Each year NoteMaker conducts an annual survey of our NoteMaker customers, with one question about which brands they’d like us to stock. The range of Pilot Iroshizuku Inks were on the wishlist of many customers, so we were excited to be able to add this brand in late 2015. We asked our resident pen guru, Dion, to try one of inks and write a review for any who’re interested in the ink’s performance.
Review Pilot Iroshizuku Ink – Tsuyu-kusa (Asiatic Dayflower)
Pilot Iroshizuku Ink: Packaging
The first thing to say about this ink: the packaging is stunning!
The outer is a brushed silver box, with a label approximating the colour of the ink. Inside is a heavy based glass bottle, reminiscent of expensive cologne.
But there’s much more to this ink than looks. The design of the bottle has a small well in the base (see image below), similar in principle to LAMY T52, which allows for ease of use when drawing up the last of the ink. It’s a clever addition that shows the design was really well considered.
Pilot Iroshizuku Ink- Colours
There are a tempting 24 colours in this range. My choice of colour for review was tsuyu-kusa (Asiatic Dayflower). This is a vivid and warm blue, very slightly purple, which does convey the hue of flower petals. I tried it with two nibs. The colour appears significantly darker when ‘concentrated’ by the fine nib. It looks more distinct when used with my Italic nib.
Pilot Iroshizuku Ink- Ink flow
This ink range was designed by Pilot to be compatible with any fountain pen. This isn’t the case for all fountain pen inks. For example, when using a Parker or Sheaffer ink with a LAMY Safari, you can sometimes get ink bleeding from the feed as these inks are less viscous than LAMY’s own inks. I tried this ink with two LAMY fountain pens and it performed admirably.
The ink has a nice flow. It creates consistent characters with minimal shading when used with a 1.5mm italic nib but shades dramatically when used with a fine nib. You can see a little more of its performance with my, ahem, amazing examples below…
Pilot Iroshizuku Ink – Drying time and show-through
Drying time is fairly quick and there is no shadowing or bleed through on Rhodia 80gsm paper. (We did get a little show through on the Life notebook we used for many of these photographs, however. You can see this in the image below.)
Summary of review Pilot Iroshizuku Ink
With a great range of evocatively named colours, iroshizuka ink is a high quality product designed for everyday use. It performs well in a variety of pens and on an assortment of (good quality) papers.
- Performs well on variety of papers & in variety of pens
- Fairly quick drying and no shadowing or show through
- Gorgeous packaging and bottle
- Fairly expensive
- A big range of colours so hard to select just one!