Regarding shaking inks and Noodler's Black

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Jun. 14th, 2010 | 09:03 pm

I recently bought a bottle of Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink, having seen numerous reviews saying what a generally reliable black it was, working even with Moleskines and being basically impervious to wind sleet and snow.

I loaded assorted pens with it and was disappointed. Yes, it was waterproof, sort of... while you could dunk it in water and it would remain, it smeared at a touch in a way that my Diamine inks didn't, even after days to dry. (Diamine ink generally dries very quickly in my experience and won't smear if you touch it, though they are absolutely the opposite of waterproof. Do not drop a journal written with Diamine ink in the bath. Even if you fish it out quickly, your journal will disappear into faint smears and you will also turn an interesting colour.)

Anyway. I was trying the Noodler's Black again with my new Sailor ProColour, in the hope that perhaps it was something about the Lamy Safaris I'd tried it with before writing quite wetly (the Sailor does not do this - in fact it needs quite a wet ink, but that's something for another post maybe). It wasn't. But then I read this post here on the subject of shaking inks and thought "well, might as well". Gave the bottle a shake, refilled the Sailor from it and - no more smearing, performs perfectly.

So, the lesson there is shake your ink because even Royal Mail may not have sufficiently agitated it.

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While I am writing about it, Noodler's Black is not a very exciting black. I have some J Herbin "Perle Noire" that is a much deeper, more saturated black - the Noodler's is noticeably greyer when you compare them. (The Perle Noire would make good sketching ink come to think of it; I might fill my Rotring Art Pen with it, if I ever end up doing more ink sketches.)

It isn't a bad black though, and its bulletproof qualities and reliable flow mean that for general purpose journalling it's ideal. I don't find black inks very exciting generally, but they are ideal for this purpose - I can write, draw diagrams and mindmaps, doodle, sketch if I want to.

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The Rouge Caroubier that I posted about recently is growing on me by the way. I am a sucker for inks with good shading and this definitely does. It's also bright but not overly transparent; you can always read it. I am using it to go over my old journal entries and tick, amend and make notes on them.

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