17 December 2012

Pens Poll - Result

Thank you to everyone that took part in our 'Pen' poll, as you can see from the results the ballpoint pen remains a popular writing instrument for most people. Not far behind is the fountain pen.



Obviously the ballpoint will write on any paper without any bleed-through issues, they are very portable, the refills last months sometimes longer.

The fountain pen is a little more tricky, I've certainly had them leak in the past. But of more concern to Filofax users is their performance with the currently available paper.

At the weekend I tried out a couple of fountain pens on some of the different paper I have here:
  • Filofax 'white' 70 gsm - As we know there was some bleed-through, not major but potentially annoying
  • Filofax 'coloured' 70 gsm - No bleed through, it performed even better than the white paper and I was quite surprised at this, but I will come back to this paper in a moment.
  • Filofax Cotton Cream - Excellent with my sample fountain pens, although the ink did take longer to dry on this paper. 
  • Rohdia 80 gsm jotter pad - no bleed-through and it takes the ink well no feathering
  • Datacopy 80 gsm copier paper - No bleed-through issues, but the ink did feather a little.
  • 'Bristol' paper, although this is in excess of 100 gsm, no bleed through and no feathering, it even performs well with solvent heavy CD marker pen without bleeding through! But you won't get many pages of this weight in to a Filofax. 
So only a small sample, but then I remembered back to the meeting in November with Filofax, the coloured Filofax paper isn't dyed, but printed, so the colouring might be acting as a further barrier to the wet fountain pen ink?

I jotted this down then promptly forgot about it until I saw a You Tube video at the weekend and the person on the video made a similar comment that the coloured paper performs better than the thin white Filofax paper, it jogged my memory. 

The realm of 'Fountain Pen Friendly' paper is quite a difficult problem to solve. The paper has to not absorb the ink too much, yet it has to be receptive to it so that the ink dries quickly on the paper, this is particularly important for left handed users if they are going to avoid smudging what they have just written with their own hand.

My tests weren't exactly scientifically performed or conclusive but having seen others make similar observations I don't think they are too far wrong. The performance of the thin paper might vary with the type of ink used? But the coloured Filofax paper was the surprise of this test. 

Have you tried different ink on different papers to see if it makes a difference?

21 comments:

  1. Have a couple of great looking fountain pens that work very well but can't use them as they leak whenever I fly so sadly they have to sit at home, so wether the paper bleeds or not is irrelevant. Pencil is the choice for me, no leaks, bleeding or drying up. Works perfectly assuming I've packed the pencil sharpener.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I find the colored Filofax paper repels the fountain pen ink. I am also left handed and the ink smudges all over the place when using the colored paper. I stick with cotton cream.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I find if you use a finer nib it can help - and of course some inks are 'wetter' then others. My ink 'puddles' on the coloured paper due to the coating. The Cotton Cream seems to be the best out of the Filofax paper - but Rhodia and Clairefontaine are usually superb.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Steve - do we know if Filofax have any plans to investigate providing a range of better quality paper?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was supposed to be talking to them today about a variety of things but we have a problem on our phone line in that we can't make outgoing or receive incoming calls at the moment, all calls go straight to the France Telecom answer phone!

      We have reported the fault but the technician will not be calling until Thursday... so it will have to wait and with Christmas getting closer and closer I might not have any news until the New Year... But I will email them tomorrow

      Steve

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the update Steve.

      Delete
  5. Even Rhodia and Clairefontaine (actually the same company - Rhodia often use Clairefontaine paper) aren't a guarantee of good paper. The Rhodia Webnotebook (Moleskine clone) in its early incarnations had 80gsm Rhodia ivory paper which was decidedly below par in terms of performance with fountain pens. After a period of shocked negative feedback from Rhodia diehards, the paper was replaced with 90gsm Clairefontaine paper in a similar ivory shade which is of dramatically better quality.

    Of course this does prove that paper companies can and do listen to their customers and improve their products accordingly.

    Now if only Filofax would buy in a lightweight paper from a name manufacturer and turn it into inserts. MMMMMMmmmmmmm Rhodia personal pages... mmmmmmmm.

    Well I can dream, can't I? in the meantime I'll just have to continue punching Rhodia paper for my filos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Imho, the solution to this sorry saga is to get Rhodia to produce a pad in 95x171, and punch it like they do with their meeting books.

      Try contacting Stephanie, who runs the influential blog, "RhodiaDrive". I'm sure if Rhodia were aware of the potential demand they'd be happy to step in to meet that demand.

      Delete
  6. I agree with the above poster - although there is no show-through with the coloured paper, I find my fountain pen ink just sits on top and smudges really easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What ink are you using. I've tried Parker Quink and the other pen is a Pilot Vpen which is a pre-filled disposable fountain pen. Unless anyone knows different I don't think you can refill them?

      Steve

      Delete
    2. I have used my fountain pen on the colored Filofax paper and was surprised how well it worked out. Not perfect, but acceptable to me. The plain paper I still have issues with. I use Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black. It is also the ink used in Cross pen carts. I've had good success with this ink and fine or extra-fine nibs on both Filofax and moleskine paper. It is a nice dark black. I haven't tried the other Pelikan colors on filofax paper as yet. I will experiment as time permits.

      Delete
    3. As far as I know the V-pen can in fact be refilled very easily though it wasn't specifically made to. I am sure there are lots of posts on the Fountain Pen Network about it.

      I find FF own-brand paper to be rubbish with my fountain pens - even Waterman ink bleeds and feathers. The only ink that it can take is Noodler's Bulletproof Black, but then that can cope on anything! The coloured papers I haven't tried, however. My personal favourites are the Oxford Optic or Rhodia. Both can handle all the pen and ink combinations I've tried - including a *very* wet Visconti stub with Diamine Syrah! For my daily FF use I've been using A5 printer paper from Staples, but that isn't very good either, so I have plans to chop some Rhodia to size.

      Delete
  7. I've seen lots of people complain that Filofax brand paper won't take fountain pens. Well, I think it's a balance between the fountain pen nib-type and the ink.
    A thicker nib, for example 'Medium' or anything bolder, will give a much wetter line than a thinner nib like a 'Fine'. However, a Fine nib will condense the ink into a much narrower line, with more ink in that small space, so it will possibly bleed more.
    But I think the ink is the most important thing- I love Diamine Registrars' ink, which is a modern iron-gall ink, because the iron part of it makes it waterproof and long-lasting (i.e. what registrars used to use for official documents which had to survive for hundreds of years), but most importantly, it bleeds through on very few types of paper. It doesn't bleed through on Filofax paper!
    I use a combination of Registrars' ink and a fine or extra fine nib, in my lovely Lamy fountain pens (although my usual filofax pens are biro multi-pens!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting - I gave up using Iron Gall ink because of how it can be damaging to the nibs on my better pens. However as Lamy nibs can be replaced it would not be so much of a problem. Most of mine are medium or oblique broad - I think I'll get some fine nibs and have a play!

      Delete
    2. In my book you can't beat an EF TWSBI 540 with Noodler's Bulletproof Black :) Although for a really, really fine line it would have to be Japanese.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the tip. I will have to give Diamine Registrars' ink a try in the future.

      Delete
  8. TPS- Where do you buy Diamine Registrars' ink from? I've never seen it in a store. Have I maybe just walked by it in Staples or WHS in the past and never noticed the brand???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can buy Diamine ink direct from their site.

      Delete
  9. Cult pens sell it, I'm sure :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. As someone that works within the print industry I may be able to shed a little light on why the coloured papers seem to perform better than the standard white papers. As the coloured sheets are printed the layer of in although not very thick will essentially 'seal' the surface of the paper, while on virgin white paper this wont occur. Personally I always use a ballpoint or pencil as these never seem to have writing or bleeding issues.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You can also get that Diamine iron gall ink, and many others, from: http://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/ink.php

    Usual stuff - no affiliation, happy customer etc

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails