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Good Writing Ink

historic recipe for iron gall ink

Author / Source: Polytechnische Centralhalle. No. 1, Leipzig 04. Januar 1855, S. 31


Take 18 weight parts Oak Apples (#37400) and put them in a plastic bag or wrap them in a piece of canvas, in order to crush the apples to granule-size with a hammer. Mix this with 7 parts Gum Arabic Powder (#63330) and 7 parts Iron(II) Sulphate (#64200) in a mortar.

Put the powder into a jar and pour 96 weight parts of water (#65000) over it. This mixture will turn violet-black and get darker over time. Stir from time to time during the next 8 days.

After 8 days, filter the dark liquid to remove undissolved residue. Now the ink can be used. To extract more ink, pour another 32 parts of water over the residue and stir it up again.


  • 18  part(s) 37400 Oak Apples
  • 7  part(s) 63330 Gum Arabic Powder
  • 7  part(s) 64200 Iron (II) Sulphate
  • 128  part(s) 65000 Water

We definitely recommend tests prior to the final application, we cannot guarantee for any instructions given.