Eleven More Lightfastness Results Revealed

These are the last sheets of my lightfastness tests for now. I'll be putting these back into the window to see how they fare over the next six months, and will give you an update then. I'll also be setting up testing for an additional 30 or so colors, which I will add to the window next week. Pretty soon, I won't be able to see out of my window! LOL I should have some preliminary results from those in a month or so. It amazes me that fountain pen ink can begin to fade in such a short time, but it does!

Here is the list for the colors tested in this post.
  • Noodler's Brown #41 (old version)
  • Noodler's Golden Brown
  • Diamine Chocolate Brown
  • Diamine Saddle Brown
  • Caran D'Ache Grand Canyon
  • Noodler's Brown
  • J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir (#1 on second test sheet)
  • Diamine Marine (#2 on second test sheet)
  • Diamine Majestic Purple (#3 on second test sheet)
  • Noodler's Navajo Turquoise (#4 on second test sheet)
  • Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses (#5 on second test sheet)
You can click the images to see larger versions. The left sides were exposed to sunlight in my window since last April. The right sides were kept inside a box in a cabinet.

I was surprised that the browns above didn't fade and/or shift more than they did. However, they all changed enough to avoid awarding gold stars to any of them. I still plan to use my favorites (like Caran D'Ache Grand Canyon) in my sketchbooks.

But check these out! J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir (#1), Diamine Marine (#2), and Diamine Majestic Purple (#3) vanished so quickly that they should be in a magic show!

It is worth noting that the sheets on the right, which were kept in darkness, have had no problem with retaining vivid colors, so please don't get nervous if you've been using these inks inside a book. They should be absolutely fine! These tests only reveal what happens when an ink is exposed to sunlight. If the inks you've used are not exposed to light, then these results are irrelevant.

If you'd like to see the previous lightfastness tests, click here. You'll always be able to find them easily by clicking on the "Lightfastness Tests" category on the left sidebar.

I have a bunch of wonderful new pens and new inks to review coming up in the next few days, along with a new drawing project I'm starting. So much to sketch, so much to sketch with, so much to photograph and share, and so little time!


  1. Anonymous3:23 AM

    Really useful information - assuming a writer wants their content to last more than a day!


  2. Fascinating! I'm amazed that some of these colors just completely disappear. Granted, fountain pen ink definitely isn't designed to be used and hung up in a window for 7 months, you are certainly testing these to quite the extreme! But it's really interesting to see the effects nonetheless. What's really interesting is that as colors are fading, you're able to really see how many different dye components there are in each color. Most fountain pen inks are a blend of several colors, and it's often the case that some components are less 'durable' than others, which is why you'll see some components that fade immediately, and others that linger. For any of the ink colors that have the 'lingering' components in them, those will be ones most prominent if exposed to UV over time.

    This same kind of effect happens when testing fountain pen inks for waterproofness. Usually, some components of the ink will wash away immediately, and others will stay strong. You use this characteristic very much to your advantage here on Hudson Valley!