Accidental spills are an artist’s worst nightmare. Water can ruin a day’s work in seconds, especially if you use the wrong ink. If you enjoy adding fountain pen ink to your art or writing your notes with a fountain pen, then waterproof pen ink is your best bet.
Waterproof ink is permanent and will repel water, preserving your notes or drawings. Ensure that your work can never be destroyed by purchasing waterproof pen ink for your fountain pen. So, which is the best waterproof fountain pen ink? Let’s find out.
Best Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s is a US-based company that produces affordable fountain pen ink with various colors made from different materials. The company’s eel fountain pen ink is black but can look brown from different angles. If you’re looking to make something permanent on paper, this ink is perfect for you.
Noodler’s eel ink uses cellulose-reactive dyes that resist water to prevent ink runs and damage from materials such as bleach and UV light that may fade or erase ordinary ink.
To save the integrity of your work while using this ink, use cellulose-based paper. Noodler’s has ensured that their ink is fadeproof and dries fast as you write, so there’s no danger of staining the paper. Solvents and alcohol-based liquids won’t make the ink run, and the ink won’t smudge, feather or smear.
Extreme temperatures can affect the quality of paper and eventually cause damage. In very low temperatures, you may start noticing an ice slush forming on the ink. Use this ink with piston-filled pens, skip-prone nibs, fountain pens, and drip pens without worrying about damaging the pens. The ink is lubricated, ensuring that it smoothly glides across the paper without damaging it or the pen.
- No streaks or feathering on paper
- Consistent coloring
- Forgery-free, fadeproof ink
- Effective in mildly low temperatures
- Compatible with most fountain pens
- May bleed through some papers
Using calligraphy ink on fountain pens other than drip pens can be a terrible idea, but 16MG’s calligraphy ink is specially formulated for most of these pens, including antique quill pens, feather pens, and glass dip pens. The ink comes in a 20ml bottle, and you have your choice in colors between black, blue, and dark blue.
The calligraphy ink dries fast, which prevents smudges as you write. It doesn’t have carbon particles which saves your pens from clogging. It’s waterproof and makes for smoothly-done work. It won’t smudge, clog, or fade, and you can carry the ink bottle anywhere without worrying about ink spills.
Because of its smooth-flowing nature, this ink is great to use for fancy papers such as wedding invitations, greeting cards, business papers, signing papers, and your personal art. It’s an excellent choice for children learning to stabilize their handwriting, calligraphy artists, and event planners and designers.
- Available in multiple colors
- Quick-drying ink
- Waterproof and fadeproof
- Smooth writing prevents clogs
- Portable packaging
- Suitable for all, especially amateur calligraphers
- Not compatible with all fountain pens
De Atramentis is a German company based in Hachenburg that primarily makes writing and calligraphy inks. The company has a massive catalog of fountain pen inks handmade by Franz-Joseph Jansen.
The company’s archive ink comes in a black 45ml bottle, and its ink is true black with no color variations. Although it takes quite a bit of time to dry (about 60 seconds), the ink is permanent and is water-resistant after drying.
Like most German products, De Atramentis archive ink contains nano pigments that cause it to flow smoothly and consistently, making it easy for you to take important notes. Even with its smooth nature, the ink isn’t suitable for writing in a rush because of its long drying time. It is, however, the perfect choice for when you want to create sketches.
The nanotechnology used is also suitable for the fine ink duct of your fountain pen. Most inks, especially the carbon ones, tend to have a heavy pigment that may clog the ink duct, but nanoparticles don’t stick to it, preventing clogging.
- Has nano pigment technology that increases your fountain pen’s shelf-life
- Water-resistant, fadeproof ink
- True black, perfect for important documents
- Handmade ink ensures quality
- Smooth matte finish
- Takes a long time to dry
- Not alcohol-proof
Higgins is an American ink store that has been around since 1880 and is now a subsidiary of Chartpak. Their years of experience make their products high-quality, and their black magic waterproof drawing ink is no exception.
Higgins’ black magic ink is suitable for technical pens such as dip pens and brushwork. You can use it on paper, film, and board materials without hitches. The ink is black with grey shades, so it leaves solid black markings when used. It is thin, which makes it easier to dry, and it becomes waterproof after it dries.
Higgins has thoughtful packaging; the drawing ink comes in a stylish, portable bottle with a dropper that enables you to easily refill your fountain pen without spilling and ruining your surfaces. The ink is long-lasting and won’t fade, which is an essential factor, especially if you’re using it for official documents that people can forge.
- Pigmented waterproof color for multipurpose use
- Packaging comes with a dropper for ease of use
- Experienced manufacturer
- Black ink with solid markings
- Dries quickly
- Washes off of clothes in case of accidental spills
- May not present fine lines
- Need to apply two coats to get a pure black pigment
Graf von Faber-Castell is a German stationery manufacturer, and they also specialize in ink making as well. The ink comes in a pretty and compact 75ml bottle and finely fluted surface. The ink is hazel brown, waterproof, and has quick-drying properties making it smudge-resistant. Your handwriting will remain clear and legible for a long time.
- Compact 75ml bottle
- Hazel brown, solid ink
- Smudge-resistant, fade-free
- Appears watery
The Difference Between Waterproof and Water-resistant Ink
Waterproof ink and water-resistant ink may seem synonymous, but they’re not. Fountain pen inks are primarily water-based, which means liquids will dissolve the ink even after it’s dried in water. If you’re looking for permanence, then waterproof ink is the best choice for you. The difference between all these inks is the materials they’re made with.
Types of Waterproof Ink
Particle inks consist of nanoparticles added into the ink, making it easy for the ink to pass through the passages of the feed and nib of a pen without clogging them. These inks are known for their solid, deep color, although you may need to replace your pen frequently. The pigment in particle inks is insoluble, which promotes its permanence. Lower quality particle inks contain larger particles that could clog up your pen and destroy it. Ensure that you frequently clean your pen when using these inks to prevent pigment build-up.
These inks have iron salts and tannic acid in them, and because of their corrosive nature, they can corrode your pen from the inside. These inks usually age well on paper. These days, manufacturers have made better, less corrosive formulations to increase your fountain pens’ life. Although waterproof, these inks aren’t resistant to bland UV lights.
Noodler’s Ink makes this type of ink, and other than being waterproof, these inks are resistant to chemicals such as bleach, solvents, alcohol, and UV light. Bulletproof ink is easy to wash out and won’t corrode your fountain pen. The problem with bulletproof ink is that you’ll experience some creeping and smudges even after the ink dries up.
Water-resistant ink works by repelling moisture but can’t be considered waterproof. These inks will most likely blur when exposed to water for a long time, but the words or art will still be legible. How the ink behaves after this exposure will determine the level of water resistance.
These are the most common inks and consist of dye particles dissolved in water. Because they’re water-soluble, these inks have the least water resistance.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Fountain Pen Ink
You need to consider several factors before picking out the best ink for you. These include:
Some manufacturers make their ink runny, while others prefer more viscous inks. Runny inks flow smoothly through your pen’s nib, giving you less time to control your writing. We’d recommend these for experienced fountain pen writers or those with more pronounced handwriting.
Viscous ink flows slowly, which makes it easy to control your penmanship. This ink is the perfect choice for smaller handwriting and amateur writers.
You may hear the terms “true black” or “black with grey undertones” thrown around when talking about fountain pen ink. This explains your ink’s color density; some may be dark, while others look diluted. If your ink is less saturated, your writing will look dull and faded, while more saturated colors make your writing look fresh and vibrant.
This depends on how viscous your ink is. If you’re going for thick inks, be prepared for a long drying time. The drying time also depends on the pen and the type of paper you’re using; if you use fountain pens daily, consider going for thinner inks that dry faster.
Reaction to Water
How does your ink react to water? With most common inks, you may find your work ruined after a small spill, but some inks repel water when exposed to small amounts of it. Other types of ink resist water damage, as well as damage from solvents, alcohol, and other chemicals.
Choice of Paper
There are various types of paper, and each reacts differently to ink. If you aren’t sure about the kind of paper you’ll be using, choose an ink that doesn’t bleed through or dry slowly, which may cause your penmanship to blur.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is there a difference between fountain pen ink and other pen inks?
The difference lies in the ingredients; fountain pen ink consists of water, colorants such as pigment, and preservatives. Anything that has extra ingredients isn’t fountain pen ink. Fountain pen inks are easy to clean out and prevent clogging. If the dye you’re purchasing is oil-based and has ingredients such as gum arabic, keep it away from your fountain pen.
2. How should I maintain my fountain pens?
You should clean your fountain pen at least twice a month, and to do that, you’ll need to remove the converter or cartridge and flush some clean water into the nib and gripper. If your fountain pen has an inbuilt cartridge, flush the water in and force it out through the nib.
Next, you should store the pen securely to protect it from damage. Ensure the pen’s nib faces upwards during storage so that the ink doesn’t stick on the nib, which causes clogging.
3. Can I use different types of ink on the same fountain pen?
We don’t recommend using different types of inks on the same fountain pens because each type of ink has a different composition, and some ingredients may react to each other. Stick to one type of ink, or rinse your pens thoroughly before changing the ink you use.
4. How can I prevent fountain pen ink from drying out?
There are several steps that you can take to prevent your fountain pen from drying out.
You may be used to storing regular pens with the cap facing down; this method is incorrect. The best way to store your pens is with the tip down.
- Clean your pen regularly.
- Don’t leave pens unsealed. Ensure that your pen’s cap is on tightly.
- Keep pens you aren’t using in airtight bags.
If you’re choosing a special fountain pen, you should buy waterproof ink to go with it so that your artwork and writings are preserved. We’ve given you our favorite waterproof inks to choose from to make the process easier for you. Good luck shopping!