History of Ink

Published: 04th January 2010
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A liquid containing various pigments or dyes used for coloring a surface to produce an image, text or design is called an ink. It is used for drawing or writing with a pen, quill or brush. Thick ink like paste form is used in letter press.



History of Ink is from 4th century BC in India when it was called "masi", an admixture of several components. In Early south India the practice or writing with ink and a sharp pointed needle was very common when several Jain sutras were written with it. Many ancient cultures around the world have independently discovered and formulated inks for the purposes of drawing and writing. The history of Chinese inks can be traced from 12th century when the natural plant, mineral and animal inks were mixed with water and applied with the brushes were utilized.



The earliest Chinese inks, similar to modernĀ ink sticks, was found around 256 BC which was produced using manual labor from animal glue and soot. Indian ink used in ancient India during 4th century was called "masi" which was made of burnt bones, pitch and tar. Atramentum was used in ancient Rome. A popular recipe was created about 1600 years ago and this recipe was used for centuries. This ink was made from Iron salts mixed with tannin. It was when first put to paper it was bluish black and over the time it faded. A different recipe was adopted by medieval Europe. A new type of ink had developed in Europe in the 15th century for the use in printing press.



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