Your Fountain Pen Nib

Want to know how to look after your fountain pen – especially the nib?

The nib of a fountain pen imparts the quality of the writing experience and over time takes on the personality of its user’s handwriting. All the fountain pens included on this website are fitted with very high quality nibs with an iridium tip. This tip protects the nib and governs the width of the pen stroke.

Most British pens are available with a choice of nibs: Fine, Medium or Broad. Customised nibs – italic, stub, oblique etc – are available to order for a small additional fee. The full range of nib availability is indicated on each product page.

The choice of nib is a very personal one but as a general guide – smaller, lighter and precise handwriting would err towards a finer nib and larger, more generous and flamboyant handwriting towards a broader nib. Most users decide that a medium nib offers the best of both worlds.

We ensure that our nibs are carefully fitted, aligned and polished during assembly of your pen to ensure a very high quality mark during use.

It is good practice to place the cap onto a fountain pen in the upright position. If you drop the pen downwards into the cap ink spots can be deposited from the nib onto the interior surfaces of the cap.

Holding your fountain pen

This again is a very personal thing and should simply be at a comfortable angle for your writing style. Ideally the nib should receive even pressure on each half to avoid the risk if splitting the nib. Over a short period of time the malleable properties of the nib will allow it to contour to your writing style.

As the nib will be personalised by your handwriting it is best used only by one person. If you wish to gift your pen to someone we recommend you have a new nib fitted.

General Care and Attention

We take great pleasure in producing our pens and are proud of the quality of craftsmanship used in their fabrication. In ensuring the maintenance of your pen’s appearance and performance by following the simple tips below your pen should give you generations of superb service.

Carrying your pen

When carrying your pen do so in an upright position to avoid ink leaking from the nib. This is relatively straightforward in jacket pockets and briefcases but attention needs to be paid to the pen’s position in purses and handbags. The nib should be pointing up – this will help ink flow back into the reservoir and reduce drying and clogging of ink residues at the nib.

Air Travel

When travelling by air your fountain pen should be fully filled or alternatively emptied and flushed clean before travel. If the pen reservoir is only partly filled the air in it may expand or contract resulting in ink seepage. Always keep a filled pen upright when travelling by air.

Cleaning

Dirt and grease in the atmosphere and on your hands mean that your pen will become dirty over a period of time. A build up of grease on the nib and feeder may also prevent the ink from flowing properly.  That’s why we recommend cleaning your fountain pen three or four times a year. To keep the ink flowing simply flush out the filler mechanism, nib and feeder system with tepid water until the liquid runs clear, then dry gently. You may also add a single drop of washing-up liquid to the tepid water to help cut through the grease. Holding a lint free cloth against the nib slit will help draw excess water out of the feeder system. Do not use detergents, solvents or hot water as this may damage the mechanism or finish. Do not put the whole pen under water as this will damage some filler mechanisms.

Flushing and cleaning the system in this manner should be done each time you change ink colour.

Ink soiling the interior of caps can be cleaned with a piece of damp paper tissue rolled around the inside of the cap. Alternatively a damp cotton bud may be used.

The exterior acrylic finishes may be cleaned by rubbing gently with the Pen Polishing Cloth which now accompanies each pen purchased. The cleaning cloths are also available to purchase from the Accessories page. The cleaning cloth is impregnated with a cleaner and anti-tarnishing agent so it’s ideal for giving gold or silver fittings that ‘just-out-of-the-box’ sparkle!

Ink

We recommend that you use only quality inks, such as those available to purchase from our Accessories page, to ensure a quality writing experience. We recommend the use of ink that is less than a year old as residues may become a problem with inks that have been stored for lengthy periods.

Product Care

All Bespoke British writing instruments are designed to give you a high quality writing experience for many years. We have detailed on this page some hints that will help you keep your pen in excellent condition.

If you have any questions which aren’t covered, please call (+44 (0)1803 875522 or email our customer service team (info@bespokebritishpens.co.uk) for assistance.