Ink Review: KWZ Raspberry

KWZ Raspberry writing sample

I used KWZ Raspberry in an Aurora Optima with medium nib, and in a Lamy Al-Star with both a 1.1 mm stub and with an extra-fine nib. It performed well in both pens: it was nicely lubricated, started up perfectly, and did not feel dry in the pen. And it  wrote a wider line. It’s a wetter ink, not dry.

However, its color varied  between the two pens. KWZ Raspberry was a rather pale color in the dry-writing Lamy Al-Star, while it was a sprightlier, darker pink in the wetter-writing Aurora Optima. Here it is on Tomoe River paper, first with the Optima, then with the Al-Star with 1.1 mm stub and then extra-fine nibs.

KWZ Raspberry writing sample

With the Lamy Al-Star, KWZ Raspberry is so quiet in color, the word that came to mind was “frosted,” even with a stub nib. Here is a writing sample on Rhodia paper, first with the Aurora Optima with medium nib, then with the Al-Star with 1.1 mm.

KWZ Raspberry writing sample

And here is the Lamy Al-Star with extra-fine nib on Rhodia.

KWZ Raspberry writing sample

I am a fan of extra-fine nibs, but for me KWZ Raspberry is very light in color and seems hard to read with the Al-Star’s extra-fine.

What’s interesting is that an Aurora Optima isn’t exactly a firehose, but it still makes a huge difference. You can see from the photos above how much stronger in color KWZ Raspberry appears from the Aurora Optima with a medium nib.

KWZ Raspberry is a nice pink color, with nice shading. I would consider it lovely rather than striking, and quieter rather than brighter. I think KWZ Raspberry does show possible sheen potential on Tomoe River.

KWZ Raspberry writing sample

KWZ Raspberry was pretty good on lower quality paper. Of course the Lamy Al-Star was dry enough to give no showthrough or feathering, but I would use a wetter pen, like the Optima. Using the Optima on Staples Sustainable Earth, showthrough was manageable and the ink resisted feathering well enough for me.

KWZ Raspberry writing sample

KWZ Raspberry seems like a very low-maintenance ink. It cleaned up very quickly and completely from both pens. Its water resistance is almost non-existent, however: after being soaked in water, only a little KWZ Raspberry remains on absorbent regular paper, and there is essentially nothing left on smooth Rhodia paper.

KWZ Raspberry water resistance

Perhaps because I tested KWZ Raspberry a few weeks after Callifolio Andrinople, I couldn’t help finding the two inks very similar in color. And Andrinople itself is very similar to J. Herbin Rouge Bourgogne, as I noted in my Andrinople review.

But when you compare swabs of all three, there are clear differences in hue.

KWZ Raspberry swab comparisons

Callifolio Andrinople is the brightest and pinkest in that array. But when I used Andrinople, only a wider and wetter nib pen brought out the beauty of its bright pink. In addition, Andrinople seemed noticeably unlubricated — even chalky feeling — and it was a dry ink.

Rouge Bourgogne looked lighter in a broader nib, but darker and legible from an extra-fine Safari nib.  Rouge Bourgogne also is a wetter ink that writes a wider line than Callifolio Andrinople. Those comparisons are in the Andrinople review here.

I think KWZ Raspberry looks as pale as Callifolio Andrinople from a Safari or Al-Star. But KWZ Raspberry is a wetter ink, like J. Herbin Rouge Bourgogne, and nicely lubricated, so it feels nicer to write with.

Though the swabs show that Andrinople and KWZ Raspberry aren’t particularly close, when you write with them, the colors fall in the same general range. Here is KWZ Raspberry, on the left, and Callifolio Andrinople on the right, both with the extra-fine nib.

KWZ Raspberry and Callifolio Andrinople writing sample comparisons

Here they are in the wetter pens, with KWZ Raspberry on the left in an Aurora Optima with relatively narrow medium nib, and Callifolio Andrinople in a modern Pelikan with broad nib.

KWZ Raspberry and Callifolio Andrinople writing sample comparisons

Here is paper towel chromatography of KWZ Raspberry.

KWZ Raspberry chromatography

I find that dye mixture very interesting. KWZ Raspberry mixes magenta with some orange and a lighter peach. I never would have expected that. However, if you go back and look at the water resistance test, you’ll see a halo of the orange. And then if you go back to the swab comparison, you’ll see the complexity in KWZ Raspberry.

To compare those three inks at the dye level, here are the three chromas, from right to left Callifolio Andrinople, KWZ Raspberry and J. Herbin Rouge Bourgogne.

KWZ Raspberry chromatography comparisons

In essence, KWZ Raspberry is a subtle raspberry pink, with very nice lubrication and flow, but the color might be so subtle that like me you’ll prefer it in a wetter and wider nib pen.

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