Introduction to Quill Pens

Introduction to Quill Pens

This article is an introduction to quill pens. It mentions where to buy quill pens, how to write with a quill pen, and how to care for your quill pen. Let’s dive in!

Quill pens are also known as feather pens. They are called quill pens or feather pens for obvious reasons, in which the feather or quill of a bird is used to write when dipped in ink. The feather can be from a goose or any other fowl of your choosing. These pens were used before the fountain pen and ballpoint pen, which are more commonly used today. An interesting fact about the quill pen is that it is said that part of the Dead Sea Scrolls, written in 2nd century B.C. with a quill pen. Pretty interesting, huh?

On the other hand, the quill or feather on the pen is the symbol of communication. Over 3,000 years ago birds sent messages from person to person could be a connection to the quill symbolizing communication. Interested in learning more about the quill pen? Read Facts and History of the Quill Pen. There is much more to learn!

vibrant feathered quill pen
Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

Quill Pens and Today

Are quill pens made anymore? This is a valid question, especially when the idea of dipping your pen in order to write seems like such an unnecessary step! Plus, we have ballpoint pens for that very reason! Despite how illogical it sounds, the answer is yes, they are still made and sold! Of course, writing with a quill pen isn’t the most common or popular way to write today, however, dip pens, which are popular today, are a type of feather pen minus the feather. Dip pens are similar to the quill pen due to the act of having to dip the pen in ink in order to transfer ink to the paper.

Where to Buy a Quill Pen

Quill Pens are easily bought online or in stores. If you’re out and about, Michael’s, the craft store sells them. If you’re looking to get a quill pen online here is a great one. It even includes ink! If you find quill pens interesting and are feeling crafty, did you know you can make your own quill pen? Check How to Make a Quill Pen. It can be a fun and easy project!

large feathered quill pen
Image by dOn niE from Pixabay

How to Write with a Quill Pen

Being interested in quill pens might spark the question of how to use one. After all, they are so different from the pens we use today. We no longer have to worry about the ink in a bottle when it is kept inside the pen. Here are a couple of tips!

1. Like a regular pen

Relax. No need to over think it. Hold it like a regular pen or pencil and begin writing like you normally would. Allowing yourself to relax will cause the ink to smoothly write on the paper. Not relaxing and tensing up will cause you to put more pressure on the pen and will scratch up your paper, resulting in no ink!

2. Dip nib in the ink

The type of ink you use doesn’t really matter. Many recommend ink such as Indian ink or calligraphy ink because they are thicker and are easier to handle.

3. Write at an angle

Writing at an angle will help you be able to write better, enabling the ink to flow with ease. This tip goes hand in hand with relaxing. Angling your hand will help your hand to relax. So loosen up!

4. Rinse nib in water

Many quill pens have some sort of metal nib. If this is the case, make sure to rinse the nib in water once you finish using it. You don’t want the ink to dry up inside the nib making it hard to remove later on.

What Kind of Ink to Use with a Quill Pen?

You’re probably wondering what type of ink to use with a quill pen. The truth is that it doesn’t matter what kind of ink you use. You can use fountain pen ink or calligraphy ink, although, fountain pen ink might be harder to handle because of the high water content whereas calligraphy ink is thicker. Which type of ink do you prefer to use with your quill pen?

While researching I was able to find the ingredients for how to make quill pen dipping ink with most of the products found around the house – like raspberries! Here is the link if you’re interested in trying it out.

How to Care for a Quill Pen

Now that you know where to get a quill pen and how to use it, you’ll need to know how to care for it. Like any other unique pen, you will need to know how to care for it to get the best use out of it.

1. Make sure to rinse pen after use

May seem redundant, but as mentioned before in the section of how to write with a quill pen, make sure to rinse the end of your pen after you are done using it. You’ll thank yourself later for never skipping this step!

2. Let nib dry

Allowing your nib to dry can help mildew from building inside the nib. Trying air drying it or using a towel of some sort.

3. Do not store pen lying in ink

The suggestion of not storing your pen in an ink bottle might seem like common sense but the truth is that there are some who prefer to let it sit in ink. While letting it sit in the ink bottle might be convenient, it isn’t the best way to keep your quill pen in the best shape. The ink over time will damage the nib and feather.

4. Use a Pen holder.

Does your quill pen have a metal nib? Use a pen holder, this will make sure that the quill doesn’t get damaged. Storing a quill pen lying down could harm the delicate feathers.

How do you care for your feather pen? Let us know!

Quill pens with different color feathers
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


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