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Fade Resistant / Water Resistant Ink


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#1 WinBagel

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 03:48

Ok, I've been reading the forums and ink reviews and am aware that some inks are fade resistant and water resistant and some are completely useless in those departments. Is there an easy way to tell whether an ink will have these features? For instance, are all Noodler's inks at least resistant? Are some brands only this 'water and food dye' combination you speak of? I've seen tell of iron-gall ink, how do I know whether an ink is iron-gall and can that be used in every pen?

Am I just supposed to buy every pretty ink and test them all? ;)

Websites selling ink don't seem to list these attributes unless the ink is 'guaranteed' to be waterproof or something, some sites don't even list whether a noodler's ink is bulletproof, or polar or whatever their lines are.

I'm mainly interested in blue-blacks and dark purples...really any dark colors that can be used for notes at least if not 'professional' uses.

Obviously I've searched the boards for inks I'm interested in just in case they've been reviewed but many haven't and it just seems like there are some basic rules about these things I'm missing.

Thanks again!
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#2 wallylynn

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:44

There's no easy way other than those ink reviews. Noodlers run the gamut from bulletproof/fraudproof to the wash-away. My Manhattan Blue is very fade resistant, not so much water resistant. BSB is waterproof, fades in sunlight and florescent lamps (UV).

There aren't many iron-galls. Lamy Blue-black (bottled), MontBlanc Midnight Blue, Diamine Registrar (aka. Chsterfield Archieval) are the main ones and the ones I have. Waterproof, good fade resistance. I only have a Safari but I'd use them in any pen since these brands and inks are decades in use. There's 2-3 by R&K but I don't remember much more since I don't have them.

And yes, you are supposed to buy every ink and test them all. Welcome to FPN, the Fountain Pen Nuthouse.

#3 Messmer

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 11:48

For a blue-black, I will tell to use Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher from the warden's series. It is a dark blue with "advanced bulletproof" quality. By advanced, they mean it is Bulletproof plus laser proof. You can't erase a writing on white paper using a high power pulsed laser... Not a common fraud technique.

I was doing Census work outside this week. Rainy day! I used this ink all week.
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#4 mstone

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 13:27

Check the test subforum of the ink reviews, there are a lot of tests in there. No, there's no way to generalize across lines. E.g., Noodler's V-Mail Burma Road Brown is extremely water and fade resistant, and GI Green is not. Offhand I can't think of any dark blues that are really solid. The iron-galls are, but their color depends very much on pen and paper, and will range from blue to grey to black. Bad Belted Kingfisher has one component which is waterproof and another which isn't, so there's bleeding when wet. Depending on the paper this either won't be a big deal or will make the writing mostly illegible. It's also not a particularly dark blue in a lot of pens.

edit to add: you can look at noodler's polar blue, upper ganges blue, or luxury blue, or pilot/namiki blue. None of those are really dark, but might be possibilities depending on the pen. All of those are quite water & fade resistant.

Edited by mstone, 20 May 2011 - 13:30.


#5 welch

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 04:20

Don't bother.

Get an ink you like, but do not worry much about fade-proofing and water-proofing. I have junior high essays written in Shaeffer Washable Black...unfaded, even though they were written about 1962. Recently found letter telling me to start public school, in 1953, with my name and the school written in a cheery blue. Just an ordinary ink from Sheaffer or Parker, probably. Maybe a blue from Carter. Nothing special, but still as blue as it was nearly 60 years ago.
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#6 mstone

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 11:36

Get an ink you like, but do not worry much about fade-proofing and water-proofing. I have junior high essays written in Shaeffer Washable Black...unfaded, even though they were written about 1962. Recently found letter telling me to start public school, in 1953, with my name and the school written in a cheery blue. Just an ordinary ink from Sheaffer or Parker, probably. Maybe a blue from Carter. Nothing special, but still as blue as it was nearly 60 years ago.


Of course, the inks sold today under those brands are exactly the same as they were 60 years ago. :rolleyes:

#7 tonybelding

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 11:43

For a blue-black, I will tell to use Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher from the warden's series. It is a dark blue with "advanced bulletproof" quality. By advanced, they mean it is Bulletproof plus laser proof. You can't erase a writing on white paper using a high power pulsed laser... Not a common fraud technique.

I was doing Census work outside this week. Rainy day! I used this ink all week.


A good friend of mine bought a bottle of Bad Belted Kingfisher a while back. After he addressed some envelopes with it, and then they got all messy in the rain on the way to the mailbox, he was very outraged. He cried fraud! He cried false advertising!

I tried to tell him it was laser resistant, but he said he doesn't usually get lasered on the way to the mailbox. And he has a point. If you want waterproof, get something completely waterproof.

I like what they've done on the Goulet Pens website, where they've divided the Noodler's inks up into categories: Standard, Bulletproof, Eel, Eternal, Quick Dry, V-Mail, Wardens, etc. The fully waterproof ones are the Bulletproof and Etermal inks, plus Baystate Blue which is in a class of its own.

#8 tnmike1

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 12:07

go to ebay and get abottle of vintage Skrip Blue Black or Waterman Blue Black. For a review of the vintage Waterman, look at Ernest Bitterman's review in the "ink review" forums. Both are waterproof and, as I've stated in teh past, my mother wrote with the Skrip Blue Black in the 1940s and her letters still look unchanged. O and they're both quite pen-friendly--I've used them in Lamys, Pelikans and vintage Sheaffers all with no ill results
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#9 welch

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 16:14

go to ebay and get abottle of vintage Skrip Blue Black or Waterman Blue Black. For a review of the vintage Waterman, look at Ernest Bitterman's review in the "ink review" forums. Both are waterproof and, as I've stated in teh past, my mother wrote with the Skrip Blue Black in the 1940s and her letters still look unchanged. O and they're both quite pen-friendly--I've used them in Lamys, Pelikans and vintage Sheaffers all with no ill results


Furthermore, Skrip has RC-35, a secret ingredient that will show what you've written under ultra-violet light even after the ink has been washed away!
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#10 wallylynn

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 00:18

The fully waterproof ones are the Bulletproof and Etermal inks

And even those, when used on good paper with a wet pen, can sometimes leave a layer of unbonded ink that can reconstitute and get messy.

#11 Messmer

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 00:26

Ok, it is not BBK is not waterproof as Noodler's black, but my note stayed readable until I can enter the data on the SGT system.
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