Part of what makes writing in journals, commonplace books, and planners is looking back at what you’ve written. However, you may find that some of the fountain pen ink you’ve used in previous entries has faded somewhat. This may make you wonder whether, in a few decades, you’ll still have memories written on paper to look back on. Exactly how long does fountain pen ink last on paper? Here, we’ll answer just that and give you a few tips on extending the longevity of your writing when using fountain pen inks.
How Long Does Fountain Pen Ink Last On Paper?
The short answer is it depends. Fountain pen ink can last decades, if not even longer, on paper, as we have seen from older documents that can still be read today. However, this depends on various factors, such as the following:
Paper quality. High-quality, acid-free paper tends to preserve ink better than lower-quality paper. Cheaper or acidic paper may cause ink to degrade more quickly, whereas acid-free and high-quality paper can make fountain pen ink last for many years without much fading or other signs of degradation.
Ink type. Different fountain pen inks have varying chemical compositions. Some inks are more archival and fade-resistant, while others may be prone to fading over time. Other inks are specifically marketed as archival or permanent, indicating that they are designed to resist fading and deterioration.
Use frequency. The more frequently a paper is handled, the more wear and tear it may experience. Constant rubbing and contact can contribute to ink degradation over time.
Storage conditions. Exposure to sunlight, heat, and humidity can accelerate the degradation of ink on paper. Storing paper in a controlled, cool, dark, and dry environment can help preserve the ink.
Does Fountain Pen Ink Fade?
If fountain pen ink can last years and years on paper, will it still look as it did when it was first written? Most fountain pen inks will fade to some extent. The degree to which your fountain pen will fade on paper depends on several considerations, including the type of ink used, paper quality, exposure to light and heat, and other environmental conditions like air quality.
For instance, pigment-based inks (like Platinum Carbon Black) are more resistant and long-lasting than most dye-based inks, making them the best choice if you want your writing to last long and remain fade-proof. Iron gall inks are also very permanent, but you may experience fading into a different color, whether a brown hue or a lighter shade of the original color, due to the iron content of the ink.
The Bottom Line
To sum up, the longevity of fountain pen ink on paper is influenced by a combination of factors, including paper quality, ink composition, storage conditions, and handling practices. Fountain pen enthusiasts who wish to preserve what they’ve written for many years to come can invest in permanent inks that will last longer and resist fading, even more so than everyday dye-based inks. Whether it's a personal journal, a cherished letter, or a work of art, the longevity of the right fountain pen ink adds an extra layer of significance to the act of putting pen to paper, turning each stroke into a lasting legacy.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting