Fountain Pen Review: Faber-Castell Loom Piano White

Today I’m going to show you my latest pen the Faber-Castell Loom. The Loom might be considered as a starter pen although it costs more than other well known starter pens like the Lamy Safari, the Al-Star and the Pilot Metropolitan.

1. Appearance and Design.

The Loom features a grip section with rings and a curved form. It is a conical shape and comes with several different cap colours and high-contrast matt and gloss effects.
For the more recent Metallic colours, barrels and grips are made from polished metal throughout, and the Piano Black or White models come with polished metal barrels and gloss caps with matt metal grips. There is also a Gunmetal anthracite version that comes in Shiny or Matt. It’s possible that the Gunmetal Matt version has a plastic coated barrel as it is a lighter pen. If you find that all metal pens make your hand feel tired than I would recommend the Gunmetal Matt version.

2. Construction and Quality.

My Piano White Loom comes with a polished metal barrel and cap and a matt metal grip. I specially chose this version because I preferred the idea of the matt grip rather than a polished one. I’ve never been a fan of polished metal grips as I find them too slippery, but decided to give this one a try because the grip was matt with bands around it. I don’t find the grip at all slippery, so am pleased with my choice. Predictably the polished barrel shows every fingerprint, mark and smudge, but that’s normal with a highly polished metal pen. The pen feels reasonably heavy in the hand but I don’t mind that as they don’t make my hand feel tired. If you find that all metal pens make your hand feel tired than I would recommend the Gunmetal Matt version.
Everything about the Loom suggests it is a high quality pen. It feels very well made with no rough edges and the screw threads on the grip are smooth and positive when the barrel screws on. The barrel meets the grip perfectly with no sign of a join.

The cap clicks on very firmly and feels really secure. It has the Faber-Castell jousting knights logo and brand name impressed along the side. It can also post on the back of the barrel if you like to do this although I never post my pens. For me, personally, the Loom feels long enough without posting. The clip is firmly spring loaded and is made from plastic. It also has the Faber-Castell jousting knights logo on it’s top.

3. Weight and Dimensions.

Weight of pen capped is 33 grams. Length capped is 130mm, length posted is 155mm.

4. Nib and Performance.

The Loom nib is made of steel and comes in EF, F, M or B sizes. This nib is also used in several other Faber-Castell models, even some more expensive models than the Loom. I chose the B nib version because I watched SBRE Brown’s review of this pen, and he really likes the Faber-Castell B nib. I found that mine writes beautifully smoothly straight out of the box and I’m very happy with it. It’s not too broad for everyday writing. A really great nib.

5. Filling System and Maintenance.

The Loom fills using either a converter or International sized cartridges. Disappointingly the Loom doesn’t come with any cartridges nor a converter so you will need to buy either some short international cartridges or a converter. You don’t absolutely have to buy a Faber-Castell branded converter as these are probably made by Schmidt. The only difference, apart from the branding, is that the Faber-Castell converter has a spring agitator inside it to assist with ink movement inside the converter tube. I wish it came with the converter but at least they can be found at reasonable prices.

6. Cost and Value.

I think it is a very well made pen for the price. You might be able to pick one up at a reasonable price on Amazon.
In the UK Cult Pens sells the Piano White or Black at £32 and the Metallic models at £31 with both of the Gunmetal version costing £41.
Value for money would be improved if a converter was included. At the very least I believe one or two ink cartridges should be included. All I received with my pen was an open topped empty cartridge. That was disappointing.

7 Conclusions.

My pen came from Amazon and was packaged in a simple rectangular card tube. It’s not much to write home about, and not a box that you would keep. Cult Pens site shows a nicer box than the one I received from Amazon.
I would recommend the Faber-Castell Loom to anyone. It is a very good pen. Even if, like me, you don’t usually like fountain pens with metal grips. This one is an exception for me. I’m very happy with it.

Faber Castell Loom_0001

Ink Review: Pilot Iroshizuku asa-gao (Morning Glory)

Today I’m reviewing Pilot Iroshizuku asa-gao ink.

From Japanese this translates to Morning Glory and is a rich royal blue colour. It’s a very popular ink among fountain pen users.

Asa-gao is a well-behaved ink that didn’t suffer from any skips or hard starts when I put the uncapped pen down to do swab tests, dry times and water resistance. It felt quite wet and smooth writing.

It dried quickly in 15 or 16 seconds on the Clairefontaine Triomphe paper and didn’t smear after it was dry.

Available in attractive Pilot Iroshizuku 50ml glass bottles and mini 15ml bottles from many outlets worldwide. It’s worth searching for one at a good price.

  • Flow Rate: Very good.
  • Lubrication: Very smooth.
  • Nib Dry-out: Not noticed.
  • Start-up: Immediate.
  • Saturation: Not saturated
  • Shading Potential: Some nice shading seen, and occasionally a little red sheen.
  • Show-Through: A little seen on some of the papers used, but I could write on the reverse of all of them.
  • Spread / Feathering / Woolly Line: Not seen
  • Nib Creep / “Crud”: Not seen, even after a couple of weeks in the pen.
  • Staining (pen): Not seen after several days – easy clean-up.
  • Staining (hands): Washed off of my hands easily.
  • Clogging: Not seen.
  • Water resistance: Not sold as waterproof, but shows a little water resistance.

Pilot Iroshizuku. asa gao

Ink Review: Diamine A Night in Jodhpur Exclusive

Today I’m reviewing Diamine A Night in Jodhpur ink.

Diamine A Night in Jodhpur is a Diamine Exclusive ink made specially for Papier & Stift in Germany.

This is a saturated dark sky blue/turquoise type colour with dark pinkish red sheen. It doesn’t have such a heavy sheen as the Organics Studio very high sheen inks, nor KWZ Sheen Machine, but has more sheen than a “standard” ink.
It didn’t suffer from any hard starts or non-starts when I put the uncapped pen down to do swab tests, dry times and water resistance.

I found no start-up problems after leaving the pen overnight.
It dried quite quickly and once dry it didn’t smudge or smear.

I noticed there was a tendency for the ink to stick in the top of the converter when I turned the pen nib up. It may only be because Lamy converters have no agitator inside, but it was something I checked before starting to write.

I really enjoyed writing with it. It reminds me of another favourite Diamine Exclusive ink: Jalur Gemilang from Malaysia. A Night in Jodhpur is a little darker than Jalur Gemilang.
I saw a bit of showthrough and bleedthrough even on my 100gsm smooth coated paper, but I could still have written on the reverse of all of the papers I used.

Sheen is usually more visible when using pens with good flow and broader nibs on smooth papers where it doesn’t soak in immediately.

  • Flow Rate: Good.
  • Lubrication: Good.
  • Nib Dry-out: Not noticed.
  • Start-up: Immediate.
  • Saturation: Saturated ink.
  • Shading Potential: Some shading.
  • Sheen: Dark pinkish red sheen
  • Show-Through:
    • Clairefontaine Matris
    • Hobonichi Techo.
    • Rhodia DotPad.
    • Tomoe River 52gsm.
    • Tomoe River 68gsm.
    • Whitelines.
  • Spread / Feathering / Woolly Line: Not seen.
  • Nib Creep / “Crud”: Not seen.
  • Staining (pen): Not seen after several days in the pen. Easy clean-up with warm soapy water.
  • Staining (hands): Clean after one wash.
  • Clogging: Not seen. Seems unlikely.
  • Water resistance: Not sold as waterproof and has no water resistance.
  • Availability: Exclusively available from Papier & Stift, Germany.

Diamine A Night in Jodhpur

Ink Review: Pelikan Edelstein Moonstone Ink of the Year 2020

Moon shot

Pelikan Edelstein Moonstone ink is the Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year for 2020. Pelikan Edelstein Moonstone is a silver grey dye based ink. On the box it’s called an Extra soft ink. The cap is silver coloured rather than being the traditional black. I think that’s a really nice touch to go with the ink. Continue reading “Ink Review: Pelikan Edelstein Moonstone Ink of the Year 2020”