Care of Your pen
Your Conway Stewart writing instrument should give you a high quality writing experience for many years. We have detailed below some hints that will help you keep your Conway Stewart in excellent condition. If you have any questions which aren't covered please call or email our customer service team for assistance.
IMPORTANT: If you have purchased a pen made from casein please ensure you read the special care section for this material before using your pen.
Your fountain pen nib
The nib of a fountain pen imparts the quality of the writing experience and over time takes on the personality of its user's handwriting. All Conway Stewart fountain pens are fitted with very high quality 18ct gold nibs with an Iridium tip. This tip protects the nib and governs the width of the pen stroke.
Conway Stewart fountain pens are available in a wide range of nib sizes. In standard nibs we offer Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad & Double Broad and in Italic nibs - Fine, Medium, Broad.
The choice of nib is a very personal one but as a general guide - smaller, lighter and precise handwriting would err towards a finer nib and larger, more generous and flamboyant handwriting towards a broader nib. Most users decide that a medium nib offers the best of both worlds.
We ensure that our nibs are carefully fitted, aligned and polished during assembly of your pen to ensure a very high quality mark during use.
It is good practice to place the cap onto a fountain pen in the upright position. If you drop the pen downwards into the cap ink spots can be deposited from the nib onto the interior surfaces of the cap.
Holding your fountain pen
This again is a very personal thing and should simply be at a comfortable angle for your writing style. Ideally the nib should receive even pressure on each half to avoid the risk if splitting the nib. Over a short period of time the malleable properties of the nib will allow it to contour to your writing style.
As the nib will be personalised by your handwriting it is best used only by one person. If you wish to gift your pen to someone we recommend you have a new nib fitted.
General Care and Attention
We take great pleasure in producing our pens and are proud of the quality of craftsmanship used in their fabrication. In ensuring the maintenance of your pens appearance and performance by following the simple tips below your pen should give you generations of superb service.
Carrying your pen
When carrying your pen do so in an upright position to avoid ink leaking from the nib. This is relatively straightforward in jacket pockets and briefcases but attention needs to be paid to the pens position in purses and handbags. The nib should be pointing up - this will help ink flow back into the reservoir and reduce drying and clogging of ink residues at the nib.
When travelling by air your fountain pen should be fully filled or alternatively emptied and flushed clean before travel. If the pen reservoir is only partly filled the air in it may expand or contract resulting in ink seepage. Always keep a filled pen upright when travelling by air.
We recommend cleaning fountain pens three to four times a year. Simply flush out the filler mechanism, nib and feeder system with cold water until the liquid runs clear and dry gently. Holding a lint free cloth against the nib slit will help draw excess water out of the feeder system. Do not use detergents, solvents or hot water as this may damage the mechanism or finish. Do not put the whole pen under water as this will damage some filler mechanisms.
Flushing and cleaning the system in this manner should be done each time you change ink colour.
Ink soiling the interior of caps can be cleaned with a piece of damp paper tissue rolled around the inside of the cap. Alternatively a damp cotton bud may be used.
The exterior finishes may be cleaned by wiping with a lightly dampened cloth and then polished with a soft dry cloth. See separate notes for casein pen finishes. Silver may be cleaned using a specialist silver polishing cloth but attention should be paid to cleaning of any polishing residues fully.
We recommend Conway Stewart inks to be used in our pens and supplies can be ordered off our website. If other inks are being used we recommend that you buy a quality ink to ensure a quality writing experience. We recommend the use of ink that is less than a year old as residues may become a problem with inks that have been stored for lengthy period.
Special Care and attention of pens and pencils made from Casein
Casein is a protein derived from milk which following a 6-9 month pressure and curing process results in a beautiful, hard, lustrous material. This material was used extensively in pen making prior to the advent of modern resins and has been re-introduced by Conway Stewart on a range of models. Casein is a natural material and as a result has some properties that must be carefully handled. Firstly casein is water soluble - it can be wiped clean with a slightly damp cloth but if left submerged for any time it will begin to dissolve. Secondly the material contains pores which can swell and shrink when subjected to changes in heat and humidity. This can affect the fittings of the bands and so is best avoided in areas of extremes of temperature or humidity.