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PR Velvet Black


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#1 Catsmelt

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 13:50

Does FPN need another black ink review? I didn't see anything for Velvet Black, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Velvet Black has been brought up in other discussions, but not reviewed on it's own merits, I believe. In reference to it, some have mentioned a longish drying time and the ink having some brownish overtones.

In my experience the drying time is neither short nor long. With regard to the overtones, my eyes aren't discerning enough to notice anything -- until I did the soak test and those brownish overtones come through...

More images will follow this post.

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#2 Catsmelt

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 13:51

A comparison with other common black inks:

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  • PR_Velvet_Black_comparison.jpg


#3 Catsmelt

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 13:54

After a 20 minute soak in cold tap water.

Note the brown overtones from the PR while the Quink and Waterman turn bluish. Does this happen with most common black inks, or is this exhibit 1 for those prone to conspiracy that SANFORD is now forcing a common recipe between Waterman and Quink?

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#4 Johnson

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 14:58

Cool review! I particularly like the soak test, very interesting how the PR turns a bit brownish while the other blacks turn blue. As an aside, when I was playing around with PR Ultra Black, I noticed that when I dipped the nib of a pen filled with it in water, the color was overwhelmingly purple! blink.gif

I have a bottle of Velvet Black I haven't used yet, I'll have to give it a shot.

EDIT: Looking at the ink comparison scan again, I see the Velvet Black also displays some purple properties.

Edited by Johnson, 05 January 2007 - 14:59.

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#5 Catsmelt

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 15:16

QUOTE(Johnson @ Jan 5 2007, 02:58 PM)
Cool review! I particularly like the soak test, very interesting how the PR turns a bit brownish while the other blacks turn blue. As an aside, when I was playing around with PR Ultra Black, I noticed that when I dipped the nib of a pen filled with it in water, the color was overwhelmingly purple! blink.gif

I have a bottle of Velvet Black I haven't used yet, I'll have to give it a shot.

EDIT: Looking at the ink comparison scan again, I see the Velvet Black also displays some purple properties.

Your eye's aren't deceiving you...

There is a wash of brown/red/purple in the haze you see around "PR Black Velvet."

The Quinks and Waterman have a blue cloud, and it seems as if there is no trace of black left anywhere.

#6 autophile

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 03:52

Maybe the ones that turned blue in the water are composed of two components, one a water-soluble black ink, and the other a water-insoluble blue ink? I guess such an ink would have to be called "blue-black"?

I hear tell of inks that are actually combinations of two types, such as "archival" ink actually being a combination of dye-based ink (which doesn't last long, but flows well) and pigment-based ink (which does last long, but doesn't flow well)...

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#7 krz

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 03:55

Thanks for the review catsmelt. I always have time to look at new blacks. smile.gif
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#8 psfred

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 04:30

Probably depends on what dyes are used to get black -- to the best of my knowledge, there is no "black" single component dye.

I've run paper chromatrography on several -- most are a combination of red, blue, and green inks, sometimes some yellow as well. The only one that seems to be a single spot is Noodler's black, and that may just be because the dye/dyes don't move at all in water/ethanol on cellulose paper. Silica gel TLC might show differences, but I don't have any plates to play with.

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#9 autophile

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 04:38

I just tried some Noodler's Polar Black. Dry or soaked in water 20 minutes, there's absolutely no difference. Aside from the paper being wrinkly, you couldn't even tell it was soaked.

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#10 handlebar

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 18:37

Thanks for the review.This PR ink was the first i had ever used.Good ink but not my favourite black.I prefered either Visconti's or Watermans black.
Does a fine job for normal everyday use though.

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#11 Col

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 09:51

QUOTE(Catsmelt @ Jan 5 2007, 01:51 PM)
A comparison with other common black inks:

To my eyes, the PR made the other inks look blue-black even before seeing the soak test - especially the new Quink.

---
Col

#12 Catsmelt

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 15:01

QUOTE(Col @ Jan 7 2007, 09:51 AM)
QUOTE(Catsmelt @ Jan 5 2007, 01:51 PM)
A comparison with other common black inks:

To my eyes, the PR made the other inks look blue-black even before seeing the soak test - especially the new Quink.

---
Col

It's probably my monitor and my lack of digital imaging skills, but to my eye the real-life comparison blacks differ only by shade or saturation. The least saturated by far is the new Quink black.

I'd consider Cross blue-black cartridge as the blackest B-B I've come across, and these comparison inks still look black relative to that.

******************

And thanks for everyone else's feedback. I'm continually surprised by the interest in black ink. In a good way, that is.

#13 Col

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 16:12

QUOTE(Catsmelt @ Jan 7 2007, 03:01 PM)
It's probably my monitor and my lack of digital imaging skills, but to my eye the real-life comparison blacks differ only by shade or saturation.  The least saturated by far is the new Quink black.

I think there's bound to be variation on how people view the sample, depending on screen resolution, colour depth and so on; I expect your eyes looking at the paper are a more reliable benchmark in this case!

I can only say though, that when I scrolled down to see the saturated sample, somehow I wasn't entirely surprised. And when you think about it, what is it that makes one black ink less black than another, if it isn't the presence of another colour? True black (if such a thing exists beyond the dreams of alchemists) would be a complete absence of colour.

---
Col
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#14 Studio1F

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:55

QUOTE (Catsmelt @ Jan 5 2007, 10:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your eye's aren't deceiving you... There is a wash of brown/red/purple in the haze you see around "PR Black Velvet."

I agree with this assessment entirely and that's why PR Velvet Black is my favorite so far for pen and wash sketching. Here is a comparison of some other wash colors with the Velvet black, which I call my benchmark.

Jan

#15 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 23:37

Nice. My experience of V.B. In a vintage Conway-Stewart M nib is that it is black, no shading. In my wet nib it does bleed through Moleskine, but not through Rhodia grid pads.
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#16 Thornton

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 23:44

I was presently surprised by this ink. At the D.C. Pen Show, Pendemonium was giving out complimentary PR cartridges with every purchase. Mine happened to be Velvet Black and it flowed quite nicely in my MB 144. A true black in my opinion. I would consider buying a bottle if I didn't already have so many black inks in my collection.
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#17 Senate1123

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 13:54

Sorry to bring this back up but I'd like to see if someone else has this same issue as me.

My experience with this ink is not only that it takes forever to dry but also that certain areas don't dry at all. I've left the sample out overnight to dry but the start/finish or every letter tends to remain tacky and semi-wet. I live thetrue black color of this ink but every page I write with this ink ends up smearing onto the backside of the previous page. Or just smears all over my hand.

I've used this ink on a Rotring 600 with a fine nib as well as a Pelikan M600 with semiflex nib. Granted I have more issues on the flex nib but thr fine nib still exhibits this annoying feature. Anyone else? Maybe I just got an old crappy bottle of Velvet Black?
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#18 Ghost Plane

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 13:57

Some folks experience this with PR inks in general depending on the paper they're using it on. Smoother, high gloss papers tend to suffer more than more textured, absorbent papers.

I use these inks in very wet BB, O3B, and stub nibs, so I'm conscious of paper choices if I care about drying times.

A blotter may be your friend.

#19 Senate1123

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 15:12

Thanks for the response!

Is blotter paper any different than regular paper? I've tried placing regular copy paper over my writing and squashing the two pages under some heavy books. But the tackiness is still present at the extremes.

I am using this ink on Clairefontaine paper; Triomphe stationary, Rhodia Webbies, Habanas, etc.
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#20 jde

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 19:23

Thanks for the response!

Is blotter paper any different than regular paper? I've tried placing regular copy paper over my writing and squashing the two pages under some heavy books. But the tackiness is still present at the extremes.

I am using this ink on Clairefontaine paper; Triomphe stationary, Rhodia Webbies, Habanas, etc.


Yes, blotter paper is different. Softer and more absorbent. You can find old advertising blotters on eBay or out in the wild. Or even new blotter paper by J. Herbin at some of the retailers mentioned here on FPN (GouletPens, Pendemonium, etc.)
 
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#21 Ghost Plane

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 20:07

+1 for what JDE said and Pear Tree Pens is another source.

You can get larger sheets and cut it down to match, get a rocker blotter to keep on your desk, or I use the blotter paper card Pear Tree sent me with a purchase and keep it tucked in my notebook.

#22 inkspot

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 14:11

Thanks for the review! What a lovely black - so rich with a touch of warmth! Looking forward to adding it to my collection.

#23 lovemy51

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 02:05

it is my fav black, but mine developed SITB. i tried everything imagined to save it, but it grew back!!!

pity!
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#24 lapis

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 21:12

Thanks for the review. Very well done and very informative.
But... I think I don't like the colour of this ink. It is by no means (IMO) a "black" but rather a very reddish brown black with a big tad of blue. Ach, ja, to each his own.

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#25 Roberto_Notecardo

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 21:29

Sorry to bring this back up but I'd like to see if someone else has this same issue as me.

My experience with this ink is not only that it takes forever to dry but also that certain areas don't dry at all. I've left the sample out overnight to dry but the start/finish or every letter tends to remain tacky and semi-wet. I live thetrue black color of this ink but every page I write with this ink ends up smearing onto the backside of the previous page. Or just smears all over my hand.

I've used this ink on a Rotring 600 with a fine nib as well as a Pelikan M600 with semiflex nib. Granted I have more issues on the flex nib but thr fine nib still exhibits this annoying feature. Anyone else? Maybe I just got an old crappy bottle of Velvet Black?



I'm happy to learn I am not the only one that has this trouble. I bought a sample of PR Velvet Black and fell in love with the darkness of it, but noticed a slow drying time. When used on Clairefontaine paper, I gave it 15 minutes before I had to dab it with another piece of paper. I was using a Waterman Hemisphere with a fine nib, too. Great dark black, but dries too sloooooooowwwwwwlllllyyyyy for me.

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#26 Senate1123

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 21:38

Most annoying thing of all, I wrote a snail mail letter to an FPN letter with PR Velvet Black. I let it dry a couple hours before stuffing into an envelope. Well I just received word that the ink still transferred onto itself. (I folded the letter in half over itself, so the top half transferred to bottom half and vice versa.)

Love the color but prob will not use this ink too often. Sad to say.
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#27 OCDGuy

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 19:43

I have also has problems with slow dry time on this ink, both in a Moleskine and Clairefontaine. Also, for me, it bled and feathered badly on all but the Clairefontaine. A friend of mine has also had really bad creeping and blotting issues in some of his cheaper pens. I liked the color, a good smooth black, but will probably not put this one into rotation often.

#28 JamieWG

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 23:39

For an artist using ink and wash, this is a fabulous black ink. I think it does have a rather long dry time and because of that, shading can be easily done with a waterbrush and the ink moves quite freely. It has beautiful, subtle purple overtones. I love it to bits as a drawing ink.

#29 inksmears

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 19:50

I like PR Velvet Black a lot on cheap paper and it does real nice in my Safari (where Noodler's creeps badly). I don't really see the issue with drying times. Must just be me - but I don't use a lot of heavy/premium paper.

#30 nostalgic

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:49

I hadn't noticed any smearing of my Velvet Black so I decided to give it a test on Clairfontaine 90 gm paper--the slickest, non-absorbent paper I use. I was writing with a vintage Parker with a F/M nib. With this pen on this paper the ink is wet and glistens on the page for up to several seconds. But after that it did not smear when I rubbed my finger over the lines of writing. Overall, it is a nice dark (but not the darkest) black ink that has been very well behaved in a variety of pens.
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