Author Topic: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic  (Read 6664 times)

Offline Nickkih

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Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« on: May 19, 2014, 08:59:44 PM »
I only know that certain types of Sumi ink and Iron Gall inks are acidic. But I only know that because of this forum 😊. Just thought it might be great to know from the pros which other inks are acidic and what makes them acidic.

 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 10:22:55 PM by Nickkih »
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Offline schin

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 09:28:40 PM »
Old World iron gall is like writing with acid...

McCaffrey's is not as acidic as Old World

Walnut ink is much less acidic than the above but still kinda acidy.

That's all I know..
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Offline Moya

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 10:49:13 PM »
Kuretake sumi eats my nibs, but is so smooth and black I use it anyway :)

Offline YokePenCo

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 11:24:07 PM »
Blott's is INSANELY acidic but ohhhh so nice to write with.
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Offline Roseann

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 03:25:35 AM »
I love my nibs more than I do fine hair lines!
I used Iron Gall once, and never again!
It literally starts to eat away my nibs in less than an hour!
Roseann

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Offline inkcatcher

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 08:53:32 AM »
Is this acidic? :( This might be my next purchase but I can't afford to risk my nibs. It's not very easy to buy supplies here in the Philippines.

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Offline Nickkih

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 09:17:14 AM »
Hi Sienne - I believe the green cap is and the red cap isn't but i'm not 100% sure. I love sumi ink but I cant get the fine hairlines. Last night I starting using Walnut ink and its great because it has the fine hairlines,  easy to clean up and is beautiful on paper. 
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Offline inkcatcher

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2014, 09:24:12 AM »
Hi Sienne - I believe the green cap is and the red cap isn't but i'm not 100% sure. I love sumi ink but I cant get the fine hairlines. Last night I starting using Walnut ink and its great because it has the fine hairlines,  easy to clean up and is beautiful on paper.

Oh! So that's why the instagram people are very much advertising the walnut ink! Thanks for the info Ate Nichol! :)
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Offline Blotbot

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 09:26:09 AM »
I  have been using fountain pen iron gall inks which, so far, do not seem to be eating my nibs. They all have a dye component them as well. 

My pomegranate ink is  also a ferrous tannate ink, and it seems to be mild as well.  This may be due to the  pharmaceutical iron supplements I used having a buffer in them.

Offline Blotbot

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 09:42:08 AM »
The Wikopedia entry for iron gall ink says that traditionally egg shells ( calcium carbonate (CaCO3)) were added to it to make it less acidic.  Someone should try this is with these acidic inks and see if it works.  You could probably also use calcium carbonate vitamin supplements or TUMS (but I don't think I would want the sugar in TUMS).

I don't know why the ink manufacturer doesn't do this, unless the acid acts as a preservative.

Offline YokePenCo

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 04:43:24 PM »
Ok, part of the world of inks is the fact they are acidic. That is a part of the makeup and reasons why ink works so well. Most manufacturer's do add a base to lessen the acidity, such as the suggestion above to use egg shells.

The way an acidic ink works, using iron gall for example, the acid works to "etch" the ink into the paper itself. It doesn't sit on top such as an acrylic. Without the acid in the thin inks such as iron gall and walnut and tons of other thin inks, the ink would never last and eventually fade on it's own.

There has been lots of talk here lately about the acidity of ink and I think we might be over thinking it. Would it be great to have a non acidic version of McCaffery's, sure! But the ink would not last, your words you write would be lost and nothing would remain of it.

Part of being a penman or calligrapher is the nibs being an expendable item. That is the way it is and the way it always has been. Is it more expensive than a rollerball or fountain pen to use, sure, but show me a rollerball which expresses your feeling and heartrate in the strokes!

The days of the vintage nibs are gone, the reason is a human (almost always women, too) sat in production lines, hundreds upon hundreds of them and all day long carefully and painstakingly produced and hand ground every single nib that went off the assembly line. In today's workplace that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and make nibs so expensive, no one could afford them, let alone someone crazy enough to invest the money into it. We are now left with good quality nibs at an affordable price and many people have spent countless hours trying to devise a way to machine produce the same quality and it just isn't possible without sinking a TON of money into a low volume product.

Bottom line is this....
A) Use the Ink you enjoy using!
B) Find a modern production nib you enjoy using
C) Buy extra nibs, cause they WILL go bad from acid or the mechanics of use
D) If you happen upon vintage nibs at a decent price grab them up and enjoy using them until they are gone
E) Rinse nibs often in clean water and dry when your done
F) Enjoy what you write
G) If you really get upset by nibs of days past, make art out of all your used nibs and enjoy it all over, lol

Now quit worrying about the chemical composition of inks and go put something on paper! hehe :P
Christopher J. Yoke
www.yokepencompany.com

Offline Nickkih

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2014, 04:53:16 PM »
Awesome Chris! Thanks for the information and brief history lesson. Exactly the information I had in mind when I created this thread. .....well I'm off to order more nibs now so I can start using the wonderful iron gal inks my family got me for my birthday last month. 😍😍😍😍😄😄😃😃😊😊☺️☺️
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 05:11:57 PM by Nickkih »
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Offline YokePenCo

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2014, 05:05:25 PM »
Lol, you're welcome. Don't get me wrong, knowing which inks are highly acidic is great knowledge to make your nibs last as long as possible. Just don't stress about it and let it determine what ink you use.
Christopher J. Yoke
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Offline Milonguera

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2014, 05:51:35 PM »
Ok, part of the world of inks is the fact they are acidic. That is a part of the makeup and reasons why ink works so well. Most manufacturer's do add a base to lessen the acidity, such as the suggestion above to use egg shells.

The way an acidic ink works, using iron gall for example, the acid works to "etch" the ink into the paper itself. It doesn't sit on top such as an acrylic. Without the acid in the thin inks such as iron gall and walnut and tons of other thin inks, the ink would never last and eventually fade on it's own.

There has been lots of talk here lately about the acidity of ink and I think we might be over thinking it. Would it be great to have a non acidic version of McCaffery's, sure! But the ink would not last, your words you write would be lost and nothing would remain of it.

Part of being a penman or calligrapher is the nibs being an expendable item. That is the way it is and the way it always has been. Is it more expensive than a rollerball or fountain pen to use, sure, but show me a rollerball which expresses your feeling and heartrate in the strokes!

The days of the vintage nibs are gone, the reason is a human (almost always women, too) sat in production lines, hundreds upon hundreds of them and all day long carefully and painstakingly produced and hand ground every single nib that went off the assembly line. In today's workplace that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and make nibs so expensive, no one could afford them, let alone someone crazy enough to invest the money into it. We are now left with good quality nibs at an affordable price and many people have spent countless hours trying to devise a way to machine produce the same quality and it just isn't possible without sinking a TON of money into a low volume product.

Bottom line is this....
A) Use the Ink you enjoy using!
B) Find a modern production nib you enjoy using
C) Buy extra nibs, cause they WILL go bad from acid or the mechanics of use
D) If you happen upon vintage nibs at a decent price grab them up and enjoy using them until they are gone
E) Rinse nibs often in clean water and dry when your done
F) Enjoy what you write
G) If you really get upset by nibs of days past, make art out of all your used nibs and enjoy it all over, lol

Now quit worrying about the chemical composition of inks and go put something on paper! hehe :P

This should be its very own page!  I've been wondering about this the past couple of days because I tried the green bottle nib-eater sumi for the first time the other day.  I didn't know it ate nibs.     Now that we know Sumi isn't all that kind to nibs, at what rate should we expect to need nib replacement if we're using Sumi?  Or any other ink for that matter.  We were introduced to walnut ink in my first, italic, class.  Love that stuff and it seems really kind to nibs.   
Debbie

Offline YokePenCo

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Re: Let's create a list of inks that are acidic
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2014, 06:11:22 PM »
All inks have different pH levels, even from manufacturer to manufacturer of the same type of ink. Its a matter of trial and error and something you learn with experience of how often you write, the force in your hand on the nib to paper, the type of paper, the angle of the nib to the paper, etc, etc. Many factors.

You will learn to realize when the nib performance decreases and when to change them. For me personally I go through a nib about every 4 days of practice at 2 hours per night using McCafferys. If I'm doing anything important, which I rarely do, I always use a fresh nib. For modern nibs I order 24 or so at a time and they last me a good while. Your experience will vary. Just order a few and track how long each one lasts you and then do the math to calculate how any you use and balance that with shipping costs and your own budget.
Christopher J. Yoke
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