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Carrying fountain pens in a suit

lordofpi

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If this is not the appropriate forum for this, I apologize. I have always had a fancy for fountain pens, even back in my early teens. My father had given me a couple back then (cartridge fills), and I most certainly cherished them. In early high school, I can remember a couple of mishaps with pens leaking in my shirt pockets or my trouser pockets -- completely destroying them. While I still use fountain pens at home at my desk, I never carry them for this reason. Given that my attire is much more costly now, I still eschew the thought, but I wonder if I am not being irrational.

I really would like to start carrying them again. I suppose to do so would force them to be placed in my inside jacket pockets. I'd hate to ruin a suit just because I like a smooth writing instrument. Do any of you carry foutain pens with you, and ought I to just do it, so to speak?
 

lee_44106

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Have you considered carrying the pens inside a small leather pouch, then place inside your jacket pocket?
 

MrDaniels

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DrZRM

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Go to any good pen store and buy a pen wallet/sleeve. You can get an individual one, put I usually use a double or triple, so I can have pens with more than one ink color for taking notes. I got a nice triple from Cross on sale for $20, and I keep my Mont Blanc in a matching double case I got as a gift.

Just toss the case in your pocket, and problem solved.
 

Pelikan2

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There are safe ways to carry pens. If it's a cartridge/converter fill pen, there are a couple of things to look for and one thing to do. First, look for a pen that has a good, tight screw cap with no holes (some vintage pens had holes in them to regulate pressure inside the cap). Also look for a pen that won't leak ink when giving it a good shake (make sure to do this over paper and without anything nice one). My modern Pelikans and Watermans won't release a drop of ink even when shaken quite strongly. Many vintage pens will drip a lot, even from rather soft jostles of the pen.

Finally, put a bit of silicone grease on the threads between the barrel and section. The silicone will seal off the barrel and keep ink from seeping out of the pen should the cartridge come loose.
 

Mauby

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If you're nervous about it, I suggest keeping a fountain pen in your car's glove box and keep another in your briefcase/messenger bag. That way, there's always one nearby for you to use without fear of damaging your clothes.
 

lordofpi

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Thanks for the good advice. I wasn't aware that there were pen sleeves/pocket protectors that were slim, elegent, and made for an inner jacket pocket. I will be sure to pick up a few.

As to the likelyhood of my pens leaking, I suppose it is small. They are all fairly modern (within 20 years or so) and would not leak if I shook them. Nonetheless, I will use the silicone in the threads as an extra measure of protection.

Vox, I suppose you are quite right; it's just the thought of ruining a garment that took 6 months to obtain and cost thousands of dollars for the sake of penmanship. Well, the only thing to fear is fear itself, I suppose -- so long as I know there are added precautions in place to minimize the chance of leakage, I'll give it a whirl.


PS: I will post pics of any and all ink-soaked jackets for all of your amusement would that happen!
 

JayJay

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I carry three piston filled fountain pens in my jacket pocket daily. No mishaps thus far; however, I came close to disaster one day last week, but it was completely my fault. I put my pen in my pocket without screwing the cap tightly. When I reached for my pen later, I pulled the cap off and the pen fell down into my pocket. Fortunately, except for ink all over my fingers while trying to retrieve the pen, I didn't find any stains on my suit. It was a charcoal flannel suit so the damage may not have been noticeable.

All of my pens are modern piston filled fountains, and I haven't had any trouble with them. I even fly with mine in my pocket, including international trips with multiple transfers.
 

aldica

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I carry a fountain pen every day. I have had only one problem, when the cap came off and the barrel part of the pen dropped into the pocket while the cap was still pinned to the edge. Three suggestions I might offer: 1) only carry top quality pens, because there is less chance they will leak; 2) carry your pen on your left side, because your handkerchief pocket has an extra layer and a leak will probably not soak to the outside of your suit jacket (especially if you are sporting a handkerchief); and, 3) carry pens with a screw on cap, rather than a click on one, to minimize the chances of it separating as mine did. One other suggestion, ALWAYS take your pen out of your jacket when flying. The pressure of an airplane will mean more chance of leakage.

Hope it helps.

Lee
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by aldica
One other suggestion, ALWAYS take your pen out of your jacket when flying. The pressure of an airplane will mean more chance of leakage.

Lee


Good advice however, I do fly with my fountain pens in my pocket. For a long time I wouldn't because of advice I'd gotten from others, but my pens haven't caused any problems over several domestic and international flights. A week ago I traveled to Europe and Africa with my pens fully inked and stored in my jacket pocket. Fortunately, no problems. They are modern Pelikan piston-filled fountain pens.
 

huy

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I have kept fps in my pocket and in my suit without any problem whatsoever.
 

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