Skip to content
Free UK Delivery over £40
Free UK Delivery over £40
How to prepare nibs

How to Prepare Nibs

We are frequently asked why a new nib does not work well or why the ink does not flow very well.

how to prepare a nib for calligraphy

The most common reason is the new nib has not been prepared before using it.  New nibs are usually coated with a thin coat of lacquer to protect them. This should be removed before you start writing.

There are several ways of removing the lacquer.  The most popular method is to use boiling water.

  • You need 2 containers of water; one with boiling water and the other with cold water.
  • 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)
  • Now dip the nib in the cold water and gently stir again for 3-4 seconds

Repeat these stages several times, carefully dry the nib and it is ready for use.  Sometimes the nib will look duller after the treatment.

Another method of preparing a nib is to use a naked flame. With this method, the nib is simply passed back and forth through a naked flame.  Be careful not to get the nib too hot.

The boiling water method usually works, but some nibs can be really awkward and you may also need to try the naked flame method.

Previous article How to Rule-Up
Next article Tips for Practising a New Style