Understanding the lightfast, permanence and archival quality of inks

quality of inks
Drawing inks are made from dyes and are very bright and transparent but most of them fade over time. They are not lightfast (the lightfastness of a colour is how permanent it is or how unaffected by light it is). There are two exceptions however, Liquid Indian Ink and Black Indian Drawing Inks which, although not officially classified, are archival which means they are permanent.

Liquid Indian Ink is the more traditional ink produced from Chinese Ink sticks of Lamp Black but is non-waterproof. Black Indian Ink is based on shellac and is water resistant which means you can apply paint washes over it.

By comparison most of the Professional Water Colours are classed as permanent but they do not give the same type of brightness.  Artists usually choose drawing inks rated T for transparency on the drawing inks colour chart, to achieve high levels of brilliance and transparency. Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Inks, on the other hand, are pigmented so also offer greater permanence.
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