Although fountain pens are built to last, they are an investment that should be well taken care of to avoid damaging their delicate parts.
The most important step to ensuring the longevity of your fountain pen is making sure to store it correctly. But where do you start?
This guide will provide top tips on how to store a fountain pen and preserve its lifetime.
Top Tips On How To Store A Fountain Pen
Preparing Your Pens For Storage
One of the most important parts of storing fountain pens is preparing them for storage.
Before storing your fountain pens, you should clean the nibs of any leftover ink to prevent it from drying out and make it clog. Leaving wet ink on the nib of your pen can lead to ink pooling inside the cap.
If you’re going to store your pen for more than a month, it’s best to empty your ink reservoir to avoid long-term damage to the internal mechanisms.
Storing your pen for less than four weeks means you don’t have to empty the ink reservoir. Proper storage and cleaning are paramount to maintaining your fountain pen.
After cleaning, it’s important to securely cap your pen. Capping also referred to as posting, prevents damage to the nib and saves the pen from drying out.
Temperature is equally important to keeping your inks intact and limiting any environmental damage. You should always store your fountain pens in a cool, dry environment, away from direct sunlight.
Length of Storage
How long you can have your pens stored depends on whether or not you’ve emptied the ink from the converter.
If you’re storing your pen with ink, it can be stored in either direction. The nib of the pen should be facing upwards.
You can store your pen horizontally for up to 2 weeks, and vertically for up to a month. Your fountain pen shouldn’t be stored for more than a month if you haven’t emptied the inks.
If you’ve completely emptied your pen, the orientation is less important. You can store them both horizontally or vertically for up to a year.
A popular question among fountain pen owners is “Should the nib of the pen point up or down?”
Your fountain pens should never be pointed with the nib facing downwards. Storing them like this can potentially cause the ink to pool into the feeder and nib, which will eventually clog it.
The ink from your pens can also leak into your cap, causing it to leak. Leaking will cause messes and stains, pools of ink inside your pen can damage its internal mechanisms.
Many fountain pen users store them horizontally because it keeps the nib wet enough to start writing as soon as you pick the pen up. The ink is also pulled far enough away from the nib that it shouldn’t leak.
The small risk of storing it this way could be ink pooling within the feeder or the nib of your fountain pen.
The ideal orientation would be to store your pens vertically, facing up. This allows gravity to pull the ink to the back of the pen and away from the nib and feeder. While it might take longer to start writing while the ink filters to the front of the pen, it lowers the risk of damaging your pen.
Store Your Pens
Fountain pen connoisseurs know that keeping your pen in a case or pouch is the best way to protect it. If you carry your pen in your pocket or bag, investing in a pocket or bag protector could help to avoid leaking and mess.
You should always secure your pens to avoid the smaller parts inside from breaking. To do this, you can choose a storage case with straps to keep everything held tightly within its case.
You should also stash your case in a sturdier compartment of your bag or briefcase to avoid jostling.
When traveling, there are some special considerations to take into account to avoid damage, especially if you’re flying.
The sudden change of altitude and air pressure in the feed when flying can cause leakage. This air pressure change makes the air inside expands which forces the ink out.
In this case, you can either completely empty the reservoir or fill it to the top. Filling the reservoir leaves no room for air to expand in the feed, meaning there is no extra pressure forcing the ink out.
Your pens should be stored vertically in a pen case if you fill the ink reservoir.
You should always keep them stored away from any of your other belongings. There’s not much that you can do to get ink stains out of your clothes, and it could easily ruin your holiday or business trip.
Cases For Fountain Pens
Fountain pens are often displayed in an ornate box by collectors or owners that have a personalized pen or regard it as a keepsake.
While some cases are similar to an open box, most have a glass-paneled lid to display and protect their pens.
Glass-paneled cases are a luxurious way to admire your collection but should be kept away from sunlight. If the case is exposed to direct sunlight, the glass magnifies the heat and causes permanent damage to both the interior and exterior of your pens.
Storage boxes are normally rectangular with straps to keep everything in place.
They are lined with soft materials to keep the exterior of your pens in mint condition. Be aware that boxes lined with velvet can give off fibers that can damage the body of your pen.
Putting fountain pens into boxes with dividers can also damage your pens if the dividers are made of harder materials like plastic or metal.
Travel cases are normally small pouches made to easily slip into your pocket and carry about.
These pouches are usually made of leather, although some are also made of plastic or wood and lined with soft fabrics like suede or felt with straps to keep your pens secure.
Travel cases are not as ornate or attractive as some of the other cases on the market because of their focus on functionality rather than their look. Their primary function is to protect your pens during travel, and are not made to be used for long-term storage.
Leather Fountain Pen Cases
These cases are also primarily made for travel, but leather pen cases are more expensive and better-looking than normal travel cases.
Many fountain pen owners prefer these cases to other travel cases due to their attractive designs, although they serve the same purpose as their cheaper alternatives.
The leather cases are also lined with soft cloth material to keep the body of your fountain pens in pristine condition.