Dec 11, 2017129 views

Archival Ink

Dear Massdrop Writing community,
My wife loves using fountain pens to create scrapbooks of our various adventures. Unfortunately we have noticed that the ink is fading on some of the older pages.
She has been using a Parker fountain pen with standard blue Parker ink cartridge.
Can you recommend any ink cartridges for Parker fountain pens that won’t fade? Or an ink she can fill the pen with herself? Or a different solution (preferably fountain pen but rollerball or otherwise if necessary).
She uses fairly heavy paper.
I would love to get her something for Christmas that will keep our memories clear for years to come! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise!
Amazingcave
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Thank you both for your advice.

I decided to buy Noodler's Bad Green Gator ink from Goulet - because we love the color green. And if she isn't constrained by cartridge ink any more then why not go for something a bit different!

And I'll get a screw converter from Amazon.

Thanks again.
amazingcave
Cool. One suggestion would be the take the section off and soak it overnight in just plain, cool water...which will show a *lot* of coloring. It's useful to do, to avoid the old color bleeding into the new one...and sometimes. it is rare but possible for 2 different ink formulations to *not* like each other. This is more likely when switching brands. I actually limit my iron gall inks to specific pens, to avoid the possibility, because iron gall is inherently quite different from a purely aniline ink.
FEW inks are archival quality. The best is from Noodler's. Jet Pens and Goulet Pens carry them. A couple carry archival designations...Nathan asserts they should be good for 200 years. A slight step down are the Bulletproof inks. These are almost impossible to erase once dry, without leaving obvious scarring...which means they're safe for writing checks. They are completely waterproof when dry, and they should last for a very long time.

First problem is, they come bottled ink only. Which means you need to get a converter. That shouldn't be a problem, tho. Second problem *can be* that these are thick, saturated inks. They can be finicky and dry a bit in the nib, leading to hard starting.

Descriptions are here:
http://noodlersink.com/noodlers-ink-color/ink-colors-and-their-properties/

That page is eminently searchable.

Another option might be the KWH iron gall inks. The analine dyes might fade, but the tannic-based side shouldn't. It's also good for heavy paper. A downside...it can be finicky too. I find my Pilot Custom Heritage 92's...I have a clear and a blue demonstrator...work superbly with this ink. These are piston fillers, and as demonstrators, seeing the level is trivial. ~ $100-120 on Amazon; the orange versions are a little higher. Presumably more popular.
You won't have much luck if you stay limited to Parker ink cartridges.
My first tip would be to get a Parker ink converter for the fountain pen.
With a converter your options suddenly are limitless.
A note on archival inks: They are meant to be waterproof. There is not much variety in archival inks, they are not known for their vibrancy and they are more likely to clog your pen.
What you really need is a good writing ink that is colorfast and here you choices are... overwhelming.
My favorite blues are:
Diamine Sargasso Sea
Rohrer & Klingner Royal Blue.
Pelikan Edelstein Topaz
Pilot Kon-peki
For a dark or grey blue try:
R&K Verdigris
Diamine Regency

Finally here's a decent guide from jetpens:
https://www.jetpens.com/blog/blue-fountain-pen-ink-comparison/pt/387
take their recommendations with a grain of salt, though. They want to move their stock after all.
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