This is a very dark black ink which stays pitch black as it dries, unlike the Private Reserve Invincible which develops a bit of a chalky look when it dries. It’s also thicker than I expected. Not molasses thick, but thicker than most inks. The nib remained coated in ink after filling until it was removed with a cloth much like the PR Invincible, but unlike the PR Invincible the X-Feather doesn’t cling and does actually flow in the direction of gravity.
As the name implies the ink is anti-feather and I didn’t experience any feathering when using the ink with any pen on any paper.
As I mentioned, the ink is very dark and it stays bright after drying. It doesn’t show very well in the pictures but the dried ink has a slight sheen to it and looks almost wet.
X-Feather isn’t the fastest drying ink, except for some reason with an extra fine nib on Doane and other less smooth papers. The EF dried over twice as fast on Doane as it did on Rhodia. Both extra fine nibs I used experience this fast drying on all but the slickest paper. Except for the extra fine nibs the drying time between Doane and Rhodia papers was much closer, although Rhodia was still slower. The drying time was also considerable longer than the 3 seconds, with the fine nib taking about 8 seconds. So the amount of ink put on the paper has a considerable impact on drying time.
The runs a little when it’s wet although it’s still easily readable so I’d consider it water resistant. Despite the dark color there wasn’t any show through and I didn’t encounter any bleed-through, even on cheaper paper. Since the ink is pure black, there’s no shading.
I like the pure black color of the nib. I wish it was faster drying but since I typically use an extra fine nib this is less of a problem. Noodler’s X-Feather is near the top of my list for a black ink.
My TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm nibs was used for the writing samples. There weren’t any flow problems with any of the nibs, but it was short writing sessions. There weren’t any problems cleaning the ink, although being a dark and slightly thick ink it took a little longer than some inks.
I used a Gate City Pen “The Belmont” with a extra fine steel nib as a daily writer for a couple days. The pens started each time I needed it and didn’t skip. The ink did not evaporate off the nib when I paused for a couple minutes.
Stephen Brown has an Inkcyclopedia entry for Noodler’s X-Feather.