Ink Notes: J. Herbin Lie De The

Photo of a Lie De The ink bottle
J. Herbin Lie De The Ink Bottle

I like brown inks and the first time I saw J. Herbin Lie De The ink I thought it was destined to become my standard brown ink and one of my overall favorites, even though Google translate says the name is “Dregs of Tea” in english. The ink hasn’t met this expectations in my own use.

The ink doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The color varied widely across the two pens I used and different types of paper. Sometimes the ink looks like yellow mud and other times it’s a nice brown. Some uses may benefit from the variation (drawing, calligraphy) but not the standard writing that I do.

With my preference for fine nibs I don’t expect a lot of shading in the line. While I do get variation, it’s not shading. The variation is in the color the ink decides to be at the time. Even though I’ve been disappointed so far I did get a full bottle after using up the sample. Part of me hopes I had a bad sample or matched it with a poor choice of pens. Or screwed up some other way. I will say in the short time I’ve used the ink from the bottle it has been consistent.

Pens Used

So far I used the ink on two pens, both with fine nibs.

Edison Collier w/fine nib: Wrote a thin line that was more yellow that I like. Also frequently wrote a thin line that looked like thin yellow mud, which wasn’t easy or pleasant to read. Other times it was a good looking brown ink. I’m not sure why there was a difference since the paper type was often the same. Maybe room temperature or humidity affected it. This pen used an ink sample which may explain the differences between this pen and the others, which were from a full bottle.

Franklin-Christoph Model 29 w/fine nib: The ink has been consistent within paper brands. Unlike the Edison Collier, this pen was consistent on each type of paper. It did vary across paper. The ink has a very yellow tinge on Rhodia paper and is more brown on Field Notes and Doane paper. Nothing exciting, but no complaints either.

The ink may grow on me if it can avoid the look of mud. I’m looking forward to trying the ink in some wider nibs where the ink may get to show off its shading.

Additional Reading

FPGeeks Inkcyclopedia

Fountain Pen Networ Review

The Pen Addict (Great drawings with the ink)

Photo of a pen resting on a J. Herbin ink bottle
The J. Herbin pen bottles have a built in pen rest.