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15 iron-gall inks after soaking in water and bleach
 
© A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill
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Lamy Benitoite was also included at the end, because there seems to be some uncertainty and conjecture online as to whether it has any iron-gall content.

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© A Smug Dill
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Ink performance testing

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Posted

This is brilliant and thorough. Thank you for taking the time and effort to do this. What a good resource!

Those are all so attractive. I think I've discovered a whole new wish list of colors.

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Thank you so much for adding this useful comparison!  Very interesting how only two of those inks deal with bleach in a way that keeps the writing easily legible (Hero 232 and Diamine Registrar's). Seems to be directly proportional to the amount of iron gall content in each ink.  Diamine Registrar's having the highest amount, and the KWZ IGL (IG Light) Aztec gold and Mandarin having the least.  Kind of disappointing to see IG Green #3 and IG Turquoise to do so poorly.  I guess on average the other modern IG inks are all stronger than the KWZ bunch.  I'd be curious to see how KWZ Blue Black fares, as it is the strongest of the KWZ IG inks.  Curious about IG Gold too.

 

P.S.: 14 hours is probably not enough for those inks to fully set in.  I know my KWZ IG Turquoise continues developing and darkening for longer than a month.  Even a few months' time showed some difference.  

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A Smug Dill

Posted

@IntensityThanks for the feedback.

 

14 hours is rather longer than I want to give an ink before water-resistance is sufficiently manifested. If I'm writing in a hardcover journal, I'd want the marks to already be water-resistant by the time I close the book for that session. If I'm writing on a pad of paper I use for grocery shopping lists, I'd typically have something to add at the last minute just before I head out for a run (since I pass two major supermarkets on the way home), and would want the writing to be nigh waterproof in 15 minutes, which is roughly the time it takes from my getting out the door to reaching on foot the usual starting point of my runs, before I get sweaty.

 

To be ‘fair’ to the iron-gall inks, I've allowed them what amounts to being left to cure overnight. A lot of loose sheets I write on don't even last that long before they're tossed out, although you could of course argue that water-resistance shouldn't matter if I'm not intending on keeping them. Sometimes they get tossed out because the writing on it is smeared or otherwise ruined shortly after the first half of the page was done.

 

By the way, notwithstanding that I still have several dozen Rhodia DotPad A4 and A5 notepads, I'm going to start discontinuing their use. There's a water-soluble sizing (or coating) on it that turns slimy to the touch, if a sheet is left in a shallow bath for 48 hours or longer. The interaction of the sizing with the inks, or how it intercepts interaction between the inks and the raw paper fibres, make me feel the particular type of paper isn't relevant to testing of the permanence and longevity of ink marks.

 

Nevertheless, it remains a good ‘standard’ for comparing and conveying colour, drying time, immediate-term water resistance, line widths coming out of particular nib-ink combinations, etc. since hobbyists globally can get that paper product readily (without being a dirt-cheap ‘lowest common denominator’) to use as reference, and decide for themselves the differences in performance characteristics between Rhodia DotPad paper and what they want to use for journalling or other everyday applications.

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silverlifter

Posted

Thanks ASD: this is great.

 

I'd imagine KWZ IG Blue Black would fall between DRI and Hero 232...

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54 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

By the way, notwithstanding that I still have several dozen Rhodia DotPad A4 and A5 notepads, I'm going to start discontinuing their use. There's a water-soluble sizing (or coating) on it that turns slimy to the touch, if a sheet is left in a shallow bath for 48 hours or longer. The interaction of the sizing with the inks, or how it intercepts interaction between the inks and the raw paper fibres, make me feel the particular type of paper isn't relevant to testing of the permanence and longevity of ink marks.

 

That’s great information!  I don’t use Rhoda paper for other reasons, but it’s good to know about this sizing property.  I mostly use the older Tomor River 52g paper, and I know that water resistance does increase on it for most inks over a longer period of time.  Those lighter content IG inks take a long time to develop, and their water resistance effectively increases as they age, since the oxidized IG component becomes more prominent.

 

P.S.: while 14 hours might not be long enough for you for the purpose you have described, it does the the iron gall inks much much longer to oxidize and continue changing. It can take weeks, months, years. That’s just how those inks work. Their water resistance increases over time, and I think of them as long-term archival rather than something for quick short-term use.  Pigment ink is best for immediate high water resistance.

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