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Request Ideas To Stop Ink Transfer To Adjacent Page

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Several years ago I was really into trying new fountain pens, ink, etc. and then settled into a routine with my favorite pens and black ink (boring). I used them at work to take notes and sign documents. Last year I started bullet journaling and enjoyed using my FP's on a nice quality notebook. My biggest problem is that the ink does not dry fast enough and it transfers to the adjacent page. It is not bleeding through, it is transferring to the page face that it is touching. There is probably a correct term for this...?


Last year I was using:




The ink is Noodler's Bulletproof Black in Pilot Vanishing Point and Sailor 1911 Realo pens. The nibs are EF/F and the notebook is from Rhodia. For this year, I have changed to a Dingbats* notebook which has the same problem, but not as bad.


My problem is that the ink does not dry quickly and transfers to the next page:




The red area is when I added items to the calendar page on the left side and closed the book. The green highlighted area is faint, but it is actually the days of the week (one column is numbers and one is the letter) that transfer over time and make the page look dirty. It is not as obvious in the picture, but in real life it is noticeable.


To address this, I purchased some heavy stock "blotting paper" and put it between the most recently inked pages when I close the book. It acts as a placeholder and was not a large problem. The blotting paper gets a lot of ink on it.




When I started making my bullet journal this year, I changed to a Dingbats* notebook. I like it a little better because the transfer seems to be less. Since there was a noticeable change in performance, I thought I would post here and see if there is a way to eliminate this all together by changing something. Paper and Ink seem like the most likely places to attack, but perhaps there are others, or perhaps this is just the "cost" of using FP's and I need to keep the blotting paper and move on?


I would love any suggestions that you may have. I prefer black, waterproof ink, but would be open to something else if it would help. I need to use a notebook in the A5 size range. I like fine nibs and prefer the writing to not be too smooth. I like the scratch "resistance" as I write.



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As far as a good black ink that has some permanence, I have been impressed with Pelikan 4001 Black. Its not advertised as permanent, but when I put it side by side on a piece of paper with Noodlers Black and immersed them both in water, I could easily read them both. Not sure how it would fare against an actual chemical attack, but I suspect Noodlers Black would be better in that regard. Anyway, Pelikan 4001 Black is cheap and has flowed well in every pen I have tried it in, despite having the reputation as a dry ink. It also dries quite fast. I'd give it a shot. Caveat: I use medium or larger nibs.


Heck, PM me your address and I'll mail you a sample vial of it if you want...

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I write on both sides of my journal pages (Clairefontaine paper in Exacompta journal). I keep a sheet of blotting paper in my journal and blot each page before I go to the next. I don't have a problem with transfer using this method. I keep a sheet of blotting paper in my check book also so I can blot a check before I hand it to someone. Works great.


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  1. Patience (wait long enough and the ink will dry)
  2. Blotting paper - either as a bookmark or to blot the new writing. That sheet you showed can keep being used. (This is what I do - serves as a good bookmark and I use the ribbons for other pages, less frequently accessed, but that I want to find quickly.)
  3. Dilute the ink - Noodler's can take this well. Distilled water should make the ink dry faster. It will probably reduce lubrication, but I couldn't say whether it would do so enough to notice.
  4. Switch to a drier ink (as already recommended).
  5. Switch to more absorbent paper - but you risk spread, feathering, and bleed as you do.
  6. Use a finer nib.

Any of those (alone or in combination) will help with the problem. A combination may be required to solve the problem (except #2 which solves the problem nicely all by itself (well, so does #1, but some inks will try hard to defeat this one)).

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Black, & blue black 4001 is good.

Herbin is nice......

There must be a thread about the fast drying inks.

I use classic Euro inks............Noodlers even though now much cheaper is still expensive imported ink to me.

Ottoman Azure is the only one I want....I got the other two I'd wanted Apache Sunset and Golden Brown.


It's your slow supersaturated Noodler's ink............I have Golden Brown; the slowest ink to dry that I have, and by, very, very far .....it remains wet so long ...loose leaf not a journal, that I can write a full page on another sheet before it is dry enough to write on the back of the first sheet.


The blotter is a good idea.........but I don't journal, so seldom need/never needed a blotting paper for that.

One could buy a roll blotter.....I've 4-5 of them that I've never used.

My mainland Euro inks dry in 5-10 seconds**, my guess....but even that is slow for turning the page journaling.

**Last few words only.


Blotting paper ruins, shading.


???? I would have thought the back page was written on first; ........before one got to the front side of the next page..........so it's only the last 3-4 words that could be still wet as is....with a 10-15 second ink.


That is one wet slow drying ink you are using. How long does the testing in Ink Reviews say it takes to dry?

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As per Liz. Plus switch to Kiwa-Guro, which dries quickly.

Edited by Karmachanic

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Blotting paper is the solution - I cut a sheet to fit my A5 Leuchtturm notebook. Just lay the sheet on top and press gently.

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Thank you all for the ideas. Seems like the blotting paper is on the right track.


I found an ink I liked and kept with it. I think I will try a few of the inks recommended and look for some fast drying ink posts. Really appreciate the offer for a sample, but I will probably just order a bottle. I go through a lot of ink so I will find a use for it anyways.


Thank you again for the responses.



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Noodlers inks, to me, tend to be slow drying and a bit smeary. Diluting helps.


+1 Sailor Kiwa Guro ink.

(Lovely ink. Permanent. So if you're going to set aside either pen for a while, flush out the ink.)


If you change inks in the pens. Flush out the pens well with water and a bit of ammonia or with water and a bit of regular Dawn dishwashing liquid. Then flush out the pens with water.


Some inks mix well together. Some don't. Try it outside the pen first.

Edited by cattar
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I would use an air blower, which happens to be standard equipment for my other hobby, photography, or a blotter. Ladies might find it more elegant (and portable) to use a hand fan.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."


B. Russell

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You might give Noodler's Blackerase a try. However, this is really a three part balancing act. How much ink the pen puts out, how fast the ink dries, and how fast the paper allows the ink to absorb.

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There are two different types of problems related to ink transfer.


Smudging: happens when fresh writing comes in contact with the opposing page (or the palm of your hand) simply because the ink hasnt had time to dry. This seems to be more of a issue with lefties who run the risk of their hand coming in contact with the words just written. Or the example provided in OP.


If you want to stick with Noodlers ink and find a good ink, you might want to try Bernanke black. This is a fast dry ink which sets into paper by absorbing into it rather than evaporation.


Private Reserve also makes fast drying inks if I recall correctly.


The side effects of the fast dry inks are that you may now start to see bleed through issues which were not there before.


Smearing: then ink has had a chance to dry completely but it doesnt fully set into the paper. The writing creates an imprint on the opposing page.


This happens because the ink is too rich. The effects can be lessened by diluting the ink a bit. Maybe have a squeeze dropper bottle with simple tap water and drip some water on the nib to thin the ink a bit and hydrate the nib. This is what I do most of the time at home as well as at work. It helps the ink flow nicely after dry out due to some time of inactivity.


Dont start adding water to your ink bottle because you might overshoot your ideal concentration and you end up with watered down bottle full of ink which you dont enjoy using.


A few good brands which dont exhibit these issues, in my experience, are Pilot Iroshizuku, Sailor (especially Kiwa-Guro, an excellent ink in all respects). Aurora Black is a very nice ink which may also be worth trying.


Having a copy paper or post-it note for smaller notebooks used as blotting paper will also be a good option


Good luck with it and let us know what works best for you.

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I have ordered Pelakan 4001 Brilliant Black and Herbin Perle Noire to try. I saw going to try a pigmented black like the Kiwa-Guro but the reviews indicated a lot of smudging when the ink was dry. However, I think almost everyone in this thread has recommended it. The Kiwa-Guro is about the twice the price of the other inks, but if the ones I ordered do not work, I will pick up a bottle to try.


I will let everyone know how it goes.


Cheers and thank you for the replies.

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Blotting paper is your best workaround and a useful bookmark.


Faster drying ink for sure will help, Noodlers Black is on the slow side. Waterman and Herbin dry quickly although they are not deeply saturated inks. Aurora black is also very good. Sounds like you have the Herbin on order already.


Rhodia paper shows off fountain pen ink brilliantly but it is very slow to dry. I don't know your other notebook, but finding a quicker absorbing paper notebook will help. Moleskines dry quickly but have a lot of bleed-through. Peter Pauper notebooks have some feathering but do absorb quickly.


You already are using some quite fine nibs, so that helps.


I think you have just run into one of the quirks of fountain pens.

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I use sheets of paper (not necessarily blotting paper) between pages. Sometimes, I'll have eight or nine sheets of paper between so many pages. A simple if not elegant solution.


etherX in To Miasto

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