A true homage to humanity's invention of putting words on paper, the ink bottle is a nostalgic, yet cost effective way to fill your fountain pen. Most fountain pens can use fountain pen-safe ink with a converter. Some luxury fountain pens are built with an internal piston-filing, lever-filling or button filling system that does not require additional parts to fill the fountain pen. Built-in filling systems exclusively use bottled ink and cannot be converted to using ink cartridges. Bottled ink has many properties that can be evaluated by the writer - like drying time, water resistance, fraud-proof properties, hue, shading, bleedthrough (seeing the ink on the back of the page) and feathering. Some inks are formulated to be more lubricating while some are drier than others. Finding the perfect fit for your pen and handwriting style can be an adventure that a fountain pen enthusiast is more than willing to take the journey on.
Pros: Bottled ink offers the largest amount of color selection to any writer. Most cost effective to refill your pen. Cons: Using bottled ink can sometimes be messy. Some inks may perform better than others for your fountain pen.
It is recommended that you use the brand ink that is manufactured for your fountain pen. However, being adventurous in exploring other brands of ink is totally encouraged. Experimentation with different brands should be noted with caution as some inks will not behave as well as others. Check with friends and do a little research online to check for opinions on the ink you are interested in.