Hey everybody! Welcome back to another review. Today, we're going to be taking a look at Diamine Sepia!
I've had quite a bit of experience with Diamine before; I actually own four or five of their inks. They're usually quite pleasant to use, and I haven't had issues with any of them in my pens. They're also quite affordable, especially if you live across the pond.
This bottle of ink arrived in a black cardstock box, with gold detailing. Right in the front panel you see the name of the ink, and a fill of the color. This box is really gorgeous. I even made a gif to show you how pretty it is:
I love the lettering on the back especially! This is their new packaging; I believe the old one just had a plain white cardstock box.
The ink bottle is plopped right inside. The cap is gold-colored plastic, and the bottle is glass. This is the 80 ml size; if you buy their smaller, 30 ml bottles, they're plastic. The front has a sticker with the same lettering art on it, as well as the name of the ink and another color fill. The shoulders of the bottle have rows of these... nubs on them. They're interesting to the touch, but I don't think they serve a specific purpose.
I thought I would show you the bottle in comparison to the original Diamine bottles:
The bottles are practically the same: they're definitely the same size. The shoulders are a bit less sloped and more angular on the new bottle, and the original bottle had creases rather than nubs.
The older bottles only had the name of the ink on the top, on a small gray sticker. This has never come off in my experience, but as you can see, it's pretty easy for the words to rub off—and since the name of the ink isn't anywhere else on the bottle, you can get confused pretty easily. I much prefer the new stickers, which probably won't come off unless you actively rip it off!
I used a Midori MD notebook for the review below. To pair with it, I used a Jinhao X450 dipped in the ink: I fitted it with both a stock medium nib, as well as a Nemosine broad nib.
Diamine Sepia is an ink that I have a bit of trouble describing. When I think of the color sepia, I imagine a fairly dark brown. Diamine Sepia definitely isn't that. It's a bit orange and a bit brown, and it looks quite a bit like honey. It's pretty close to J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie, and to the swatch of Noodler's Kiowa Pecan I have here (though, I find, that Kiowa Pecan is much darker in practice—honestly, I would completely disregard the swatch here, my bad!). Ancient Copper and Antietam are both worlds apart, though to be fair they're much darker and much more saturated.
Sepia doesn't shade too much, but when it does, it's absolutely gorgeous. It'll definitely be more visible in pens with wetter flows and wider nibs, but you can see tinges of it in the medium nib. I popped this ink into my TWSBI Diamond 540 with a custom-ground italic nib, and the way it swooshed between a wheat tone to amber was really fascinating (I've attached a link at the bottom).
Unfortunately, this ink has pretty much zero water resistance: a quick dab with a Q-tip soaked in water basically obliterated the ink. However, if you do watercolors or like to draw with your fountain pen inks, you might find this to be super helpful to do washes of color.
Plus, it takes a little longer than usual to dry; my writing dried completely (as in, to the touch) in about 20 seconds on Midori MD paper. However, this isn't too bad. The swatch of Amber took about a full minute to dry, while I left Ancient Copper and Antietam to soak overnight. So it's definitely not the worst!
All in all, I'm a big fan of Sepia. I'm really glad I got a chance to try it out. I've been a fan of Ambre de Birmanie for a long time, so it only seems fair that I would love Sepia, too. It's going straight into my collection!
What do you think? Would you pick up Diamine Sepia?
You can see a picture of Diamine Sepia in a wider nib here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZreazcBAIi/