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How to prepare nibs

How to Prepare Nibs

Preparing your nib before its first use is crucial for achieving the best calligraphy results.

New nibs come with a thin lacquer coating, designed to prevent rust. However, this coating also repels ink, leading to inconsistent ink flow and potential blots on your paper.

The top nib in the image below has not been prepared and you can see the ink is a blob sitting on the nib.

In contrast, the nib at the bottom of the image has been prepared and the ink is spread more evenly over it, which will improve the flow of ink onto the paper.

Preparing nibs - before and after

Removing this lacquer is important for smooth writing.

Here are three methods to removing the lacquer. They all work well.

Boiling Water Method

  1. You will need 2 containers of water: one with boiling water and the other with cold water.
  2. Place the nib in a pen holder (to keep your fingers away from the boiling water); gently stir the boiling water with the nib for 3-4 seconds (being careful not to dip the nib too deeply and get the pen holder wet)
  3. Now dip the nib in the cold water and gently stir again for 3-4 seconds.

Boiling water method for removing lacquer

 Potato Method

  1. Insert the nib into a potato. The starch will dissolve the lacquer.
  2. Leave it in for a few minutes before removing and cleaning.

Removing lacquer using a potato

 Toothbrush and Toothpaste Method

  1. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to an old toothbrush.
  2. Gently scrub the nib with this mixture.
  3. Rinse thoroughly and dry the nib.

Shop broad edged nibs and pointed nibs.

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