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Make Ink from Foraged Material

 
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Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2217
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 21 3:38 pm    Post subject: Make Ink from Foraged Material Reply with quote
    

In another forum I asked Mistress Rose about making tiny amounts of charcoal in an Altoid tin. She and dpack thought it was doable.

Continuing on with ink from foraged materials (online New York Botanical Garden class last Saturday, second session next Saturday) I am now searching for white vinegar used for cleaning.

To clarify - regular vinegar used for pickling is 5% acetic acid. Cleaning vinegar is 6%, which makes it 20% stronger. I have seen it in stores but of course when I had no interest in getting it. Now that I want it, equally of course - I cannot find it.

Yesterday at the local hardware store I did find gallon jugs of white vinegar for killing weeds. Ready for this? It is 30% acetic acid! (And cost $35 / gallon.) I opted not to buy. Probably need breathing mask, goggles, and nitrile gloves to stay safe while using the stuff.

The search continues.

But I did find, online, a quart of 99% isopropyl alcohol for extracting colour from turmeric and other botanicals. At a semi-reasonable price. I will be making ink in 8 ounce or small quantities so didn't see any reason to purchase a 2-pack even though the price difference made it tempting.

Stay tuned for future developments.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42142
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 21 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I'll be interested to hear how you get on.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 40930
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 21 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

30% acetic does deserve decent ppe, not very horrid but a bit of training would be best, do you know any chemists?
it is an easy way to make the concentration that is required

5% or 6% just give a bit more time or warm it up a little, it will probably work
chemistry can be quite rough if the basic recipes and conditions are respected within quite broad limits
it might not be best, but it might work

isopropyl is flammable but not very toxic, it still needs caution, treat it like rubbing alcohol if i got the correct local name, not quite as burny, but it will have a go if it can

re dye plants, some are toxic, some might cause "reaction"issues, most are ok even if they smell horrible while preparing them

you might go a few odd colours when you are playing

harmless stuff + good gloves = not explaining why you look like a pict or a former president's face

some of the mordants and lake chemicals are a bit nasty

read up on the health and safety stuff, dyes are fun if played with safely

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2217
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 21 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

The inks I intend to start off with are

turmeric with isopropyl alcohol (I have a large jar of the powdered, and local small supermarket has roots. Might try both to see what difference, if any.)

red cabbage with salt and vinegar (5% or 6% vinegar depending on if I give up on finding cleaning vinegar)

red beets with ? (there are options)

black walnut hulls (once they start to drop off trees) with water

and

pokeweed berries (which apparently need no carrier fluid, juicy enough on their own)

I'm also looking for alum, which presenter said could be found with canning supplies. Knock on effect of covid-19, canning jars are an empty shelf item and while I could find fruit fresh and calcium chloride I could not find alum = potassium aluminum sulfate. Online is absurdly expensive and/or insanely large quantity - one pound? Let's get real. Will check spice aisle.

It is clear that good note keeping: ingredients, carrier, additives, quantities, heating, timing - will be critical if possibility of replicating results is to be achieved.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 40930
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 21 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

cheap "mineral" deodorant might well be a convenient 5% alum solution

i have never bought it apart from lab grade which was not very expensive

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 21 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

For reference, iso propyl alcohol is also known as propan-2-ol, IPA, or could even be something else these days. As Dpack says, it is inflammable, so go careful on that front, but not too toxic. Still use outside or in well ventilated area.

I wouldn't think 5 or 6% acetic acid would make much difference. Red cabbage will also make a blue dye in an alkaline solution; it is used as an indicator (to show acid or alkali). I actually saw Mrs. Thatcher our former PM demonstrate it in her kitchen at Downing Street on TV.

Red beets may start with a red dye but could turn gold with time. Not a bad colour though.

Black walnuts will make a good dark brown or black. If you either use an old iron pot, or add a tiny bit of ferrous sulphate or some other iron compound, even a bit of rusty iron, it will be blacker.

Try a chemists (drug store?) for alum. You may be able to get some there in small quantities as it has some medicinal uses. In the UK I can buy it there, but sometimes have to order it.

Never use cooking utensils when doing dyeing. Some of the chemicals you use or the materials you use may be toxic, so also wear rubber gloves, which also keep your hands the right colour, work outside or in a well ventilated area, and wear glasses or goggles in case of splashes. Best to wear old clothes or a thick apron too. I don't think anything you are using is particularly nasty, but know nothing about pokeweed. You may already know all this, but putting it in for reference for anyone that doesn't.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 40930
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 21 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

if Fe++ is good with black walnuts it probably means that the ink is a ferrous tannate organics mix, much like oak gall inks
classic, but with walnuts as available
oak galls come in several sorts, some have more tannins than others, you might give them a go if you have any available
from tanning skins they have the highest tannin levels just after the wasp bites out of the gall

i gave sally my books on natural dyestuffs, she was quite an expert before she got them, might be worth a chat with her re practical stuff such as, boil it at the end of the garden as it stinks or nice colour but permanent on skin, nasty mordant mix etc

indigo is the only natural dye i have played with properly, well matured "strong"urine is the base for the lake
the artificial version(different chemistry) uses bisulphite and sulphuric in the lake iirc
both need good ventilation, a stiff breeze away from people is popular


iirc, woad is similar to natural indigo for dye lake

alum is useful for preparing the fibres, it does increase uptake and permanence

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2217
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 21 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

First attempt at making ink:

Small batch to start.

Coarsely chopped 3 outer leaves of red cabbage.
Tossed with 1 teaspoon salt.
Put in suitable size small jar with cap.
Covered with white vinegar.
Capped loosely, put in microwave for 30 seconds to warm slightly.
Tightened cap, inverted several times, set on counter.

Liquid already showing colour.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 40930
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 21 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

im not sure how fugitive red cabbage extract is as ink, i suspect it may change on the paper fairly quickly

permanent reds were usually mineral based, carmine is the most durable of the "organic" ones

iirc there are flower petals of various colours that have been used, again the pigments are fugitive

fugitive might not be an issue, it often is.

ps i have paid daft money for very small amounts of permanent mineral pigments, bargain they work unlike many of the chemical factory ones.

how long it lasts should be a consideration for art work, faded clothes have extra charm for fading

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 7377
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 21 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Remember not to use aluminium vessels..steel or unchipped enamel 🙂

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 21 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Madder Rubia tinctorum is the standard red dye. Apparently it is best using hard water (water containing calcium salts), which never bothered us as ours is hard. For reds, keep the temperature of the dye bath below 60 C, or the colour goes brownish. In the UK we use bedstraw roots as an alternative, but they have to be the deep, red coloured ones. Bedstraws are [/i]Gallium species.

I have dyed with woad, and you will be relieved to hear that cloudy ammonia can be used as an alternative, although that still stinks. Our Queen Elizabeth I refused to go to any town where they were dyeing with woad because the the stench. Another bit of useless information from my vast store.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 40930
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 21 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

"STRONG" urine has a fair bit of ammonia and uric compounds when matured.

both deserve a stiff breeze rather than indoor use, fine art textile folk can be a bit edgy in a Georgian building

at i least i steeped my fibres if i needed to decay away the pulp in buckets outside when paper making

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 21 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    


Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2217
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 21 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Saturday's class was very good. Interesting to hear what everyone had made in the way of ink, and what they had done with it.

https://bellewood-gardens.com/2021/Ingredients%20for%20Making%20Ink_2021-08.html

Now to write the review of Jason's book for my website.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 21 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Interesting. I have used natural dyes, but for wool, not to make ink. I did mention about the change in colour with pH for red cabbage.

Turmeric is a good dye for yellow/ orange. Onion skins are pretty good with alum too. You need the dry outside part. Stew up with just enough water to cover using alum as mordant, and you should get yellow through orange.

Iron, in the form of rust, is very good to darken things like walnut husks or oak galls. If you are using it on wool, it does make the wool brittle, so go easy on the iron.

Blackberries tend to go to a grey colour very quickly, and red beet to gold.

The book looks interesting.

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