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Noodler’s Ink Review and Ink Swatches

About Noodler’s Ink

100% Made in America (U.S.A.) from Cap, to Glass, to Ink. The company prides themselves on being a cost effective ink. Iconically filling their ink bottles to the absolute brim. Promoting their trademark production as affordable for all, moving away from a luxury notion of exclusivity when it comes to fountain pen inks. Focusing more on accessibility. 

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: When opening a new bottle of Noodler’s Ink, beware that it is a FULL bottle of ink! Twist the cap slowly on a steady surface. Gently pop ink bubbles to minimize possible splash.

noodler's ink bottle

They have a decent collection of colors to choose from but their selection is prominently based around unique properties and specialized inks that range from FORGE PROOF, ARCHIVAL, WATER RESISTANT, FREEZE PROOF, BULLETPROOF, and QUICK DRY inks which we will define and list alongside the ink swatches.

Ink Characteristics and First Impressions

A cost effective ink that gets the job done. Important to know that all inks do not write the same way. For example, some feathered way more than others and some had absolutely no feathering (this review will help you discern that).

Feathering or bleeding is when the paper cannot hold the ink in place and it spreads out and creates a feathery effect around the letter strokes.

They take a while to dry so smudging is a possibility to watch out for. They have a great selection of blues and a collection of vibrant colours as well. If you’re on a budget but still want to indulge in pretty colours, a Noodler’s ink is the way to go. It’s a low cost of entry for anyone starting out with purchasing inks. They will get the job done.

These are hardy inks and some more than others. Depending on the one you have, they will stain your glass dip pen if you use one. The inks are also tough to wash out on skin etc. 

I would like to point out the swatch cards are on deckled card paper and a dip, calligraphy nib and pen was used. All inks were tested on fountain pen friendly paper Maruman Loose Leaf.noodler ink sample

Ink Glossary

Archival

Archival ink is specifically designed to be resistant to weathering and fading so that it will last for a long time. It is often used for scrap-booking and other activities where the written or drawn images need to be preserved indefinitely.

Bullet Proof/Forge Proof

Any Noodler’s Ink that resists all the known tools of a forger, UV light, UV light wands, bleaches, alcohols, solvents, petrochemicals, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, carpet stain lifters

Freeze Proof/Polar Ink

Ink that is freeze-proof. The ink can be used in sub-0 degrees C (32 degrees F) temperatures, where a standard fountain pen ink could freeze. Polar inks are useful down to -114 degrees F (-81 degrees C). All Polar inks are also Bulletproof.

Water Resistant

Will resist moisture but are not considered waterproof.

Quick Dry

Intended for left handed individuals and fast writers in general. But note, recycled paper is not good with this ink – it also dislikes broad nibs as it feathers from too wet a nib.

Noodler’s Ink Reviews and Swatches

1) Apache Sunset 19022:

A Deep, bright orange color with a touch of yellow. A highly saturated ink with no feathering.

Apache sunset 19022 noodler's ink swatch

2) Black Swan in Australian Roses 19065

A deep pink that shows very well. Zero Feathering on FP friendly and non FP friendly paper. With a deep color, can be used for writing. Characteristics: zero feathering; water resistant; archival; bullet proof; non quick dry.

black swan in australian roses 19065 noodler's ink swatch

3) Cactus Fruit 19205

A beautiful, deep, rich colour of pinkish-purple. It holds exceptionally well on the page with absolutely no feathering relative to other Noodler’s inks and can rival the quality compared to other ink brands. Writes well on fountain pen friendly paper. Characteristics: zero feathering. A lubricating ink that is non-quick dry and non- water resistant.

cactus fruit 19205 noodler's ink

4) Bernanke Red 19088

A very beautiful color and it writes very well including the deckled card paper. Minimum feathering. Characteristics: quick-dry; non-water resistant. bernanke red 19088 noodler's ink

5) Widow Maker 19031

A gorgeous blood red, deeper than the Bernanke red. Characteristics: zero feathering; non quick dry; non water resistant.

19031 widow maker noodler's ink

6) Black Swan in English Roses 19037

A deep red-brown burnt mauve color. I honestly love this color. Its very classy and attractive. It gives your writing a unique touch but is still very dark and legible. Characteristics: water resistant; non-quick dry.

19037 black swan in english roses noodler's ink

7) Zhivago Green 19027

A dark green color. A very reliable color. Characteristics: zero feathering; water resistant; forge resistant; non-quick dry.19027 zhivago green noodler's ink

8) Standard Green 19015

A bright, rich, grass green color. Characteristics: zero feathering; non quick dry; non water resistant.

standard green 19015 noodler's ink

9) Pushkin Green 19091

A beautiful soft moss green. Comes out with thicker lines than other fountain pen inks but close to no feathering even on non FP friendly paper, regular or printing paper. Though the deckled card paper doesn’t handle it too well. Characteristics: Quick dry; water resistant; archival; bullet proof; fluorescent. 19091 pushkin green noodler's ink

10) Dostoyevsky Blue 19075

A bright blue color with strong visibility on paper. Characteristics: water resistant; fluorescent;  forge resistant; archival; non-quick dry. 19075 Dostoyevsky blue noodler's ink

11) Navajo Turquoise 19029

A rich bright turquoise, ocean blue. A great choice for a unique blue that will stand out even for everyday writing. Characteristics: zero feathering; non water resistant; non quick dry. 19029 navajo turquoise noodler's ink

12) Standard Blue 19003

A reliable, classic blue. The noodler’s blues are just a little different that make them stand out from other brands. Characteristics: no feathering; non water resistant; non quick dry.19003 standard blue noodler's ink

13) Bernanke Blue 19067

The Bernanke series is the quick drying ink series.  Interestingly, Bernanke Blue dries faster than the Bernanke Black. It is a reliable blue for everyday writing. From observations, it has a richer color than the black counterpart, however, it looks like it bleeds more than the black. Characteristics: some feathering; non-water resistant; quick dry.19067 bernanke blue noodler's ink

14) Baystate Blue 19048

Very close to an electric blue color with a touch of purple. A very vibrant color. Characteristics: Minimum feathering; water resistant; needs FP friendly paper; forge resistant; non quick dry.19048 baystate blue noodler's ink

15) La Couleur Royale 19030

As in the name, it is a royal dark purple with a hint of blue. Characteristics: zero feathering; non quick dry; non water resistant.la couleur royale 19030 noodler's ink

16) Blue-black 19014

This blue-black interestingly has some touch of dark turquoise. A very unique blue-black. Characteristics: zero feathering; forge resistant; water resistant; non quick dry.19014 blue-black noodler's ink

17) 54th Massachusetts 19071

Experiences the same concerns as Rome Burning. Possible feathering problem if you use a pen that releases a lot of ink. It even feathers on fountain pen (FP) friendly Maruman loose leaf paper. The less ink used the better when it comes to minimizing feathering with this ink. Even on FP friendly paper this ink bleeds if you use large amounts. Characteristics: possible feathering water resistant; forge resistant; bullet proof; archival; non-quick dry.19071 54th massachusetts noodler's ink

18) Lermontov Blue 19098

A soft deep blue. It is very calming and subduing in a nice way. Close to no feathering – I’d say it’s a solid, reliable ink you can write with on fountain pen friendly paper. Characteristics: water resistant; forge resistant; fluorescent; archival; non-quick dry. 19098 lemontov blue noodler's ink

19) Tchaikovsky  Purple 19084

A soft greyish-purple colour. Possible feathering if you use a pen that releases a lot of ink. It even feathers on fountain pen (FP) friendly Maruman loose leaf paper. The less ink used the better when it comes to minimizing feathering with this ink. Even on FP friendly paper this ink bleeds if you use large amounts. Characteristics: water resistant; fluorescent; non quick dry. 19084 tchaikovsky purple noodler's ink

20) Rome Burning 19069

Huge feathering problem if you use a pen that releases a lot of ink. It even feathers on fountain pen (FP) friendly Maruman loose leaf paper. The less ink used the better when it comes to minimizing feathering with this ink. Characteristics: water resistant; you have to use FP friendly paper.19069 rome burning noodlers ink

21) #41 Brown 19063

This is a mid-tone brown. Add on layers to get darker shade. The darker shade does have a sheen. Characteristics: zero feathering; water resistant; forge resistant; bullet proof; archival; non quick dry.19063 #41 brown noodler's ink

22) American Aristocracy 19083

A deep purplish-brown that is a unique and beautiful color but is standard looking enough to be used as an everyday ink for writing. Characteristics: Quick dry; non water resistant.american aristocracy 19083 noodler's ink

23) Lexington Gray 19042

Mid-tone gray color. Some feathering on non FP friendly paper. Characteristics: water resistant; non quick dry.19042 lexington gray noodler's ink

24) Standard Black 19001

Mid-tone charcoal black. Not the darkest black compared to other Noodler’s ink. Characteristics: water resistant; forge resistant; bullet proof; archival; non quick dry. 19001 standard black noodler's ink

25) Bernanke Black 19066

It says quick dry ink but at least on Maruman loose leaf paper, it still doesn’t dry the fastest. No feathering. After drying, it looks great on paper though.bernanke black noodler's ink

26) X – Feather 19046

Arguably one of the darkest blacks that Noodler’s has. Comparable to the heart of darkness black. Characteristics: zero feathering; water resistant; forge resistant; bullet proof; archival; non quick dry. 19046 X-feather noodler's ink

27) The Heart Of Darkness 19808

Heart of Darkness is a dark black ink. It’s as good as X-Feather and slightly darker. Comes in a large bottle with tincture top of about 127 ml. Comes with a Free Fountain Pen. Characteristics: no feathering; Non-quick dry; water resistant; forge resistant; bullet proof; archival.the heart of darkness noodler's ink

28) Polar Black 19201

A cold-resistant ink which means it can avoid freezing  and bottle breakage in cold countries and freezing weather. if it gets a little sloshy, its still ok. Minimum feathering. Characteristics: water resistant; forge resistant; archival; polar; lubricating.19201 polar black noodler's ink

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