We’ve all been there: one minute, your fountain pen is writing smoothly and beautifully, but the next, you’re suddenly dealing with flow issues. Whether your pen has started skipping across the page or just isn’t flowing the way you want it to, there are several reasons why fountain pens don’t flow properly. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy these fountain pen flow issues.
Causes of Flow Issues In Fountain Pens
Ink flow issues aren’t just caused by clogs in your fountain pens, though that could very well be the case. Your fountain pen could also be facing ink flow issues because of several other factors. Let’s explore each of them.
Incompatible inks. Some people may make the mistake of using the wrong type of ink in their fountain pen, such as India ink. Such formulations are not suitable for fountain pens as they are too thick and dry, leading to poor flow.
Infrequent use. If a fountain pen is left unused for an extended period, ink residue can dry up in the nib and feed, affecting the flow.
Misaligned tines. If the tines of the nib are misaligned, it can result in an uneven flow of ink.
Improper installation. If the converter or cartridge is not properly seated in the pen, it can impede ink flow.
Paper type. Using paper that is not fountain pen-friendly can lead to toothy fibers getting stuck in the nib, which can cause issues with skipping and poor ink flow.
How To Get a Fountain Pen To Flow
There are several ways to fix fountain pen flow problems. Here are several that we highly recommend:
Use The Right Type of Ink
The first step in addressing flow issues is to ensure that you are using high-quality ink. Fountain pens are designed to work with specific types of ink, and using the wrong formulation may lead to clogs or inconsistent flow. Always use fountain pen ink from reputable brands, and avoid mixing different inks unless they are explicitly designed to be compatible.
Use A Wetter Ink
If your fountain pen tends to write dry, consider using a wetter ink formulation. Wet inks have a higher lubrication property, promoting a smoother flow and reducing the likelihood of clogs. Experiment with different inks to find the one that complements your pen's characteristics.
Prime The Feed
If your pen has been sitting unused for an extended period, the ink in the feed may have dried up. To prime the feed, gently squeeze the ink reservoir or use a converter to force ink into the feed. This will help saturate the feed and encourage consistent ink flow when you start writing.
Flush Your Pen
When in doubt, observing best practices in fountain pen cleaning and maintenance is the way to go. Start by flushing your pen. To do this, place the nib and feed of your pen into clean water and draw water up into the pen. Flush it back out in a sink or a separate container. Repeat the process until the water coming out of your pen is clear.
Here are some other tips that can help you improve the flow of your fountain pen.
- Fill your pen as usual. Take a syringe filled up with the same ink and place a few drops on the underside tip of the nib. This will suck ink back up into the feed by capillary action.
- Take a paper towel and place your pen nib face down on it so that the breather hole is touching the paper towel surface. Doing this will draw the ink down into the nib via capillary action. It works even better if the paper towel is damp.
- Dip the end of the nib in water to help pull some ink down into the feed. This helps start ink flow again in many cases.
The Bottom Line
Owning a fountain pen is a rewarding experience, and maintaining its optimal performance is key to enjoying the art of writing. By understanding the anatomy of your pen and following these practical tips, you can troubleshoot and resolve flow issues, ensuring that your fountain pen glides smoothly across the paper. Remember, a well-maintained fountain pen will serve you for many years to come.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting