review: noodler's antietam - ink between the teeth

Dec 4, 2017

review: noodler's antietam

I'm starting to dive into my personal collection of fountain pen inks with this entry. I've got plenty, so hopefully you'll stick along for the ride!
When I ordered Antietam, it arrived in a plastic bottle rather than the glass bottles that Noodler's is known for. I don't really see the difference between the two. The plastic bottles are white and cylindrical, while the glass bottles have a square base. I think I prefer the plastic bottle simply because it's lighter and less fragile. It gives me a little peace of mind, you know?

I do want to add the note that I've already diluted this ink. Previously, it took what felt like a decade to dry, and honestly would never fully dry down. I would come back to a page I had written on and the ink would still smudge if I rubbed my hand against it; this is definitely not great for a lefty like me. I've added about 5ml of distilled water at this point. I haven't noticed a difference in tone, but the dry time has gotten a little better. I think I'll keep diluting the ink in 5ml increments as I make room in the bottle and see what happens.
Extreme dilution definitely changes the ink's properties, of course. I remembered that in this journal entry above, I dipped the nib into a container of water while the feed was saturated. I actually kind of like this color: it looks a bit like Diamine Autumn Oak, an ink I don't own.
For information on how I do my reviews, please visit my policy page.

For once in my life, these swatches seem to be completely true to real life. Phew.

Antietam is slow to dry—it wasn't done by the time I finished doing the above review! This hasn't happened with any of the other inks I have in my Midori MD notebook. It also has no resistance to water. You might be able to collect a little bit of your writing, but so much of the pigment washes away that it's going to be a tough battle.

Antietam has some great shading, which I really love. It readily comes from a citrusy orange to a deep orange-red. In dry pens, Antietam is much more orange than red. It has no sheen to speak of, however.

I've compared it here to some other oranges and reds that I own. Diamine Sepia and Graf von Faber Castell Burned Orange are both different enough that there's no reason to think of them as dupes for Antietam.

Antietam and Diamine Ancient Copper are very similar, and I constantly confuse which ink I used to fill a pen. Ancient Copper is ever so slightly more brown, but in use you can barely tell. I checked through my journal, where I've written with both, and honestly the deciding factor has been the nib size rather than the ink itself.

Would I buy this ink again? That's tough to say. Obviously, diluting this ink means that I have more of it, and at this rate I might never actually finish the bottle before I lose it to mold or my own forgetfulness. I think it's definitely a gorgeous color, but it shares space with a couple other inks. It's definitely the cheapest one though. All red/orange inks being equally slow to dry, I think I'd go for Antietam rather than a different color in the same family.

And now, for something completely different...

I know some people aren't super into getting the politics of their companies into their purchasing habits, but as someone who wants to try and be a better consumer in general, I feel like it would be lacking if I don't mention information that I know. I don't believe in boycotts, but I do believe in spending my money with companies that have values that align with mine.

It's fairly obvious that Nathan Tardif is an opinionated man, particularly in the context of politics, and has no problems with labeling his products clearly with references to his thoughts. A recent example, House Divided, has a fairly long blurb on the Noodler's website. There are certainly other examples stretching as far back as Noodler's founding, which if you do a little browsing you'll likely catch a hint of. I recommend that you do your own research, and figure out for yourself if Noodler's is a company you would support. I'm not trying to sway anyone's opinion. I just don't believe in hiding information that you might find helpful in your own decisions as a consumer—that is all!

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