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Do’s And Don’t For Long Lasting Calligraphy Nibs

Calligraphy nibs aren’t the friendliest of tools so here are a few do’s and don’ts that you wanna keep in mind to prevent them from damage and preserve them for longer use.

1. Prep your nib: The nibs you order will come with a manufacturer’s transparent layer of oil coating to prevent them from rusting. However, that oil coating needs to be removed before the nib is used. Failing to do so can either cause your ink to run out very quickly or stay blobbed on the nib.

Therefore, we need to prep our nibs in order to remove the coating.

While there are several ways to do so, let me tell you the easiest method - take a little bit of toothpaste and rub it on your nib, then gently wipe it with a tissue.

2. Store them properly: One thing you wanna keep in mind while storing your nibs is that they should be kept away from excessive moisture, otherwise it reacts with the oxygen in the environment and causes rusting.

I usually keep my nib inserted in the holder (not recommended haha but we all have our own ways) and store them in my Pen roll and it works perfectly well.

Pen Roll by The Bombay Lettering Company

A lot of people also like to store them in tiny tin boxes (or small containers) and that helps prevent rusting as well.

3. Clean them frequently: To maintain the quality of nibs and keep them free from any dried ink build-up, it’s crucial to clean them frequently. Dip your nib (till the vent) into a bowl of water and then simply use a tissue or a microfibre cloth to wipe off the water and clean the ink that’s on your nib.

Gently wipe residual ink with a tissue

You can also use a pen cleaner, works amazingly well!

4. Assigned Holder for a nib: What I have found very helpful over the years is setting aside a different holder for different nibs. By doing this we adjust our flange to suit a particular type of nib so we do not need to readjust the angle. I have a separate holder dedicated to each of my favorite nibs.

Assigned holders for different nibs

5. Don’t apply too much pressure on downstrokes: Calligraphy is all about pressure play, the basic mantra is thin up and thick down. Basically, when you move the pen in an upward direction, you don’t apply pressure and that gives you a thin stroke, whereas when you move the pen in a downward direction, you apply pressure on the nib which in turn gives you thick strokes.

But when you’re starting out it’s hard to understand how much pressure is too much pressure :P

So it’s essential to not flex the nib to an extent that it cracks.

It may take a little trial and error for you to understand but I promise with time, you’ll get a hang of it.

If you find it useful, be sure to let us know by taking a screenshot of your favorite part of the blog (the tip that you found most useful) and posting it on Instagram, don't forget to tag us @bombaylettering ❤️


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