Ink Review #286: Birmingham Fair Wheel Blue


Earlier this year the Birmingham Pen Company announced an ink subscription through Cratejoy. Five different inks come to your door each month, you can choose either 5ml samples or 30ml bottles. Birmingham Fair Wheel Blue is one of the five inks for April, and seems to only be available through the subscription. Releasing five inks every month is a big undertaking, so let's take a look at the ink!


The color:

Fair Wheel Blue is a medium dusty blue. I was sad to notice that it feathered a bit on the Col-o-ring card.


In large swabs the ink turns black when very concentrated.


Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 15 seconds

Water resistance: Medium-some of the ink washed away but you might still be able to read it.

Feathering: Medium-mostly on Rhodia, but on Leuchtturm in the flex nib as well.

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: Low-mainly on Rhodia.

Other properties: Low shadingno sheen, and no shimmer

On 20 pound copy paper the ink did show some feathering, mainly in the larger nib sizes.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): PenBBS 66 Sea Blue, Birmingham Fair Wheel Blue, and Birmingham Steel Blue. 

Robert Oster Evening Sapphire, Noodler's Legal Blue, and Abraxas Blau-Schwarz. Click here to see the blue inks together.


Longer writing: 

I used a broad Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl on Tomoe River paper. The ink had a wetter flow, it almost felt thin for an ink.


Overall, the ink's consistency felt a bit thin to me. There was some bleeding and some feathering as well. Doing an ink subscription is a big undertaking, and I'm excited to see when Birmingham Pen Co comes up with in the next few months. Give it a try, you might love it.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.