Getting into the fountain pen hobby also means developing preferences for certain types of ink. Dye ink is the most widely available and popular type of fountain pen ink on the market, thanks to its budget-friendly (for the most part!) nature and ease of use. However, some occasions call for more budge-proof inks. Whether you’re planning on keeping your journal entries intact or writing out a manuscript, dye inks may not always be the best choice. This is where pigment-based and bulletproof inks come in. But what is the difference between the two?
Unlike dye inks, which are made up of chemical components dissolved in water, pigment-based inks consist of solid colorants. These are ground into very fine particles and mixed in water. They are not water-soluble as the particles remain suspended in the water. Pigment-based inks have better permanence than dye-based inks since the solid colorants sit on paper and bind with the fibers over time. This makes this type of ink fade-resistant, especially when exposed to sunlight. The solid particles also last longer than chemical dye inks.
The advantage of being more permanent often comes with sacrificing other desirable properties of fountain pen ink, such as color variety. You’ll find that pigment-based inks do not come in as wide of a range of colors as dye-based inks, and they also tend to be less vibrant.
The composition of pigment-based inks also means they are more difficult to maintain. If left unattended for too long, the solid particles in pigment-based inks can clog your fountain pen feed and nib. It is absolutely essential that you observe best practices in fountain pen maintenance and cleaning when using pigment-based inks. Otherwise, it can be very difficult to get your pen working properly again.
Bulletproof inks can sometimes be confused with pigment-based inks because they both work by binding to paper’s cellulose fibers to achieve a good level of permanence. The main difference is that bulletproof inks are dye-based solutions, while pigment-based inks are suspensions.
Bulletproof ink can be thought of as combining the benefits of dye-based inks, which we mentioned above, and pigment-based inks. The special formula of bulletproof inks allows them to have the same permanence as pigment-based inks while retaining the low maintenance qualities of dye-based inks.
Bulletproof inks are also only permanent once fully absorbed by the cellulose fibers of the paper you are writing on. If the ink merely dries on top of the paper, then it can still be washed away. It helps to find fountain pen-friendly papers like Midori MD that are highly absorbent so that you can get the most out of your bulletproof inks.
When compared to pigment-based inks, bulletproof inks have a more vibrant look. If both color and permanence are important to you when using fountain pen ink, then definitely try bulletproof inks.
The bottom line
There are several options you can choose from when selecting more permanent inks for your writing needs, and these include pigment-based and bulletproof inks. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, so it is up to you to decide what will work best for your preferences.
Happy inking and happy writing!
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting