KWZ Iron Gall inks are no strangers around here, and that's for good reason. These inks are pretty, well-behaved, and stand the test of time. Previously, we've written about KWZ's Iron Gall Blue #1, Blue #4, Gold, and Gummiberry colors, but the Green #4 is a new one for me. I've had this sample for quite a while, but this one went unnoticed behind other samples until I did some cleaning in the ink supply drawer. Once I realized I'd never tried it, I put it in a couple of pens immediately to give it a shot. Just like the other KWZ inks, I was happy with the results.
To provide a little background, this ink is categorized as "Iron Gall," which really means it's nearly permanent once it meets paper. A chemical reaction happens between the ink and the page that makes it highly resistant to water damage, fading over time, and losing its color over the years. Iron Galls are great for archival quality projects, and this Green #4 is just as good at the job as the others. Vanness has a great overview of what makes the KWZ Iron Gall inks special if you're interested in learning more.
Once you get past the Iron Gall archival aspect of this ink, there are only a couple of other things to consider when using it. For one, you might be surprised when the ink dries either the same shade as when it's wet, and (in some cases) it actually dries darker. Most inks become lighter as they dry, which can diminish some of the original pop of the ink color. Not so with the Green #4. It stays the nice medium-green color and dries a bit darker in the wetter spots.
The other thing to remember when using an Iron Gall ink is that it should not stay in your pen for long periods without being used. To me, I don't view this any differently than other inks, in so much that I like to clean out pens if they've been unused after about a month. If you're mindful about how long the ink has been in your pen, you should be fine. However, if the pen you're using has special sentimental value, or is difficult to replace, you might be a bit more careful about keeping it clean. Either way, these KWZ inks are fairly gentle, and I've never had an issue with pens getting clogged or becoming difficult to clean.
Now, after those differences, the Green #4 acts just like any other ink. The color is a wonderful woodland green with brown hints and a very subtle gold shimmer in certain lights. I wasn't really sure about the color when I first started using it, but I grew to love it because it has an abundance of character.
The shading is a large part of that character, along with the subtle shimmering effect. The shading isn't dramatic, but it's definitely noticeable in nibs from the F size and higher (German standard). It's a perfect amount of flare for the color.
The other fantastic quality of this ink is the dry time. In most cases, it's dry between 8 and 12 seconds. In fountain pen terms, this is very quick. Really, it's astonishing how quickly it dries, and the other KWZ IG inks are pretty close to this as well. Definitely something to consider if quick-drying inks are your preference.
At the end of the day, the KWZ Iron Gall Green #4 is a lovely medium or dark green ink that behaves wonderfully in all pens and on all papers. Just like the other KWZ IG inks I've used, I highly recommend this color. It's a very strong contender in the "work safe" green ink category, and it gets bonus points for being permanent.
You can find KWZ Iron Gall inks at Vanness Pens in 60ml bottles or 4ml sample vials.
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