Gall apples for iron gall ink:
Make your own antique ink!
The roundish gall apple is a so-called plant gall that can develop on the underside of oak leaves, twigs and buds in the fall. The outgrowths are caused by fertilized eggs laid by the oak gall wasp (Cynips quercusfolii). These stimulate the plant tissue to grow. A gall is the protective covering for a growing wasp larva. Gall apples are needed for the production of iron gall ink, which was already known in Roman antiquity and of course later in the Middle Ages.
- Contents: 60 g dried gall apples
- Very good quality; high yield.
How the gall apple becomes ancient iron gall ink
The gall apple contains, among other things, 55 to 65 percent gall tannic acid (tannin) and gallic acid. The decoction of coarsely ground gall apples with iron salts produces deep dark compounds that are still used today as black ink, known as iron gall ink, when signing international treaties. It is considered to be particularly long-lasting.
And this is how it works: Making iron gall ink from gall apples
- The gall apples (60 g) are boiled in 500 ml of water (approx. 1/2 hour).
- Add ferrous sulphate II (can be bought as a powder at the pharmacy and should only be used under protective measures).
- Mix in gum arabic (20 g) as a binding agent. Also available in the Römershop!
Obtain a durable ink from gall apples and gum arabic
The ink now produced is initially only slightly colored. However, oxidation with atmospheric oxygen soon produces a very durable, lacquer-like ink that darkens visibly until it is almost black. This is how the ancient Romans used to make their own iron gall ink. However, it takes a little time to create a rich black ink font. But the effort and time are worth it: the ink is exceptionally durable and, as it is applied in a lacquer-like manner, it also looks very elegant.
The iron gall ink is ready: into the inkwell!
And the iron gall ink can now be filled into the antique inkwell. Take a look at the stationery in the Römershop ... you can also find the right nib and the calamus for your own ink here. And then you can start writing with your own iron gall ink. Dip the nib or writing tube into the ink, let it drip off and start writing. An impressive result!
Important warning: Only use the iron gall ink with nibs (goose feathers) or reeds (calamus)! Iron gall ink is not suitable for ink pens!
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