Sunday, February 06, 2011

Fountain pen and the Cotton Cream...

Yesterday, while browsing the Flickr Philofaxy group, I noticed a discussion topic asking about the behaviour of the Cotton Cream refills from Filofax with fountain pen ink. Some readers said that it was good, while others (myself included) weren't too satisfied with it.

Well, it just so happens that last week, not knowing about this discussion, I decided to do a comparison of the QuoVadis Prestige, which I'm currently using in my Scanda, and the FF Cotton Cream, by trying out 4 fountain pens.

So, the arsenal I used was:
-Lamy Vista w/ Lamy blue ink, M nib
-Lamy Safari w/Lamy blue ink, M nib
-Parker Vector w/Quink in black, M nib
-Pilot Vpen (known as Varsity in the US), w/black ink, M nib

The page on the left is the QuoVadis Prestige, the one to the right the FF Cotton Cream, and above them, my pens.

On the left: the Vista and the Safari on the QV. As you can see, they don't show any feathering.
On the right: Both Lamys on the FFCC. The Vista is slightly thicker and the edges not as fine as in the QV, but it is hardly noticeable. The Safari is still quite thin and it seems darker.

On the left: the Parker and the Pilot on the QV. The Parker comes with a thicker nib than the Lamy, being a bit wet at times. But using Quink this shouldn't be a problem, as this ink is known for its fast-drying capabilities. There is no feathering. The Pilot on the other hand, has a very thin nib and is quite wet, taking a bit longer to dry. Still, no feathering, and the lines remain thin.
On the right: the Parker and the Pilot on the FFCC. The Parker's thick nib is more evident and the ink remained wet longer.The feathering is barely noticeable. The Pilot was very wet, and the line was also much thicker. Feathering was quite noticeable.

This is the backside of the QV. No bleedthrough whatsoever, even from the Pilot, which is the wettest pen I have and doesn't perform well on thin papers.

The reverse of the FFCC, on the other hand, tells a different story. Although the Lamys didn't bleed through at all (which is why that part isn't pictured), both the Parker and the Pilot do show through. Even using Quink! 

One other thing that I also noticed was that when I was writing on the FFCC, the paper would buckle sightly due to the wetness of the inks. This didn't happen with the QV. Nevertheless, by putting the paper under some weight, like keeping your binder closed, it will flatten out again.

In conclusion, although it is obvious that the QV is the clear winner here, the Cotton Cream only performed badly with the Parker and the Pilot. For those of you who plan on using a fountain pen, particularly the Lamy with its own ink, you should be fine. There won't be any feathering nor bleedthrough.

As for me, I fell in love with the QuoVadis paper the moment I tried out their planners!


caribbean princess said...

ONI thanks, this is very useful. I have lamy fountain pens and they are fine on the cotton cream, but on the regular Filofax inserts, they are a complete mess! Unfortunately I only have pocket sized cotton cream and since my main Filofax is personal sized I can't use fountain pens. I have fallen in love with the erasable pilot frixions though!
It is nice to have a new blog post from you! I hope you are well :-)

Steve said...

Great post, and featured in my next Philofaxy posting

Alison Reeves said...

Really interesting post for me as I am both a fountain pen and a filofax fan. I have Lamy pens, but tend to enjoy an OB nib - which is a nightmare on filofax paper. My diary is a pocket special edition so I tend to use the pilot frixion so I can amend entries where I need to, and they have some pretty colours.

My favourite inks are Mont Blanc - particularly the Lavendar (a lovely deep violet colour) and Irish Green. Have you visited The Fountain Pen Forum? A must for anyone into fountain pens! No affililation - just love the chance to talk to other fountain pen geeks like me!

HelenL said...

Hi Oni,

Where do you get your Quo Vadis paper? It looks like it would fit in the Filofax Pocket Kendal I received last week...!


Oni said...

@caribbean princess:
Hi!!! I am glad you found this useful, I had been meaning on doing it for quite a while now, just hadn't found time to do it. I will have to see about those Pilot frixions, as I hear everyone simply loving them. Are they liquid like gel or roller pens, or are they ballpoint?
Don't worry about my posts, I'll keep writing, maybe later than expected, but they will come. glad to have you reading them!!

@Hi Alison! Thank you for your comment and for reading my blog. I have heard about the FPN, I've even read some posts a few times. I just find that it is too much information for me at the moment. I love FP's but I could never have one of the fancy ones. I like to keep it as practical as possible, without missing out on the quality. I would actually use a Lamy on my Filofax daily, but the problem is that the loop is too narrow, and I wouldn't want to lose the FP by carrying it separately. I do however, use it for my Paperblanks journal. And my Rhodia blocs. Which Lamy's have you got?

@HelenL: Hi there :D I received them from a dear friend in France (dreamland of QV). The one pictured, fits inside a Personal Filo, and has a Vertical Weekly layout. There is also a version for the Pocket size, but the layout is a WOTP horizontal. I think it can also be available in the other format.
You can look at their various selections through their website:

The one I used for the comparison is the one for the Personal. The pocket ones have a different layout, but I think you can also get them with the Personal layout...

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