Here is a scenario that may seem familiar: You’re happily writing away in your journal or your commonplace book only to pause and wonder. “Hang on. Does fountain pen ink fade?” This is a legitimate concern; after all, most dye-based fountain pen inks are not formulated to be waterproof. What if your writing smudges, fades in color, or is rendered completely unreadable in a few years’ time?
This article will talk about whether fountain pen ink does fade and what some of the common causes may be.
Does fountain pen ink fade?
Most fountain pen ink is dye-based, meaning that it is made of chemical components dissolved in water. These are the most widely available and commonly used fountain pen inks thanks to their versatility in color and ease of use. However, these inks are also more susceptible to fading with the passing of time.
How quickly your fountain pen ink will fade and the degree of fading will depend on several factors. These include the type of ink you use, the type of paper you write on, environmental conditions, and light exposure. Generally, exposure to heat and sunlight will cause more fading in a short amount of time.
However, how quickly fountain pen ink fades will also depend on the type of ink you’ll be using. Compared to dye-based inks, pigment-based inks can be quite water-resistant and long-lasting. Iron gall inks are also quite permanent, but the initial color tends to fade to a brown shade due to the iron content of the ink. This doesn’t apply to all iron gall inks; some will simply fade into a paler shade of the original color.
Tips to prevent fading
Storage. If you prefer dye-based inks due to their accessibility, price point, versatility, and ease of use, then storage is your best friend. Storing your writing in any cool and dark place will preserve the ink colors and prevent fading or feathering for many years to come. If you want to go the extra mile, keep them in an opaque container that can be completely sealed. It is also best to keep them away from moisture and humidity.
Paper. Using more absorbent paper will mean that ink is drawn further into the paper fibers, preventing them from fading faster. Try fountain pen-friendly papers like Midori.
Light. It is best not to leave your writing out in direct sunlight. This will cause ink to fade much more quickly.
Use permanent inks. There are many high-quality permanent inks on the market. Remember to keep the proper practices for pen maintenance in mind when using such inks. Some inks you can try are Platinum Carbon Black and Sailor Pigment Ultra Black.
The Bottom Line
Fountain pen inks are a joy to experiment with, but they are not always impervious to the effects of time and the environment. The best we can do is to store them carefully away from moisture and heat. It also helps to use the right materials, whether it’s a more permanent type of ink or better fountain pen paper.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting