I've tried out several different purple/violet inks over the years, and I'm always surprised by how much variation an ink can achieve in the purple hue. Dark purple, light purple, blue and gray notes, etc. I've always enjoyed using Waterman Tender Purple, but it's a bit bright and has some blue notes. Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu is a purple ink that I think hits a perfect balance of "purple" that works well when you want a standard purple ink to use in your pen.
Most of my previous experience with purple and violet inks is darker than what Murasaki-shikibu offers, and that's part of the delight I enjoy when using it. It's not so bright that it calls unnecessary attention, but it stands out enough to be fun. KWC Gummiberry is a fun ink, but it's also quite a bit darker than this Pilot. Sometimes, a solid standard purple is in the cards, and this is now one of my go-to inks for that purpose.
There is some noticeable shading in this ink, but it's not dramatic. In some cases, you have to search for it on the page. Obviously, the shading effect is more pronounced with a large or stub/italic nib, but it's fairly minor in a medium and smaller. Still, you'll notice shading in some spots, and it's pleasant. When using a larger stub or italic nib, the shading comes out easier, but it's still not dramatic compared to other inks in the Iroshizuku line.
The flow and performance of the ink is fantastic. Easy starts, no skipping, and very forgiving when you forget to cap the pen for a few minutes. The Monteverde I used for this review can sometimes lay down too much ink, but that wasn't a problem with the Murasaki-shikibu. I also used this in a notoriously dry EF Kaweco and had no issues with it. This ink produces very good flow.
Like the Chiku-rin I reviewed, I was really impressed (shocked) by the dry time of this ink. I tried several times and always came back to the 10-second mark consistently. That's an incredibly fast dry time for any fountain pen ink. This is definitely something you should consider if fast dry times are high on your list.
Feathering and bleeding are almost non-existent with this ink, although it does tend to show-through to the back of the page quite easily. This is to be expected for any medium or dark ink, so it's just another point of consideration. Probably not Field Notes friendly, but perfectly fine for thicker, more absorbent papers.
Purple inks aren't always in my rotation, but they continue to fascinate me. Everyone's brain is wired differently when it comes to color, and mine is naturally drawn to bright blues, rich blue greens, fiery oranges, and deep pinks. This purple hits the mark for me when it comes to the definition of purple in my head. It lays down a smooth, clean line and the color is light enough to pop, but still dark enough to produce rich pools of purple goodness. It's definitely worth a try if you're in the market for a solid purple.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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