Posts Tagged ‘Moleskine paper’

h1

Taming Paper With The Right Ink

01/08/2016

Proof positive that Noodler’s Black deserves its #1 ranking on my list of favorite inks.

The paper is Greenroom recycled from Target. Made in Taiwan, it feathers and bleeds exactly like Moleskine. However, it is inexpensive and pencils do very well on it so the composition book has a use in my work flow. No significant show-through with pencil and amazingly little with Noodler’s Black. Any wonder I always have a pen loaded with it?

Perhaps a comparison of inks that tame naughty paper is in order. Which inks would you nominate for this list?

h1

A Paperchase Notebook Makes Some Inky Friends

07/05/2015

When it works well with fountain pen ink, Paperchase is just right. When it doesn’t, it fares no worse than Moleskine and with less bleed-through. At the price point, it is a viable alternative and with many inks, it is a better paper for clean, clear writing.

For testing purposes, I purchased the Purple Metallic Notebook (7.5 x 5.75″). It has a textured softcover, rounded corners, and sewn binding that holds 128 pages/64 sheets. This is a no-frills cahier style notebook with only a small, discrete logo printed on the back. Count me a fan of its minimalist but colorful design.

The off-white paper has a smooth finish and pale gray lines, a good combination for fountain pen use. Line width and line color are identical to Moleskine while the paper is slightly less yellow. Half the inks tested produced clean lines and an unusual degree of shading. The other half experienced some uneven outlines though little feathering along the fibers that paper like Moleskine can produce. Bleed-through was evident with some inks, though for the most part only the occasional dot.

Worthy of note is that most inks dried slowly so lefties beware.

Show-through or ghosting depended on ink flow and was evident with all inks tested. Some inks produced too little to be offensive especially when paired with a fine nib. With thin paper, this is common and frankly I don’t mind the look of it. Wide, wet nibs deposited too much ink making the backs of pages less useful. Free-flowing inks may produce the same result. To demonstrate how unpredictable I found this problem, Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu and Iroshizuku tsuki-yo in Pelikan italics exhibited more show-through than Diamine Dark Brown in a Platinum #3776 Music Nib. Platinum Pigment Ink showed through the least even with a very wet broad nib. That does not hold true on Moleskine where the same pen and ink made a mess with both feathering and bleed-through.

Confusing? This is one of those situations where matching ink, pen and paper could make Paperchase work well for you. Or you can take a more relaxed perspective and just write with whatever is at hand. Most of my journaling will never get read so it doesn’t matter whether a page has marks from the other side that show through. As long as I am writing, all is well.

For convenience I often carry a green metallic Lamy EF loaded with Noodler’s Black. The duo performed perfectly in the Paperchase journal. The ink did not bleed through so both sides of the paper were usable and since black is highly visible even in low light conditions, I could write anywhere. Thus all of my off-site requirements were met. In addition, the Lamy barrel is a pleasing contrast to the purple notebook cover. Attractive tools do tend to trigger my creative urges and that is a significant plus.

Along with the notebook, I picked up a packet of three larger cahiers (8.5 x 5.75″), one blank, one lined and one printed with a pattern. I couldn’t resist the foldaway bag in the Secret Garden pattern and put it to work immediately. It travels in a diminutive carrying case with a clip that will make it a steady companion for shopping excursions or a carryall for my doodle kit and journals. I managed to stuff it with purchases from two shops plus my daily notebook and writing instruments. Not too shabby at all.

Despite the iffy performance with a few inks, I will continue to purchase Paperchase notebooks. The form suits me very well and the ease of buying it at a local store along with the reasonable price, makes it a worthwhile addition to my paper wardrobe.

All of the Paperchase items were purchased at Staples and are available in several patterns. The metallic notebook was $4 and the 3-pack of larger notebooks was $8. Even my frugal budget monitor cannot frown at those prices, and if he does, he will get laughed at to be sure.

h1

Moleskine And Fountain Pen Ink

03/23/2014

Another test with Moleskine and fountain pen ink, but this time with italic nibs.

Noodler’s Blue Eel isn’t bad though the bleed-through limits writing to only one side of the paper. Noodler’s Black paired with a Pilot Prera and a Plumix medium italic nib performed so well that there wasn’t even a dot of bleed-through. No feathering to speak of either.

Writing with a wide nib on both sides of Moleskine paper? Shocking I tell you. Shocking!

h1

Sheaffer Taranis Fountain Pen Gets A Test Run

12/14/2013

Recently, Sheaffer offered the Taranis fountain pen to review. Saying “no” was not an option. Sheaffer has a good reputation for making fountain pens, but my experience is with vintage models including a 1950’s Sheaffer Sentinel. What would I think of a modern pen?

Sheaffer Taranis

The Taranis is named after the Celtic God of Thunder. Grab the details from Sheaffer, but the main points are that it’s a metal pen with excellent balance and it sports a semi-hooded nib that resembles a Pilot Vanishing Point. The pen comes with a converter plus two cartridges and is solidly packaged for safe shipping.

Sheaffer Tarantis Section and Nib

The logo runs the length of the section so it will be under your finger though I did not find it to be uncomfortable. Stepped sections or sharp threads are far worse and this model has neither of those annoying issues. The section is otherwise smooth with the threads placed very high and not in range of my grip. Balance is good whether posted or not. Build quality is very solid, tank-like, and should make it last forever. The snap cap seats solidly with a minimum of effort and I was able to pop off the cap one-handed which I find very convenient. The Taranis is a good candidate for a carry pen since it will survive better than most pens those knocks and blows that come from excursions into the wild.

The Taranis Sheaffer sent needed cleaning with soapy water to get the flow right. Whether from minute bits of debris or oils from manufacturing, an overnight soak improved performance. This can be true of any new pen so it should not be off-putting,  but rather a reminder to clean new pens before filling. My usual light rinse with cool water did not cleanse the feed sufficiently and my enthusiasm at acquiring a new pen got the better of me.

Sheaffer Taranis written sample on Rhodia paper

The stainless steel nib is a smooth nail that doesn’t have that tendency to skate that some pens possess. The medium wrote a bit dry with Sheaffer Blue-Black, but less so with Diamine Steel Blue. It may turn into a good match for free-flowing inks, of which I have more than a few. The nib width is on the narrow side of medium and I was able to write quite small with it. It tolerates a variety of writing angles, even upside down for a finer line which makes it an all-purpose nib.

And the clincher?

Sheaffer Taranis on Moleskine

That is Moleskine paper! Have you recovered from the shock? Minimal show-through and only a few tiny dots of bleed-through. Impressive!

There is quite a price range amongst retailers so shop around for a good deal. Given the build quality and the sturdy nib, the Sheaffer Taranis could make an attractive way to turn a non-user into a fountain pen enthusiast. After all, Christmas is just around the corner…

More reviews at FP Geeks and Best Fountain Pen. Jim Mamoulides covered the vintage Sheaffer Snorkel at Pen Hero.

h1

Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher Ink Review

12/07/2013

Last week Gentian sent a sample of Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher along with a chocolate bar, a pad of pen-friendly paper, a sample of Platinum Carbon Black, and some other bits and pieces. Wanna guess what got sampled first? The chocolate bar of course!

Now that the bar has been reduced to a wrapper, it is time to play with the ink. BBK is a bulletproof ink. An application of water smears enough color to prove the ink was assaulted, but the writing remains legible. That is useful for noting when your signature has received an unwanted attempt at tampering. It can also be used to create a wash of color when the water is applied with a brush. It is not a waterproof ink, but it will get you through a casual coffee spill.

Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher

The color is dark blue, very dark blue. Flow and lubrication are excellent. BBK  could make a stingy nib perform better, but it might be too enthusiastic for a wet nib. It was a little stubborn rinsing from the nib and suffers from mild nib creep though in line with comparable Noodler’s inks. The small degree of shading might be more attributable to how I use a pen rather than being a characteristic of the ink. Drying time is around ten seconds on Rhodia.

The writing samples show varying degrees of feathering. The dip pen on Rhodia shows the most, but the flow is more copious than a fountain pen. Performance on Moleskine is quite impressive considering there is no feathering along paper fibers, something common on Moleskine paper. The third sample is from an old notebook that is fountain pen-friendly. The feathering is only noticeable with a loupe, but there are very clean outlines with Waterman Florida Blue in adjacent writing. Some bulletproof inks do exhibit a degree of feathering. BBK gets good marks in comparison.

Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher is well-suited to Japanese pens with very fine nibs. Right now there are two Pilots and a Platinum clamoring for a fill. The nibs are so fine that this free-flowing ink might be just the one to make them happy. Me, too, for that matter.

h1

Moleskine Volant vs A Cheap Notebook Called Greenroom

11/24/2013

Never one to skip perusing the paper products aisle, two weeks ago a couple of notebooks caught my interest at Target. One was the Moleskine Volant in pink and magenta for $5.99 and a very colorful Greenroom recycled notebook for a mere $1.99. How do they compare?

Moleskine Volant and Greenroom Notebook

The Volant comes in a set of two, each with 28 lined detachable pages that measure  6.5 x 10.5 cm. The paper is acid-free and manufactured in China. The Taiwanese Greenroom notebook is spiral-bound with 60 pages that measure 10 x 15 cm. It is made with 60-70% recycled fiber and printed with non-toxic soy-based ink. The cover feels like propylene and is waterproof. The sticker on the front bearing the company logo can be removed for a clear look at that eye-popping cover.

Moleskine and Greenroom Pages

The photo and scans tell the tale.

Moleskine and Greenroom Paper

Moleskine and Greenroom Paper Reverse Side

Greenroom paper has a texture that is very similar to Moleskine though it is thicker and sturdier. For a recycled paper, the Greenroom tolerance for fountain pen ink is above average, but it still feathers and bleeds. Note that none of the nibs used are extra-fine or Asian fine and none of the inks are known as particularly compatible with Moleskine paper. A well-matched pen and ink duo should produce better results, but that would hold true for both notebooks.

For value, the Greenroom is a much better deal. For cachet, nothing beats a Moleskine. <insert sigh>

h1

Moleskine Paper Meets Ink And It Ain’t Pretty

04/02/2013

When it comes to stylish, portable notebooks, it’s hard to top Moleskine. However, there is no doubt the paper does not work well with most fountain pens and inks. There are exceptions and that is part of the frustration of loving Moleskine. There is no predicting what will work and what won’t. The scans tell the tale.

Moleskine with fountain pen ink

Reverse side of Moleskine showing significant bleed-through.

Fountain pen ink on Moleskine paper

Reverse side of Moleskine paper showing bleed-through.

This particular Moleskine Reporter has been my testing site for several years and a few pen and ink duos work well enough in it. In fact, ink following along the occasional paper fiber doesn’t bother me. Even the Apica 6A10, my daily journal for many years, does that here and there. It’s the fuzzy outlines I don’t like. If a retailer wants to donate a more recently manufactured Reporter, I would be happy to test the latest paper. Otherwise, these results stand as the best I can produce in a Moleskine.

Not that your favorite pen and ink won’t be fab in these notebooks. Just be prepared to make adjustments, perhaps, going so far as to use something other than a fountain pen. In fact any writing instrument, save a chunky Sharpie or a fountain pen, will work just fine. Bleed-through might be an issue since the paper is very thin, but clear writing on one side is virtually assured.

Caveat emptor, fellow inkophiles.

%d bloggers like this: