the ink test procedure here

Part 1 – Iron Gall Blues Roundup

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

This post is a continuation of the feature of the Iron Gall inks formulated by Konrad of KWZ Ink. For those who missed Part 1 – Blues Roundup, have a gander here. Part 2 – Of Greens And Gold continues the series. For everyone else, the feature continues.

This third and final installment of the KWZ Inks series covers the final range of the lineup, with inks ranging from the orange/red spectrum all the way through the purples and violets.

Again, similar to the previous range of Greens and Gold, the KWZ inks are somewhat less water resistant than the Blue spectrum. However, all told, the KWZ inks have reliably proved to be water resistant regardless and will prove to be reasonably legible even after a soaking in water. Of course, this has not actually been tested with coffee, which may be another matter for another day.

While purple already exists in the form of Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa, it must be noted that KWZ Ink’s offerings are still quite different from anything I have seen on the market thus far. And this departure is a good thing, considering that all other IG offerings I have seen at all are pretty much exactly blue-black and violet.

KWZ IG Mandarin

KWZ Mandarin IG actually made me do a double take. While it is not named Gold like the ink in the previous review, this one actually looked the part once it was done oxidizing. I kept checking the paper to see if there was sheen, but there was none. Something about this ink fooled my eyes into thinking they were looking at actual gold (possibly its lovely shading and that greenish tinge which I have learned to associate with gold.

While it does smudge and the color runs very noticeably on a soaking, I think this ink is a very worthy contender for the lineup of one who is unlikely to inundate their writings.

Shading – Moderate, creates illusion of staring at gold
Bleedthrough –  Nonexistent
Feathering – Nonexistent
Sheen – None. I checked.
Smear Resistance – Moderate
Drip Resistance – Barely qualifies as water resistant
Flow – Dry/NormalKWZ IG Orange

KWZ Orange starts off in the vial looking decidedly orange, like a syrup drink I may have experienced sometime previously. Unfortunately, post-oxidation it would hardly qualify for that name. A coffee-like brown perhaps?  Certainly does remind me of a coffee stain.

That said, the ink is prone to smudging and loses about half of its color to a good soaking. If one can keep this ink dry, I would highly recommend it.

Shading – Minimal
Bleedthrough – Nonexistent
Feathering – Nonexistent
Sheen – Nope
Smear Resistance – Moderate
Drip Resistance – Half of it is water resistant, the other half runs away
Flow – Normal


KWZ Red is the ink that had me wanting to talk to Konrad about the IG inks in the first place. I had hopes that the natural oxidation of IG Red would lead to a rather rich tone of barely dried blood. I was mistaken. Regardless, it did start out sufficiently red to get one hopeful, but alas.

After drying and oxidizing to a dusky red that leans more to the black than dark cherry typically would, the ink is quite legible after a good smudge and does maintain a good bit of readability on a soak. This does make for a more hopeful outcome for those who would be clumsy.

Shading – Limited
Bleedthrough – Nonexistent
Feathering – Nonexistent
Sheen – Nonexistent
Smear Resistance – Moderate
Drip Resistance – Readable after a soak, but not great
Flow – NormalKWZ IG Red #3

KWZ Red #3 was another ink that I was hoping would satisfy my desire for a waterproof (or at least highly water resistant) blood red. It certainly does lean more towards the red than the standard Red does, but still lacks that richness which would make the mark. It does, however, qualify as a rather nice dark cherry, and actually looks remarkably velveteen on the flex swipe as you would see on the right on the ink test. I reached out to stroke it, but of course I was foolish in hoping that it would indeed feel like velvet.

This ink, unfortunately, does seem to smudge rather more than Red does. It does soak comparably, which is a good thing considering the ease with which one may read the writing after it has seen its fair share of DHMO.

Shading – Limited
Bleedthrough – Nonexistent
Feathering – Nonexistent
Sheen – Nonexistent
Smear Resistance – Less than moderate.
Drip Resistance – Definitely readable after a soak, but still not great
Flow – Dry/Normal

KWZ IG Violet #2

KWZ Violet #2 could actually pass off as a cousin of R&K Scabiosa, albeit with a somewhat lighter and more intensely violet hue on oxidation. If anything it even has superior smudge resistance and comparable dryness to the R&K offering. This is actually a good thing, considering that I am a fan of Scabiosa. It remains very legible after a soaking, so on the whole I would definitely recommend this ink as a workhorse offering. Just note that it is not quite as differentiated as it could be.

Shading – Some 
Bleedthrough – Nonexistent
Feathering – Extinct
Sheen – Nope
Smear Resistance – Very. This is a good thing.
Drip Resistance – Quite. Still highly legible.
Flow – Dry

KWZ IG Violet #3

KWZ Violet #3 delves into the realm of purples and has never looked back. If anything, it is a rather dark violet with a loyalty to its red family members. This ink is another that has a velveteen look to its flex stroke, but I have since learned my lesson and refrained from stroking it adoringly while murmuring sweet nothings into its nonexistent ear. I have been advised having tender feelings for one’s inks is not in any way disturbing or otherwise proscribed, and I take that advice to heart.

It does actually remind me somewhat of a water resistant version of R&K’s Alt Bordeaux, which I would urge you to have a look at should it interest you.

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – Nope
Feathering – Cannot
Sheen – Does not
Smear Resistance – Moderate
Drip Resistance – Maintains legibility, but does bleed a significant amount of color
Flow – Normal/Wet

KWZ IG Gummiberry

KWZ Gummiberry is just past that point of purple where I would develop the urge to lick the paper fully expecting it to taste of some grapey-flavored gummy candy. I am sure it has gone too far into the realm of the purples to qualify as fantastical Gummiberry Juice. It is, however, a darker somewhat grey offering that reminds me of really dark grape that reveals its mixture with blueberries upon smudging. It also does bleed a curiously blue-purple hue with the extended ingress of water.

Shading – Nope
Bleedthrough – Does not
Feathering – Will not
Sheen – And this is iron gall, so no.
Smear Resistance – Moderate, pronounced color bleed…reminding me of blueberries
Drip Resistance – Moderate, preserving clear visibility
Flow – Normal

Hopefully you have enjoyed going over the third and final part of the KWZ Iron Gall ink test. If you wish to review Part 1 or Part 2, feel free to click the links below.

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

Part 1 – Iron Gall Blues Roundup

Part 2 – Of Greens And Gold

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