Inkmas Day 1: Sailor Irori

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Long before there was Inkvent, there was Inkmas and we are delighted to dash through your internet with a little splash of holiday inky cheer.

I decided to do some quick reviews of some of my favorite inks this year. They aren’t the newest inks or the most popular brands of ink right now but these are inks that are tried-and-true favorites. Jesi and Laura will take there own approaches to Inkmas so stayed tuned as we countdown to Inkmas Eve.

For the first day of Inkmas, I wanted to pull back the curtain on an ink I’ve used to test every paper that has passed through the door. It’s Sailor Irori.

Originally, it was sold as Sailor Jentle Irori in the low, short pots but can now be purchased as Sailor Shikiori Irori (Hearth Red) ($18 for 20 ml bottle).

When I say every paper has been tested with this ink, I mean that when we were selecting paper stock for the Col-o-ring every paper I tried was tested with Irori. I did this because of the unique sheening properties of this ink. The sheen is a subtle gold but it’s there and the red is a little electric, a little warm and I wanted whatever paper we chose for the Col-o-ring to capture these subtle qualities. Since that time, every new paper that I test, I do a little swatch of Irori to see how different the ink looks. It’s not a bad thing to have an ink look different depending on the paper. Some warmer, ivory stocks will make Irori look more orange while brighter whites will make it look almost fire engine red. The width or softness of the nib used will also affect the overall look but, in the end, Irori is my inky litmus test.


There are a few similar inks available but may not as easy to acquire: Bungubox Lycoris Red which is slightly pinkier and Taccia Aka Red which is a pretty close match. I added a swatch of Diamine Ho Ho Ho just to keep in the spirit of the holidays even though its a bit cooler red.

What’s your litmus test ink?


DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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