An Informative Guide to Herbin Ink
herbin ink bottles

Herbin Ink has dominated the world of color and art since they first started producing products in the 18th century. The quality has steadily improved with time, and they have managed to create a huge variety of reliable inks. Here’s a complete overview of all of them.

What Is Herbin Ink?

Herbin Ink is the masterpiece of Jacques Herbin, a 4th-gen French sailor who set out on a boat and made multiple voyages to different countries around the world.

The Herbin family started by manufacturing sealing wax from ingredients collected during their voyages to India.

Soon, Herbin was selling imported shellac and fine stationery along with sealing wax. In 1798, Jacques got involved in the ink trade and started the business that now boasts multiple awards for quality and produces all-natural inks.

Herbin Ink is one of the oldest ink makers in the world, and they continue to produce high-quality, au naturale inks today.

The Jacques Herbin 1798 Inks

Celebrating the birth of Herbin Ink, the Jacques Herbin 1798 ink collection is characterized by a deep color palette that shines with flecks of silver for a premium finish.

Kyanite du Népal Ink

Named after a noble mineral of Nepal, the Kyanite du Népal ink by Herbin is a deep blue almost turquoise shade that shines with tiny bits of silver. It works well with broad and fine nibs, flows well, and has considerable shine.

Cornaline d’Egypte Ink

Dedicated to an Egyptian gemstone that symbolizes a stress-free life, the Cornaline d’Egypte ink by Herbin is a bright orange toned down with flecks of silver. It embodies the essence of fall and has great shading.

Amethyste De L’Oural Ink

Titled after the majestic Ural mountain, the Amethyste De L’Oural ink by Herbin is a deep purple that shimmers with silver. It is a wetter ink that has a great shading contrast and flows well but does not work on copy paper.

The 1670 Collection of Herbin Inks

Opened Ink Pot

The 1670 Collection was designed to mark the adventures of Herbin and celebrate his passion for dyes and art.

Caroube de Chypre

Named after the carob trees in Cyprus (a favorite of Herbin on his voyages), the Caroube de Chypre ink is a dark brown color with a gold shimmer. It is highly saturated, meaning it takes a second or two to dry. Also, it shades well on smooth paper.

Emeraude de Chivor

Dedicated to the emerald that Herbin believed represented good luck, the Emeraude de Chivor ink is an emerald-green color that shines with flecks of gold to commemorate royalty. It is the perfect choice for invitations. It shades well but does not offer a lot of shine.

Stormy Gray

Labeled after Herbin’s voyages on stormy seas, the Stormy Gray ink is a deep coal gray that has a bit of gold sheen added. Since gray and gold don’t make for a well-rounded match, the shimmer is toned down, and unless the bottle is vigorously shaken before using, the gold won’t show. It is on the drier side.

Bleu Ocean

Commemorating the famous Indigo dye of India, the Bleu Ocean ink by Herbin is a deep blue that shimmers with flecks of gold. It has a great sheen on paper, dries incredibly fast, and can be used on copy paper as well, not to mention it wipes off as easily as water.

Rouge Hematite

Made on the 340th anniversary of Herbin Ink, the Rouge Hematite boasts the color of standard sealing wax, meaning it has a deep earthy red with flecks of gold. It does take a second to dry, which also means it bleeds on low-quality paper, but overall, it shades well and glides smoothly.

An Overview of All Herbin Fountain Pen Inks

A recent addition to Herbin Ink, the fountain pen inks were curated as an ode to their au naturale inks in the 1700s. They have a neutral pH level, which works well with all fountain pens.

The Jewel of Inks

Labeled after famous gemstones, the Jewel of Inks is a collection of 35 water-based inks that flow well, have a high shading contrast, and clean with a single wipe. Also, they are bleed and leak-proof. They are the perfect choice for beginners using quill pens.

The Subtle Inks

Also known as Herbin Ink’s scented ink collection, the Subtle Inks are a collection of six non-pigmented inks that are scented with all-natural fragrances that last up to a week or more — perfect for love letters and pen mail. The ink isn’t saturated, and its au naturale roots do cause it to fade over time.

A Review of Every Calligraphy and Specialty Inks

Calligraphy ink

To meet the artist’s demands, Herbin Ink produced a special line of calligraphy and specialty inks that boast character and color.

Authentic Ink

Also known as ‘lawyer’s ink’, the Authentic Ink by Herbin is a rich black that defines sophistication. It is on the wetter side and may be runny on thin paper, but it does not leak through and is perfect for signatures and certificates.

India Ink

Also termed as ‘China ink’, the India ink by Herbin is a shellac-like black. It is on the drier side and therefore works well on copy paper. It washes off easily and dries on paper fast too. It is one of the standard choices for professional academic use.

Pigmented Ink

One of the most saturated inks by Herbin, the Pigmented ink is an opaque dye available in gold, silver, white, and copper. It is a bit runny but works well on all kinds of paper and elegantly drafts wide strokes with no unnecessary ink blots. When shaken vigorously, the metallic sheen powers through on the paper.

Calligraphy Ink

Available in eight different colors, the Calligraphy Ink by Herbin is made of natural resins that give it a thicker consistency with great flow. This means that the pen nib doesn’t get stained, and the paper is saturated with rich opaque colors. It cleans with a single wipe of a damp paper towel.

Phosphorescent Ink

One of the most innovative additions to the Herbin ink line, the phosphorescent ink is characterized by its ability to glow in the dark. It doesn’t have a pigment but glows green in color and may be clumpy unless vigorously shaken.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Herbin ink wet?

Herbin inks tend to be on the drier side, which means they are bleed and leak-proof. This also means they work well with all types of paper, including standard copy paper.

Are Herbin inks dry?

Yes, Herbin inks are dry but have an easy flow. They don’t transfer to the other side of the canvas and are reliable for all kinds of paper. They can be thickened by adding a little gum arabic.

Final Thoughts

Herbin Ink is quite famous for its wide range of colorful and reliable inks. After reading through the entire overview, we hope you’ve been able to find an ink that works perfectly for you.


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