How to choose fountain pen ink

The best inks for an excellent stroke


The ink for fountain pen, fundamental element for those who live daily passion for writing. The fuel that allows our faithful ally to travel and tell, to move naturally on the sheet, stroking the paper with the right intensity. The trail symbolizing the delivery of memories, precious words keepers of emotions, to the secret of pages that defy the oblivion of time.

Fountain pen inks are indispensable for smooth and effective writing: it becomes necessary to know how to navigate among the various types of ink for fountain pens to choose the best product that optimizes the performance of our precious writing instrument without compromising its functionality.

Fountain pen ink tanks are filled with special preparations, dye solutions or pigment suspensions, created specifically for use in this area. The inks differ according to drying time, shades, fluidity and delicacy. Let’s find out together how to choose the best fountain ink according to our needs.


Discovering ink for fountain pens

From the first blends to the coloured inks

The need to write has always accompanied the evolution of Humanity and the history of writing also passes by the development of ink. The first mixtures saw the light over 5 thousand years ago, by the Egyptians and the Chinese. The former used a black ink based on carbon black and gelatin and a red ink, composed of plant extracts and sulfides or oxides.

Vitruvius, a Roman writer who lived in the 1st c. A.C. described the first recipe for ink: to obtain what the Romans called Atramentum, a binder, such as gum Arabic, an oil or fish glue, with pitch carbon black, the basic ingredient was mixed.

To obtain colored inks, carbon black was replaced by other ingredients: red was produced by the use of muric shells. It was spread out with pointed marsh reeds, the so-called calames. And to preserve it? Drying was the preferred method: with a little water to dilute it, the ink became usable again.


The evolution of fountain pen ink

From pens dipped in inkwells to tanks

Over the years, alongside the inks of carbon black, appeared also metallogallic inks, born from the chemical reaction between the tannin present in the peel of the fruit or in the gall nuts and a metallic salt. Then the pens dipped in inkpots full of ink: the tip remained pregnant and flowed on the sheet imprinting words as a trace of its passage.

With the birth of movable type printing the production of ink has become industrial, the formulas used have multiplied, and the chemicals have replaced the natural ones. It became necessary to create new dyes that did not dry quickly and could be stored longer, ideal for fountain pens: the pen was no longer dipped in ink but, on the contrary, it was the ink that was inserted into these new writing instruments.

Modern ink is presented as a fluid of various colors that can be imprinted on various materials, especially on paper, through the use of different tools: ballpoint pen, roller pen, fountain pen, printer, stamp.

Of course, the writing ink has very different characteristics from the one used for printing: fountain pen inks, then, differ further from each other according to color, tone, shades, the drying time and the type of container, which determines the ease of charging the writing instrument. The fundamental qualities that must possess the best ink for fountain pen are: the speed in the drying times, the sharpness of the stroke, the smoothness and the inalterability of the color.


Ink for fountain pen Montegrappa

Special mix for luxury pens

Montegrappa fountain pens stand out for the quality of the stroke: elegance, fluidity, smoothness are synonymous with high quality Made in Italy in the world of precious writing accessories. To preserve these intrinsic qualities intact, Montegrappa submits fountain pen ink to tests that validate its effectiveness and excellent performance, to offer writing enthusiasts a product that is in line with the demand for exclusivity and refinement associated with their fountain pen.


Choosing the ink for the fountain pen

Quality indicators

The first rule to follow when choosing fountain pen ink is, of course, to avoid too cheap products: too poor ink can significantly change the performance of the pen. We need to take into account a number of aspects that allow us to evaluate the quality of the ink we are going to choose.

Fluency and delicacy win over everything, since writing with a fountain pen is more challenging than writing with a ballpoint pen. The ink must then ensure quick drying and must not corrode or damage the material with which it comes into contact.

Black and colored ink for fountain pen

Chromatic exercises of style

Water resistance, saturation and permanence on paper are other elements to consider when choosing a fountain pen ink. Even the chosen color determines a different result in the stroke: although the main color remains that of black ink for fountain pen, there are those who turn to the purchase of colored inks.

To prefer the many shades of different colors are especially those who use the fountain pen as a tool to explore the thousand calligraphic possibilities of the passion for writing. In this way we practice with different styles, tracing on the paper shapes that symbolize the evolution of the handwritten words.


Those who create high quality fountain pens know well what are the virtues that must possess an excellent ink for these precious writing instruments: Montegrappa inks best accompany the imprint of the nib on the sheet, thus writing a story made of class and prestige, on which stands the excellent signature of Made in Italy.