A remarkable agreement between Weber's linear analysis and experiment makes it possible to determine the dynamic surface tension of viscous liquids from the growth rate of axisymmetric disturbances on excited capillary jets. The method is very accurate and can be used to determine the surface tension at as short as 10-4 sec surface age. Aqueous glycerol solution and inks developed for inkjet printing were used as test liquids in the experiments. While a dye base ink showed time-dependent surface tension, the surface tension of inks which were colloid suspensions of small pigment particles and contained surfactant micelles equalled their equilibrium value at 10-4 sec surface age. In the tentative explanation of this phenomenon, the dynamic equilibrium between surfactant molecules in solution and in micelles was substituted for long-range surfactant transport by diffusion. A result of this assumption is that surface tension in nonequilibrium states depends only on the composition of the surface layer. © 1978.