Favourite calligraphy supplies and where to buy them

I love trying new calligraphy materials, but there are several staple items in my kit.

So I thought I’d share some of my favourite supplies and suppliers, particularly for those who want to explore further after attending a workshop.



website workshop suppliesMy workshop staple is a beginner’s pen set from Manuscript Pen Company Ltd.

It’s a cartridge pen with three nib sizes, so it’s great for people trying calligraphy for the first time who might be daunted by a dip pen and ink!

My other go-to cartridge pens are the Pilot Parallel Pen, Lamy Joy and Sheaffer Viewpoint.


Dip pens and nibs

dip pen suppliesAgain, straight holders and Leonardt round-hand nibs from Manuscript Pen Company Ltd are my go-to for traditional, broad-edged scripts. I also have some steel Mitchell nibs that were gifted to me, which are hard to come by.

For pointed nibs for copperplate and modern calligraphy styles, I use Nikko G, which are quite firm, and an oblique holder. I have a rather special one from English Pen Crafts, but Speedball’s plastic oblique holder is my workshop staple.

I’ve just started using Manuscript’s Modern Calligraphy set in workshops too, which has been curated by Artsynibs and has three nibs to try, as well as a straight holder, bottle of ink and instruction sheet.



finetec suppliesHiggins Eternal is my must-have black ink.

For colour, I love writing with gouache and have found Winsor and Newton’s Designers Gouache is the most reliable.

For metallics, you can’t beat the Finetec palette.  I’ve also been impressed by Diamine inks.



brush pen lettering 2 suppliesOrdinary printer paper is great for practice, but it needs to be a decent weight. Anything less than 90gsm will lead to ink bleeding into the fibres!

I discovered Navigator Office Paper Solutions Colour Documents 120gsm recently and it’s really good quality and excellent value for money.

I love my Rhodia pads for practice and demonstrating, but when it comes to formal commissions, I tend to go for a watercolour paper or good quality cartridge paper.

I’m desperate for someone to ask me to write on some Khadi handmade paper!


Other tools


Calligraphy involves a lot of ruling up, so a soft pencil is a must. The easier it is to erase the better! I’ve grown quite attached to my Blackwing Pearl.


A 30cm ruler – and possibly a set square – is also a must-have piece of kit. The Manuscript Pen Company calligraphy ruler comes in very handy for measuring guidelines and has proven popular at my workshops. 


Staedtler rasoplast – every time!

Washi tape

Pretty and useful for holding paper in place


Perfect for speeding up the writing process, as guidelines and layouts can be placed underneath the paper you are working on.



Manuscript Pen Company – https://www.calligraphy.co.uk/

Blots – http://www.blotspens.co.uk/

Scribblers – https://www.scribblers.co.uk/

Penman Direct – https://www.penmandirect.co.uk/

Cult Pens – https://www.cultpens.com/

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