Thursday, April 18, 2019

Shimmer Inks!

Shimmer inks are a great way to add a bit of sparkle to your writing. But there are a few things you should know before you load up all your pens with shimmer ink!

When we say a fountain pen ink has “shimmer,” what we mean is that there are tiny bits of glitter in the ink! These particles of shimmer are made to be small so that they don’t interfere with the flow of the ink. However, that’s not always the way things work out. Just like pieces of silt can build up on a riverbank, pieces of shimmer can settle and stick together to create problems with your pen. This doesn’t have to be the case, though; there are ways to prevent this from happening, it just takes a bit more care and maintenance than it does when using most standard fountain pen inks.

Because shimmer will settle in the bottom of the bottle you use, make sure you shake the bottle before you fill up your pen or syringe. If you look at the bottom of the bottle before shaking, you can see all the shimmer piled up:

You can stop shaking the bottle as soon as the shimmer buildup on the bottom of the ink bottle is gone.

Keep in mind that the shimmer ink settles even after the pen has been filled! To keep the ink flowing normally, you will need to agitate it inside the pen. Don’t violently shake your pen; gently rolling it around in your hand or inverting it back and forth should be enough to get the shimmer flowing. This is worth doing every time you pick up your pen from its resting position.

We already recommend cleaning your pens monthly, but this goes doubly for pens with shimmer ink. Even the most diligent pen owners may find that shimmer ink builds up in their pen over a long period of time. Always use cool water to avoid damaging resin in your pen, and if the shimmer is being a bit too stubborn for a normal cleaning, use a pen flush or cleaning solution to rinse out your pen afterwards.

Make sure that you use a nice coated paper so that the shimmer collects on the page! Tomoe River, Clairefontaine, and Rhodia papers are all great for using fountain pen ink. This will help your writing really sparkle!

Pen Boutique carries plenty of shimmer inks for you to choose from. Diamine’s Shimmer collection and J. Herbin’s 1670 Anniversary collection provide many different options. You can go subtle with Diamine Arabian Nights, a dark purplish blue-black ink with silver shimmer, or J. Herbin’s Rouge Hematite for a loud orange-red with tons of sparkling gold!

Check out some of our shimmer inks here!

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