Ink Review #183: Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng


Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng was named after the 77th lineal descendent of Confucius, Kung Te-cheng. It is a bullet proof and eternal ink, reverse-engineered from remnants of ancient inkstones used by early Chinese royalty during the time of Confucius to re-create royal indigo ink. This ink was originally released as a 4.5 ounce eyedropper bottle, and came with a free Noodler's Charlie eyedropper fountain pen. Recently the ink was re-released in a 3 ounce bottle without the free pen. It is worth noting that this is one of Noodler's more expensive inks. I purchased my sample of ink from Vanness Pens


The color:

Kung Te-Cheng is a deep purple. In some lighting it looks more blue and sometimes more purple. I think it leans more toward purple in most circumstances.


Large ink swabs-in most cases they bleed a little bit onto the other side of the paper, but this one not only bled through the page it was on, but three other pages as well.


I promise these ink drops are dry,  but they still give the appearance of being wet. This is an ink that looks different on every paper. On Rhodia it looks a bit lighter and dusky, on Tomoe River it looks darker and more intense, so the color is really paper dependent.

Dry time: 5 seconds-really fast compared to most inks

Water resistance: High-the ink did not budge when soaked with water.

Feathering: Medium-It didn't feather at all on Tomoe River, it did in some nib sizes on Rhodia, but it feathered in every nib size on Leuchtturm. I would not recommend using this ink on Leuchtturm, just not a good mix.

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: Low-it bled in the flex nib but did well in the other nib sizes.

Other properties: No shading, no sheen, and no shimmer.

On 20 pound copy paper every nib size showed some feathering, and some bleeding in the flex nib. It looks lighter and dusky like it does on Rhodia.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Diamine Lilac Night, Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng, and Sailor Jentle Shigure. Click here to see the Noodler's inks together. I think Lilac Night is the closest, but it's not as vibrant as Kung Te-Cheng.


Longer writing:

Since I had heard some stories about this ink permanently staining some pens, I went with a cheaper pen. I used a medium Pilot Metropolitan on Tomoe River paper. The ink is very wet. 

I did have issues with nib creep in all of the pens I used this ink in. Even after two minutes of use ink crept up. The ink is very hard to clean out-I think if I left the ink in too long it would have stained them.

NoodKungTeCheng2 - 1.jpg

Overall, I think this ink has the possibility of being harmful to pens because of staining and nib creep, so I would only use it in inexpensive pens. I don't think I would leave it in a pen longer than 2 weeks either, just to be careful. This is a fast drying permanent purple, so if that's your thing give it a try, but it's not an ink I think I would ever need.

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