9.02.2015

The Story on Sailor Storia Pigmented Inks (Review)

Sailor (Japan) is known by many as the manufacturer of high quality, gold nib fountain pens, hand-tuned and inspected by masters of their craft. It is not a common fact that Sailor also has an entire division dedicated to brewing specialty fountain pen inks. Building upon the popularity of their Jentle line of fountain pen inks available in the US, Sailor has introduced the pigmented Storia line of 8 new colors just last month.


The Concept of Storia

Sailor Storia inks are inspired by the bright and cheery colors of the circus. Each color has a circus-themed name. Presented in frosted glass ink bottles with a 30mL capacity. The effect is reminiscent of little paint bottles. The built-in reservoir common to all Sailor inks allow the user to easily fill their fountain pen and extract every last drop of colorful ink into their pen.

What is this Pigmented Ink You're Trying to Feed My Pen?

Pigmented ink is crafted with tiny particles of pigment instead of dye to color the ink formula. In the case of the Sailor Storia inks, the benefit is a quick dry time, water resistance and lightfastness. Pigment particles sit on top of the paper instead of being absorbed into the paper fibers like dye ink. Use the ink with a acid-free paper and you've got a combination that can be preserved for 200-300 years. Imagine writing about the 2015 VMA's and trying to explain Miley Cyrus to the human race of the 24th Century. They way things are going, they will probably have someone that will make Miley look like a Puritan spinster.

The drawback of pigmented ink is the cleaning aspect, which needs to be approached with more frequency and care. Give Sailor some faith in creating an ink that is safe for fountain pens, considering how much care they put into crafting a quality writing instrument. That being said, I would still err on the side of caution when using these inks in your pens.

Follow these tips to properly use pigmented inks in your fountain pen :

  • Up your cleaning schedule to less than 5 days after initially filling the pen with pigmented ink.
  • To create a more frequent cleaning schedule, only fill the pen to partial capacity so it will deplete quicker.
  • Soak the nib with a bit of windex cleaner (containing ammonia) to help with any stubborn ink that won't clean out.

Sampling the Storia Inks

Being that there are only 8 inks in this collection, I decided to write dangerously and fill 8 pens, one with each color. The pens vary in nib size, manufacturer and year produced.


Favorites :
Lion Light Brown, Magic Purple and Clown Yellow-Green

Not-so-Favorites :
Fire Red and Spotlight Yellow

Performance-wise, a majority of the inks had great flow, with exception to the Fire Red that was in my TWSBI with the 1.5mm stub nib, but I've had similar flow issues with different inks in that pen, including Rouge Hematite. There's a beautiful shading on the Lion and the Clown colors. Fire Red really falls short of what I would consider "Fire" and is very close to the hue of the Dancer Pink.

I tested the set of inks on Rhodia 80gsm plain notepad paper and applied water droplets to each of the swatches. After letting the water drops sit on the page for a minute, I wiped off the water while trying to smear the page as much as possible to see if the ink gets lifted from the page.

Sailor Storia Water droplet test results
Don't get the shading confused with the water resistance, this ink does a great job holding up against a spill. The Dancer Pink seemed to be most effected by the water, lifting up some of the color saturation. Balloon Green and Lion also seemed to be lift a bit from the page, but ever-so-slightly. The other colors look as though there was no change. Smearing can be seen on Fire Red and Night Blue, but only a touch. All in all, these are a solid set of water resistant inks.

The Spotlight Yellow is completely unreadable on white paper. Now, why in the world would anyone want an ink like that? Well, that brings me to my next topic where we mix things up!

Mixing Sailor Storia Inks

Besides being colorful right out of the bottle, these Storia inks can also be mixed with each other to create new color combinations. It is strongly advised that these inks are not to be diluted or mixed with any other inks outside of the Storia line. I haven't had the chance to mix up a few colors, but the Spotlight Yellow seems like a good candidate to add to another color to achieve a golden halo in the new creation.

Writing Samples

Each pen and ink combination was recorded using an InkJournal notebook to provide a comparison of the writing samples between inks. It has to be noted that the Lion Light Brown was slightly tinted green to start with due to the last ink that was in the pen I used. Same deal with the Spotlight Yellow. I tried my darnedest to clean out all the Emerald of Chivor from my Nemosine pen before filling it with Spotlight, but the slightest bit of any other saturated color will contaminate this pure yellow ink.

Sailor Storia Pink Dancer w/ Parker Vacumatic

Sailor Storia Red Fire w/ TWSBI Diamond 530 1.5mm Stub

Sailor Storia Lion Light Brown w/ Waterman 352 Stalwart Flex Nib

Sailor Storia Spotlight Yellow with Nemosine 0.6mm Stub

Sailor Storia Clown Yellow-Green w/ Visconti Van Gogh (F)

Sailor Storia Balloon Green w/ Edison Herald (F)

Sailor Storia Blue Night w/ Kaweco AL-Sport (EF)

Sailor Storia Magic Purple w/ OMAS New Bologna (M)
We'd love to read your thoughts on the new Sailor Storia line. Have you tried any of these inks already? Any issues with keeping your pens clean after using these inks? Any mix recipes that you care to share?

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