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How Does Noodlers Determine Archival, Permanent



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Noodlers applies the descriptors of archival and permanent to a variety of their inks. How do they determine this? Montblanc and other European vendors test to certain ISO standards, but Noodlers makes no mention of doing this. Noodlers does define freeze resistant, eternal, bulletproof and water resistant on this page, but no reference to archival or permanent.

 

I'm writing up some family stories and genealogy and would like to think that the work would be around for many years.

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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I'm writing up some family stories and genealogy and would like to think that the work would be around for many years.

 

 

So why choose (or even be concerned about) Noodler's Ink for the purpose, when you know there are other easily accessible inks out there in the market that you 'know' are more rigorously tested, and in all likelihood have better consistency from batch to batch of the same product?

 

I do encourage you to write to Luxury Brands and/or Nathan Tardif, however, and ask for the information you can clearly assert isn't already made readily available by them.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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From my limited experience with Noodler's ink, their properties are determined entirely by the convoluted and often contradictory descriptions made up by whoever it is that makes them up.

 

Just one for the record, taken from the link OP provided:

 

"Some inks are more bulletproof than others – generally in descending order (most bulletproof with the most testing – to less bulletproof): blacks, blues, yellows, invisible (“blue ghost” and “White Whale”), greens, browns, purples, reds….all are equally bulletproof(...)"

 

:headsmack:

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Noodler's has made their own standards and marketing terminology to describe the properties of their inks. I'd take "eternal" to mean "archival" and "bulletproof" to mean "permanent", but it's true the confusing terminology (and lack of standards certifications) doesn't invite direct comparisons with other ink makers.

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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  • 4 weeks later...

I can agree to a certain extent with the majority of the answers above. I don't think Nathan (or anybody else connected with his company) determines (and/or defines) anything like archival or permanence. It' all just a subjective matter (for him). In a way, I myself sometimes find that okay, because a lot of companies say, describe, even promise, that some special inks of theirs are archival or permanent... but in the end, some of us can't/won't go along with that. Even worse, not only the jurisdictions but also one's personal needs in regard to many articles (including inks) can be totally different in different countries.

 

Incidentally, at the moment I don't really care if any Noodler's inks (which I have or don't have) or any other inks are all  that  archival or permanent (or not) because my time now goes to being thankful to Wim (our FPN Administrator) for keeping this whole forum permanent!

 

☺️

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I agree with above as there is no clear testing methodology that has been provided and as a skeptic person by nature I tend to not trust anything that has been told to me without proper method, validation or reasoning (already burned myself once with 'trust'). That said I am no one to question someone so I won't but I will just keep my opinion.  Any test and claim without proper transparent method.....honestly makes no sense to me and this applies more in other areas then our ink nuthouse (list is long..too long).....still my opinion is to not go if clear results are not present. I can personally recommend pigment inks and carbon inks (both are tested for time and will last long. If my knowledge is correct then inks with carbon particles are recommended by them for long lasting storage correct me here if wrong).

 

then is an ongoing experiment...well may be its done by now.

This one by arcfide

 

well all in all I recommend to go for already proven grounds for long term storage and even if inks like noodlers are fun and more interesting then say a black carbon ink, I have certain degree of confidence that most of that fun nature will not survive the tides of time.....not for half a century by long shot.

 

PS- Good luck in hunting

Regards

Dimy

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I wouldn't be so bold as to affirm that.

 

I still keep some notes I took about ~50 years ago with water washable inks that are still readable. So anything above that should last even longer, and at the very least, they will survive a number of "extra attacks".

 

I moved to permanent inks (not archival) to avoid water smearing. Having something like Noodler's that can also stand bleach, acids and light exposure would have made my day during my PhD, when my protocol book could have been stained, despite any care one takes, with almost any kind of chemical agent or radiation (including intense UV). Oddly, one does not normally expect protocol books to necessarily last more than five years after publication of the work, and they will stay at the original institution, so you won't have access after a move.

 

And I seem to remember that Noodler's have changed the ink formulations as "weaknesses" were discovered to make them more anything-proof many a time, so obviously, some testing is associated. Granted, sometimes it hasn't been by Noodler's (I doubt they have all the equipment needed to test all that, like e.g. a laser to erase writing), but they (well, Nathan) have been most open and responsive to any weakness report.

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6 hours ago, txomsy said:

I wouldn't be so bold as to affirm that.

 

I still keep some notes I took about ~50 years ago with water washable inks that are still readable. So anything above that should last even longer, and at the very least, they will survive a number of "extra attacks".

 

I moved to permanent inks (not archival) to avoid water smearing. Having something like Noodler's that can also stand bleach, acids and light exposure would have made my day during my PhD, when my protocol book could have been stained, despite any care one takes, with almost any kind of chemical agent or radiation (including intense UV). Oddly, one does not normally expect protocol books to necessarily last more than five years after publication of the work, and they will stay at the original institution, so you won't have access after a move.

 

And I seem to remember that Noodler's have changed the ink formulations as "weaknesses" were discovered to make them more anything-proof many a time, so obviously, some testing is associated. Granted, sometimes it hasn't been by Noodler's (I doubt they have all the equipment needed to test all that, like e.g. a laser to erase writing), but they (well, Nathan) have been most open and responsive to any weakness report.

 

I was working for my first(toxic) PhD advisor when I took an interest in fountain pens. I got LIT UP one day in lab when he saw me writing with one and was told that it was inappropriate for me to to that because "that s*** washes off if you f-ing sneeze on it". A day later, I came in with a black Pilot V5, and got a similar lecture and was told I was only permitted to use blue Bic ballpoint. Did I mention that he was a toxic micromanager on everything?

 

The whole thing was strange since, in an organic synthesis lab, you're as likely to spill solvent on your notebook as water, and AFAIK solvent(or at least non-polar solvents) can wreak havoc on normal ballpoint ink. Also, at the time, I didn't know squat about ink and was just using the generic black cartridges from Office Depot(I don't even use black ink anymore, but it was all I sued then) but I've also never used a black that didn't have at least some permanance.

 

I actually asked my next advisor about what I was allowed to use in my lab notebook. He gave me a bit of a quizzical look and said "You weren't thinking of using pencil, were you?" When I assured him that I wasn't, he said "Why would I care? You can use a dip pen for all I care as long as you're writing down everything and keeping your notebook up to date." Around that time, I'd also bought my first "good" pen, a Pelikan 205, and a bottle of MB Midnight Blue back when it was still an IG ink. The 205 and Midnight Blue filled most of my lab notebooks, although I did flirt with BSB a bit in one of the Hero Parker 51 clones. I treasure that bottle of Midnight Blue-it's one of the few bottles of ink I've come close to emptying(my other was my bottle of 4001 Brilliant Red I used for grading).

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In my case I had moved to permanent inks way earlier (I had been using FPs since late primary school). So you were lucky you had access to thinks like BSB.

 

Granted, Noodler's is not famous for their QC, but at least Nathan is willing to try new formulations as soon as anybody discovers any weakness. So, to answer the OP, I'd say Noodler's works like OSS (Open Source Software): besides having some limited in-house testing, they rely heavily on users to report "bugs" and cooperate with them to solve any bug, so the QA program would be a kind of mixed vendor-user system.

 

 

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I've gone back to examples written with Noodler's Black and Legal Lapis from almost 15 years ago. Still look great, and water on the edge of the writings was not affected, though I only recreated a 'spill' where it was wiped up in 2 minutes. While I no longer use Noodler's Black, Legal Lapis remains one of my favorite inks.

 

People have mixed opinions about Noodler's Ink. Some say it has damaged pens, while others  including me (I've tried 8 different N.Is) have never had a problem. Other than the Legal Lapis I've moved on to KWZ IG inks, but it wasn't because of problems. I've merely limited my ink pallet to the darker blue family for legibility for myself and others.

 

Edited by cetn

"When things go well for days on end, it is an hilarious accident." - Kurt Vonnegut  

 

Carl Sagan - The great science communicator's poetry to the Cosmos

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The terms are little more than marketing.  Bulletproof just means bonds to cellulose and can't be removed without damaging the paper.  Later someone did finally remove it with lasers and the warden inks were the response.  Eternal was never really clarified, but seemed to be related to color.  (Bulletproof) Black is bulletproof, Heart of Darkness is eternal, whatever the difference is. I don't recall of any claims of archival/permanence.  This was more an issue when the inks first came out when all we had were his word and ad-hoc home tests.  Personally, I feel they've held up as intended.  I rather use them over iron-gall inks which fades and possibly eats paper, although i-g is more fun.

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There's a term called "puffery."  It relates to the practice in advertising of making bombastic claims about your particular product or service; it's where we always get "New and Improved" from for example.  After having been suckered into Noodler's, and having bought more of the product that I'd like to admit, I've moved completely away from it.  As an attorney, I needed/wanted durable inks, especially for those case types that have statutory document retention times.  After impossible to explain ink leaks resulting in real messes at times, damaged pen internals (BSB + Waterman feed, converter failures, etc), inconsistent quality, SiTB, and other issues with it, I gave up on the stuff. 

 

If you want really durable inks, the Japanese carbon black inks, Japanese pigment inks from Sailor and Platinum, and R&K's Dokumentus inks are probably better than Noodler's.  And, they'll more likely save your clothing too :)   The *only* time I've wound up with Sailor's Sei-Boku on a shirt pocket is when I put an uncapped pen in my pocket without thinking.  Shirt pockets had been graced with all varieties of Noodler's inks: Texas Black Bat; Bad Green Gator; Legal Lapis; Olde Manhattan Blackest Black; Bad Belted Kingfisher; and various other colors/flavors... mostly due to Noodler's inks getting places they shouldn't be, including getting around piston seals in converters and piston fillers. 

 

Bottom line, buy Japanese or European (minus MB Perm Black and R&K Dokumentus Black) permanent/archival fountain pen ink and write happy. 

 

With regard to "freezeproof" ink.  That's a bunch of bull.  Over the time I bought Noodler's products, I bought 2 bottles of Polar Blue.  I live on the northern plains.  I left one outside at -8F (-24F windchill) to test the claims of being made for the coldest of climates such as Scandinavia, Canada, etc..  It froze solid.  So solid, after bringing it inside, I could unscrew the cap and hold it upside down with nothing coming out.  Let me tell ya, -8F real temp and -24F windchill isn't that cold for up here in winter.  After the bottle froze solid, it never really did ever properly go back into suspension. 

Imagination and memory are but one thing which for diverse reasons hath diverse names. -- T. Hobbes - Leviathan

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5 minutes ago, SeeksAdvice said:

After having been suckered into Noodler's, and having bought more of the product that I'd like to admit, I've moved completely away from it. 

 

Me too, more or less! 

 

Furthermore, I'm not satisfied that ‘bulletproof’ guarantees or implies retention of legibility, after my experience with Noodler's Blue Ghost which is marketed as a ‘bulletproof’ ink.

 

That said, I'm not throwing away my bottles of Kiowa Pecan (which never seems to dry fully), Golden Brown, Green Marine or Air Corp Blue Black any time soon.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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My limited testing:

 

I've written out pages with bunches of inks and then left them soaking in water(not just dripping water on them) for a few hours at a time. Noodler's Bulletproof inks, depending on the color/formula, may wash out or bleed a bit around the line, but stay perfectly legible. The same thing happens with IGs-the blue dye will often wash out, but legibility is still there. Of course, bleach will knock out an iron gall, and I've found that the Warden inks, or at the the bottle of Bad Belted Kingfisher I have- can color shift a bit but again remain legible(that's with an extended bleach soak). Supposedly the changes with stuff like bleach are a feature rather than a fault so that you can detect an attempt at tampering, or at least that's my understanding.

 

With that said, I'm still skeptical of them. If I'm concerned about permanence, for now I'm sticking with iron gall, but I do have a bottle of MB Permanent Blue here that at least I know meets ISO standards for permanence.

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inkstainedruth

One of the things that people forget about the "bulletproof" designation is that the inks are designed to bond with the cellulose in the paper (I was describing the concept to someone who is NOT a fountain pen user a few years ago and the person said "Oh, you mean NOODLER'S ink!").  But only the layer in direct contact with the paper is going to bond.  Which is why I prefer Heart of Darkness over Noodler's Black -- HoD dries faster and is less smudgy, in my experience.

Much as I adore most of the iron gall inks I've tried, I have found that they are not overly lightfast.  So for example, even though they work on those plastic Post-It flags, the ink isn't remotely permanent.  So, for my composition books of what inks work/don't work in specific pens, I use Noodler's Kung Te Cheng on the flags (I have four pages designated for each pen and to some extent color code by brand to make it easier since I'm now on the third book).  Because, KTC seems to be EVERYTHING proof.  I wasn't sure I'd like the ink after reading reviews of it early on (descriptions such as "it's got the consistency of paint" come to mind :o).  But after reading that Amberlea Davis's family used it for labeling plants at the family nursery, I tried a sample.  And I have yet to find anything that matches it for EITHER the permanence or the color (while described as "purple", it's really more of a dark indigo with purple undertones).  So I tend to weigh the bad behavior (clogging, nib creep out the wazoo) against the permanence and the pretty unique color, and the good attributes tend, for me, to outweigh the bad ones (although it's a case of YMMV).

@ A Smug Dill -- What was your issue with Blue Ghost?  I tend to mostly just use it for writing down passwords in my password notebook (although that's gone walkabout recently :(, and I'm going to have to ink up a pen to try to recreate the entries in a new notebook).  Before thinking of that use, I admittedly saw Blue Ghost as sort of a "dog and pony show" ink, like Rome Burning -- amusing, and clearly Nathan Tardif rising to the challenge of "Can you make an ink that does X?" but not really an overly useful one.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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9 minutes ago, inkstainedruth said:

Much as I adore most of the iron gall inks I've tried, I have found that they are not overly lightfast.

 

I have noticed the same thing.

As a real world example, I recently left a job I'd had for 5 years(and had been at that institution for 10 years). All of the door name plates had a dense foam "cork board" to post notices, etc. Since my job involved me often being in labs at the opposite end of the building, I wrote out a note and pinned it under my name tag that said "If not here, try LL6, 7, or 11"(room numbers where I was likely to be). Since I also would less often visit other places, I kept a "collection" of post it notes pinned to another cork board in my office that listed other locations where I was likely to end up, and would post those as-needed to.

 

Most were written with my old faithful Pelikan M205 in Montblanc Midnight Blue(105194).

 

Of course, we had typical office fluorescent tubes in the hallway and my office, and those tend to be a bit UV heavy(even though the plastic diffusion panel blocks a lot of the "bad" UV).

 

In any case, MB Midnight Blue starts off purple-blue, and darkens to what I'd call a very dark navy blue.

 

By the time I moved out of the office this past summer, those notes were more of a light gray color. I suspect, given a few more years, they would have been nearly unreadable. 

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I too had some notes on a cork board, mine written with BSB (not archival, bulletproof, but very water resistant).  After a few years, they too were light grey.  Still legible, but nothing like the original BSB.

Re: Rome Burning, I don't find it "useful", but I've grown fond of the weird color.

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I learned a few months ago that there are various degrees of iron gall inks. KWZ, for instance says their IG Blue Black is the highest level while their IG Aztec Gold is at the lowest level of iron gall. That's the reason I use the Blue Black for legal documents and anything I want to stick around for a while.

 

The 'colors' added may fade or wash away, but once the ig has bonded with the paper, it should remain legible in normal conditions. 

 

ESSRI, though I've not tested the ink for IG levels, I believe has the highest level of all IG inks. I use it, but before every refill I flush the eyedropper thoroughly and have never had a problem. I've used ESSRI in Yard-O-Led and Pelikan M1000 as well without a hiccup.

 

I suspect that the amount of iron gall and environmental conditions do play a factor in longevity.

 

 

Edited by sgphototn

"When things go well for days on end, it is an hilarious accident." - Kurt Vonnegut  

 

Carl Sagan - The great science communicator's poetry to the Cosmos

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24 minutes ago, sgphototn said:

I learned a few months ago that there are various degrees of iron gall inks. KWZ, for instance says their IG Blue Black is the highest level while their IG . . .

 

 

 

I've heard that before, but haven't been able to locate where KWZ said that. Could you provide a link?

 

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I just read it today from an interview with Konrad but have since rebooted and lost that history as I wanted to be sure of what I was saying. Naturally, I can't find it now, but I did find this but it was not the source I found earlier.

https://fountainpenfollies.com/2017/05/22/ink-review-kwz-iron-gall-aztec-gold/2/

 

If my memory wakes up and I locate my original source, I'll post it.

 

PS. I went to KWZ website and requested clarification so If I get a response I'll post it here.

Edited by sgphototn

"When things go well for days on end, it is an hilarious accident." - Kurt Vonnegut  

 

Carl Sagan - The great science communicator's poetry to the Cosmos

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