Waterproof Fountain Pen Inks

Recommended reading! (I really don’t know why I am indicated as author to this post when I am just reblogging it…)

Wonder Pens - Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Most fountain pen inks are not super water-proof. There are some that are more waterproof than others, but most have some limited resistance. That is, if you spill coffee on your next brilliant idea and wipe it up, it should still be legible. If you are caught in the rain, it won’t disappear completely.

Some inks like Noodler’s Bulletproof inks even protect against bleach and other craziness, but for day to day living and writing, most inks should be fine, especially if you are writing in a notebook or journal, or on papers that most likely will not be taken to the bathroom or outside in a storm.

If you leave your paper under a running tap for several minutes, or even soaked in water for a long time, you may begin to find your ink disappearing beyond legibility.

Not waterproof inks blurring with water

The sample above looks a little more dramatic because I used a…

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Ink Review: Sailor Kiwa-Guro Carbon Nano Black

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Wonder Pens - Life Behind a Stationery Shop


Kiwa-Guro Black is one of Sailor’s “luxury” inks, more costly than their standard Jentle line. This is one of Sailor’s two pigmented inks, made with ‘nanoparticles’ – they also make a blue-black called Sei-Boku.

Pigmented inks are different from dye-based inks (most other fountain pen inks) in that they are made with micro-fine pigments suspended in the liquid to give the ink its colour. In order to make these safe for fountain pens – to prevent persistent clogging or flow issues – these particles are really micro-fine, and the inks are designed for fountain pen use.

Be careful not to mix these up with the inks that are not okay for fountain pens – India ink, calligraphy ink (thicker, to hold a little better to dip pens) or inks that have shellac in them. These inks will definitely clog up your fountain pen’s feed, and may even cause more…

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Pen, Paper, Ink and …Setting

On Fountain Pen Network and other boards you’ll find a lot of discussions on different pens, inks and paper, separately. Some authors though stress the interactions within the triad: pen, ink and paper. That makes real sense to me. What use do you have of a gorgeous and expensive pen if the ink feathers a lot and bleeds through the paper? On the other hand, a cheap Hero could work just fine with a good ink on,  for the ink, good paper. I would also like to add a fourth parameter. I hesistate wether to call it mood, situation or setting. I mean, there is a huge difference between writing a personal letter on G.Lalo “Velin de France” at home a Sunday morning while the rest of the family are asleep, and sitting on a stone in the woods, or on a commuter train, writing in cheap Chinese notebooks. In the first setting I could use my big and expensive Sailor Professional Gear Realo, and on this quality paper I could use just any ink. On the run I have to use small Sailor Sapporos that fit in my shirtpocket and the ink has to be a non-bleeding one , for example J.Herbin “Perle Noire” or Noodler’s BP Black. At work I can’t use pens with screw cap but a Parker 51 will do just fine. Any ink can work for single-sided writing on office paper. (An alternative to a P51 would be a Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point.) When I’m upset or in a hurry I can’t use my italic nibs as the corners of the nibs will dig in to the paper.  I have to be in peace of mind to do the italic nibs justice. On envelopes I use Noodler’s BP Black, but the drying time and smear factor forces me to let the envelope be in peace for a while. An alternative is to use a non-waterproof ink and rub the text with a piece of a candle to waterproof it. As you can see the main thing is to find a combo that will work for you, and in your types of settings, for writing. Comments are appreciated…

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