Blue-black

Mini Series: Sailor Blue Black Ink Review

Until recently I had never used any Sailor ink but the new range of Jentle inks finally became available in the UK so I decided to order several sample of the different colours on offer. I will be reviewing each of these inks over the coming weeks in a blog mini series. Today’s review focuses on Sailor Blue Black.

I love the design of this bottle

I love the design of this bottle

Originally the blue black ink wasn’t really on my radar, I was interested in the new bright, summery Jentle inks, but on a whim I added this colour to my shopping basket. One of my favourite inks is Pilot Iroshizuku’s Shin-Kai, which I always have in one fountain pen. Because of this I don’t usually shop for blue black inks, however I am glad that I gave this colour a try.

I have this inked up in my medium Lamy LX. I chose this pen because I like the nib and its medium width means I can really see all aspects of the colour on the page. It’s turned out to be a really nice pairing and one I will use for some time.

Getting down to the ink itself, I really like the colour and how it performs. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t get so excited about a simple blue black ink but this one is rather special. The colour is bold with subtle grey undertones. When comparing it to the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai and Diamine Prussian Blue it looks a little flat on the page. It is much lighter than Diamine Prussian Blue and less saturated than Shin-Kai which is perhaps why I find the ink to be almost like it has a matte finish.

Comparison of the blue black inks I own

Comparison of the blue black inks I own

I played around with the ink on tomoe river paper and you can see from the photograph below that the ink almost appears to be a navy blue colour. On the highly saturated ink spots there is a small amount of sheen but I wouldn’t say that this was a feature of this ink colour.

I am happy I decided to give this colour a try. I quickly used up my sample and ordered a full bottle because I have enjoyed using it so much. It’s really well price at around the £16 mark making it a lot cheaper than the Iroshizuku inks. I think this ink as a great staple colour and so far I have really enjoyed using it.

My favourite ink

After becoming interested in fountain pens I was adamant that I would use exciting and bold ink colours. I wanted inks that were interesting and fun, not what I'd assumed to be boring and unadventurous. Like most people in school I was restricted to write in blue and black ink, mainly in rollerball and ballpoint pens from a local stationery store. This mindset was later prolonged and carried over into my work environment. Therefore when the world of fountain pens and fountain pen ink opened up to me, the last thing I wanted was a blue or a black ink. 

It's said you shouldn't judge a book by its cover - although I still do this, and I feel the same warning should be applied to fountain pen ink. Don't judge an ink by its label. Or something far more poetic. 

I came across the brilliance of my favourite ink when it was brought as a gift for a family member. I was shocked at how beautiful it was and the depth of colour it achieved when I saw it first hand. Shortly afterwards I bought a bottle for myself.  

My favourite ink is the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai (or Deep Sea) blue-black ink. 

The classic Iroshizuku ink bottle 

The classic Iroshizuku ink bottle 

I currently have the Shin-Kai inked up in my Karas Kustoms Ink. My Karas Kustoms Ink has the Schmidt fine nib that gives me a slightly wider line than a Japanese fine nib and therefore allows me to admire the beautiful colour that Shin-Kai offers. I find Shin-Kai is perfect for any writing situation which increases its charm. Whether I am using this at work, for journalling or note taking, there isn't a time when Shin-Kai hasn't worked for me. 

The shading on the Shin-Kai is lovely. You get hints of light and dark blues remnicient of its deep sea name. There is a slight grey undertone that adds a nice variation on a traditional blue ink and perhaps is what has me hooked. With most other fountain pen inks I chop and change what I use becoming bored and sometimes distracted by new, shiny inks. But the Shin-Kai has consistently kept my attention and I really enjoy using it. 

Shin-Kai writes well no matter what your writing style

Shin-Kai writes well no matter what your writing style

The only downside on the Shin-Kai is that it is not waterproof, but this applies to all Iroshizuku inks. The odd spill of water or drop of rain will make this ink run. Don't use this on anything that could get wet. 

As with all other Iroshizuku inks the Shin-Kai flows well, is fairly wet and gives you a smooth writing experience. I would highly recommend this ink to any fountain pen user and think it is a great choice for people who are new to fountain pens. The moral of this blog post, don't judge an ink before you have seen it first hand.  

To caveat this post, this is my favourite ink as of today, right now in July 2015. I reserve the right to change my mind, at a whim if I please. I point this out as there are a lot of inks on my wish list and with the depth of choice out there in the market I am sure there is not only one perfect match for me. 

Nothing beats a good ink

Diamine Prussian Blue is quite simply gorgeous, and I wasn't expecting it. I came across this ink by chance and I am very very pleased I did. I bought my husband a Kaweco fountain pen and Diamine Prussian Blue ink cartridges as a present as I felt he needed a good pen. I chose Diamine Prussian Blue ink as he prefers a dark ink colour and has a love of all things grey. 

When it turned up, naturally the pen geek in me wanted to give it a go. Quite simply, had I been wearing socks, it would have blown them off.

At this present time Diamine is my favourite ink brand. They are great value for money, a 30ml bottle set me back less than £3. The ink flows consistently well and dry times are good. For the Prussian Blue the tone is lovely. I would describe it as a blue-black ink but not in the traditional sense. This ink has hints of grey which gives it an edge that I haven't seen it other blue-blacks. It is also more blue than black. A quick google search and wiktionary informs me that this pigment colour was actually discovered in Prussia around 1700. I am a part time history student so this discovery just added to my love.

Check the shading from my ink swab

Check the shading from my ink swab

To enjoy this ink even more I have it inked up in a demonstrator pen. Even in the ink reservoir it looks dreamy. 

Swishing inky goodness 

Swishing inky goodness 

Diamine Prussian Blue with be a blue-black ink that I will always use. If you haven't tried a Diamine ink, or are looking for an affordable blue-black then I urge you to try this ink.