KWZ Iron Gall Mandarin
Get all your ducks in a row with KWZ Iron Gall Mandarin.
KWZ is a Polish ink manufacturer with a huge assortment of iron gall inks. Usually iron gall inks are blue or purple, so their Iron Gall Mandarin is a real standout. IG Mandarin is a rusty ginger color that has some great shading. KWZ ink comes in a round 60ml glass bottle packed in a cardboard box. The bottle and box are hand swabbed so it is easy to know which color is in the bottle. This review was done with a Conklin Duragraph EF, Lamy Safari B and on Rhodia blank no.18 paper.
One of the reasons iron gall inks are so neat is that they fade to black over time. That can also cause some difficulties reviewing the color of the ink. This assessment of the color comes 1 week after writing the review. In a fine nib there is considerably less shading leading to a fairly uniform rusty bronze color. In a broader nib there is much more shading. At its lightest, the ink is a dark apricot orange. From there it shades to ginger orange before finishing as a rusty pecan color.
Iron Gall Mandarin has good flow with no feathering or bleedthrough on Rhodia paper. The ink is fairly saturated and has higher dry times at 25-30+ seconds. In a broad nib the ink shades beautifully. The one thing I’ve been perplexed by is the ink had little to no water resistance. Generally, iron gall inks are very water resistant, but this one washed away with the water test. I recommend giving a little more care with cleaning iron gall inks, but this one clean out very easily.
If you’re a fan of iron gall inks then it’s really awesome that there is an orange option. Even without the iron gall aspect IG Mandarin is a beautiful earthy color. I’ve noticed a subtle darkening of the color, and look forward to seeing how the ink changes over time.
As with any ink review, the pen, paper, and person doing the writing will influence the way the ink looks. If you’re not sure about a color, try a sample to see if it’s the one for you.
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