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Introduction to Mixing Fountain Pen Ink

Using an Ink Mixing Kit

One of the most enjoyable things about using a fountain pen is being able to mix your own custom ink colors! If you are a new fountain pen user, or haven't tried this for yourself yet, we would like to share some things we've learned about ink mixing.

One myth is that you must match the brand of fountain pen you are using to the brand of ink that you purchase. This may have been true with some vintage fountain pens and vintage inks, but with modern fountain pens feel free to experiment with any modern ink specially formulated for use in fountain pens. If you want to be cautious, you may try using your less expensive pens to begin your experiments. Although we haven't had this problem, we have heard that intensely colored inks may stain a fountain pen.

Another myth about ink mixing is that you must only mix inks if they are the same brand. However, we have found that many different brands of ink will work just fine when mixed together. For example, many Noodler's Inks, LAMY, Pelikan and J. Herbin Inks can be mixed together to create new colors without any problems. There are always exceptions though, so when trying a new ink combination we would recommend making a small amount first and waiting a little while to see if there are any reactions. Using an ink mixing kit is helpful since these are designed for making small test batches of ink and the clear vials help you to see if any globs or precipitate form after mixing inks together.

If a batch of ink gums up your fountain pen, or you want to start out fresh with your new ink color, you can wash the pen and the converter out thoroughly with room temperature water. Have fun experimenting to see what inks work best for you!

In a future post we will mention some ink combinations that you might want to avoid. In the meantime, we would love it if you would share your favorite fountain pen ink recipe with us!


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Comments

This post is very timely for me, since I recently started mixing inks... with varying levels of success. Are there any plans to restock the ink mixing kit?

Hi Sheryl,
Yes, we should have more ink mixing kits in stock soon. We'll send you an email when we get them. We wish you success in your ink mixing. Let us know if you discover anything interesting!

Fun and interesting read, thanks.

Thanks for the post, I was just starting to wonder about mixing inks and the best way and rules to do it...very helpful post.

Just out of curiosity, would it be possible to mix Pelikan and Waterman ink, or Pelikan and Mont Blanc? Are there any inks that SHOULD NOT BE MIXED?

We've tried mixing different brands of ink with success, but of course we haven't tried every combination. Noodler's Ink tells us that their Baystate inks should only be mixed with other inks in the Baystate line. We have found that Noodler's Year of the Golden Pig does not mix well with other inks. We would suggest mixing a small test batch of ink first to see what the results are. If the mix forms any solids, it is definitely not a good match. You can also try out your ink mix in a cheap fountain pen first, and then give the pen a good washing if the results are not good. Have fun experimenting and let us know your results!

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