The UK based Diamine company, have been manufacturing fountain pen inks since 1864 using traditional methods and formulas for their production. I have just tested 78 samples, which I’ll post over the coming days. Here are the 20 test swatches for the Blue fountain pen inks and great range it is too.
Inks tested: Maroon, Vermillion, Matador, Classic Red, Passion Red, Tulip, Wild Strawberry, Ruby, Brilliant Red, Pink, Flamingo Pink, Carnation, Bourgainvillea, Deep Magenta, Amaranth, Burgundy Rose, Crimson, Handel, pansy, Amazing Amethyst, Iris, Violet.
All of these inks are lovely – they blend well, react with a neon gold to bleach and flow easily through a nib for great writing. But for me, the stand outs are Bourgainvillea, Burgundy Rose, Crimson, Handel, Pansy and ‘top of the pops’ – Amazing Amethyst (it’s got everything!) – I’ll sort out some test art soon. If you’re into those subtleties then the first 12 bright reds demonstrate this perfectly. For the sheen freaks – Maroon, Wild Strawberry, Amazing Amethyst and Flamingo Pink are all worth looking at but for the a really great sheen, Pansy is my top pick – just look at that gorgeous metallic green.
Of note – there are over 100 colours in the Diamine fountain pen ink range plus more colours in the composers and flowers gift ranges – all of which are all supposedly unique. So what I’ve done, is classify batches by colour so you can see the gift inks next to the standards and you can judge for yourselves whether or not this is fact. With such a huge range, some colours are bound to appear similar, but from what I can see, those fine subtleties of difference are evident.
From a creative point of view, Diamine inks really do hit the mark – they blend with water and each other beautifully, they pretty much all react with bleach and they always look spectacular. There’s also chromatography, sheens and shimmers too. Combine this with their very affordable price point – what’s not to like?
I hope you enjoy the results as much as I have testing them. And by the way, there are many other Diamine reviews throughout this blog. If you’d like to know more about this about this project, please take a look at the Mission Statement.
All tests on Bockingford 200lb watercolour paper using a dip pen with titanium zebra G flex nib for the bleach work and a Noodler’s Ahab for the ink work.
Diamine samples sourced from Vijay at Stationery Shop firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just for the record – I do this for myself, I receive no remuneration what-so-ever and I tell it exactly how I see it.