Oak Gallnuts


Quercus Infectoria. Aleppo white gallnuts.
High gallo-tannic content.
Natural dye for producing black and grey colours.
Makes traditional Iron Gall drawing ink when admixed with Ferrous Sulphate.

Excellent source of tannin for use in natural dyeing with the use of mordants.
Does not impart a strong colour to the fabric by itself. Oak gallnut helps you to create very sharp shades of any colour by assisting a mordant to bind to cellulose fibres.

Production method:
Gallnuts are collected from oak forests in summer. The gallnuts are made by a type of wasp, and act as protection for the wasp larvae until they hatch. White Gallnuts are harvested after the wasps have left the galls.
After picking, the gallnuts are dried for at least two months before packaging


Product code: 4146

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Oak Gall Ink recipes
Palatinos’ Ink Recipe (1540)
Soak 1 oz Oak Galls crushed in 15/8 pints of rainwater. Leave in the sun for 2 days.
Add 2 oz of copperas (iron sufate), finely crushed, stir with wooden stick. Leave in the sun for 2 days.
Add 1 oz gum arabic and leave for one day in the sun.
The mixture should be carefully strained, bottled and left for sediment to settle out, then re-bottle.
(Preservative should be added to prevent bacterial spoilage.)


Dr. Ainsworth Mitchells’ Ink Recipe (1904)
Dissolve 1 oz of tannin in 11/2 pint of warm water.
Dissolve 1 oz of copperas (iron sufate) in 11/2 pints of water.
Mix together and add 1/2 oz of gum arabic and four drops of preservative.
Expose to air and sun for darkening and stir frequently. Keep in an earthenware vessel,
covered with muslin and stir every day for a week.
After darkening add 1 in 1000 parts of hydrochloric acid. Let the ink settle for a week then decant.


Modern Oak Gall Ink Recipe
3 parts ground oak galls (start with about 50gm oak galls)
2 parts ferrous sulfate
1 part powdered gum arabic
12 parts water
(Preservative should be added to prevent bacterial spoilage.)

Bring to boil 12 parts water. Add 3 parts ground oak galls. After 15 minutes, add the ferrous sulphate. Strain through a filter.
Separately, add a small portion of the liquid to the gum arabic. Make sure the gum arabic dissolves completely. Add preservative.
Add this to remaining liquid. Place in a bottle for storage until used