Over the last decade or so, a number of largely start-up companies have produced vast ranges of coloured inks. All things being equal, inks are usually inks. This is not the case however, and the results are showing up more frequently in repair workshops.

The majority of blocked pens arriving used to be those that had seen the use of "India" type inks which contain shellac. Today we are seeing more pens blocked with high sediment, often gummy inks, blocking feeds and collectors. They arrive with notes suggesting "pen doesn't flow" or "pen won't fill". The problems are more severe on pens with advanced collectors such as the Parker range 45, 51, 61, 65, 75.

The answer is to use inks from the traditional "PEN" manufacturers Parker (Quink not Penman), Sheaffer, Waterman, Mont Blanc and Pelikan. The alternative is regular cold water flushes, and hope that this will suffice.

Also, some of the "new" inks are known to permanently stain pens.