Ink Notes: Noodler’s X-Feather

Noodler's X-Feather Bottle

I hadn’t planned it this way, but I have another pitch black ink with Noodler’s X-Feather this week.

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.

Wrapping Up

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.

Pens Used

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.

Additional Information

Stephen Brown has an Inkcyclopedia entry for Noodler’s X-Feather.

Writing Samples

Ink Notes: Noodler’s Walnut

Photo of the Noodler's Walnut Brown bottle

I’m continuing my brown ink exploration with Noodler’s Walnut. I’ve had the almost full bottle in my ink drawer for over 8 years. The ink doesn’t show any affects of age.

Test pens where a Lamy Safari with extra fine, medium and broad nibs along with a Sailor 1911 with a 21kt Sailor medium nib and a Franklin-Christoph Model 29 with a steel fine nib.

I had some inconsistencies in the dry times on Rhodia paper. You’ll see on the sample sheets that my first test with the fine nib took over 30 seconds to dry. When the medium nib took only 20 seconds I redid the fine and got a 10 second dry time. Doane Paper saw much more consistent, and quicker, drying times.

Pictures of the samples on Rhodia Paper (No 16 Dotpad) are in the gallery, click them for the full size images.

My impressions of Noodler’s Walnut

  • A nice dark brown with good saturation.
  • No bleeding or feathering on any papers I used.
  • Long drying time on Rhodia paper, especially with broad and wetter nibs
  • Drying on Doane Paper is significantly faster than on Rhodia. So when I use my typical thin nibs while taking notes I don’t have to worry too much about smudges, Drying time is ~5 seconds with the Sailor Medium or Franklin-Christoph fine nib.
  • Not water proof, but very water resistant. A layer of color washes off but what’s left is readable. I consider it spill and accident proof.
  • The ink is easy to flush from the pen.
  • Good choice for my daily work notes. Relatively quick drying on the Doane Paper that I use and it keeps the nib wet for pauses of a minute or more.
  • Bad choice for some bound notebooks. With my Black & Red notebook (the one with Fountain Pen friendly paper) the ink still wasn’t dry when I turned the page. While not wet enough to smudge, I got ink dots on the facing page when I flipped it over. And this included the top of the page, not the just completed section.

Pens Used

The Lamy was just used for testing so there’s no long-term experience. It was easy to flush out, taking a little over 5 minutes.

The Sailor 1911 Sterling handled the ink well with its 21kt medium nib. I could pause writing for 2 minutes and there would still be ink on the nib and wrote as soon as I put it back on the paper. There was just a trace of a skip after pausing for 3 minutes. This pen is still inked, but I don’t expect any problems cleaning it.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 29 also handled the ink well with its steel fine nib, not quit as well as the gold nib on the Sterling but still a good flow. I could pause writing for about 1 minute without and problems restarting. Any longer than that and I might have problems, especially if I was pausing frequently. It only took about 2 minutes to clean this pen.

Additional Reading

handlerbar’s review on FPN

All My Hues review

Ink Notes: Noodler’s Apache Sunset

Noodler’s Apache Sunset became one of my favorite inks the first time I used it. Even though I tend to use thin nibs the shading abilities of this ink do show through. I haven’t experienced any feathering in my use.

This ink was made for my Gate City New Dunn pen, “Tattler” edition with a medium nib. I love the way the ink appears in the barrel. Because the pen comes apart so easily cleanup is a breeze, just remove both ends and flush water through. The ink also easily flushed out of the feed with just a couple flushes. The ink doesn’t appear as red on the paper as it does in the pen, where it almost looks to be a blood red.

So far the New Dunn pen is the only pen I’ve put this ink in.

Gate City New Dunn Pen photo
Gate City Pen New Dunn with Noodler’s Apache Sunset

Additional Reading or Viewing

FP Geeks Inkcyclopedia Entry for Apache Sunset

FPN Review by mhphoto

November 2012 Ink Drop

I did my swabs and writing samples for the Goulet Pens November ink drop this past weekend. It took awhile to get to it since none of the inks grabbed my attention when I opened the envelope, except for one I already had. They’re nice enough, but I don’t think they’ll make it into a pen anytime soon The five November inks are:

  • Diamine Ochre – This brown ink is easily my favorite among the bunch since it’s one I  already have a sample. I added it when ordered some brown inks to try. Looks like it will have good saturation and shading. I do like brown inks.
  • Noodler’s Tiananmen – This is a nice dark red with a purple tint in my swab. My second choice among these five inks.
  • Noodler’s Cayenne – My ink swab and writing sample doesn’t look as orange as I expected. The swab does have an orange shade to it, but the writing sample (written with a glass dip pen) looks like a dark red.
  • Rohrer & Kilingner Morinda – I’ve read that this is an easy tio clean red ink. If so it may be more than the common red it appears to be.
  • De Atramentis Ghandi – A thin yellow ink that doesn’t appeal to me at all. Maybe useful as a highlighter or for drawing, neither is something I do.

The R&K Morinde will probably get put in a pen pretty quickly thanks to it’s reputation as an easy to clean red. But other than than, no inks jump to the top of my “must try” list, but a couple I’ll use eventually and will probably like.

Additional Reading:

Goulet Pens Ink Drop Reveal and Contest