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Pokeberry Ink


fiberdrunk
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Not really a color I would use, but looks great! The ingredients on the label include vinegar and salt? What function to they serve?

 

And of course we need to see water-resistance tests, and maybe light-fastness! Please? :thumbup:

 

The salt and vinegar are to preserve the ink and fix the color. There was another thread awhile back where someone used a fermented pokeberry recipe instead, but I found the color changed even more rapidly with that method. But it is another option.

 

I can tell you from my past tests that this is a highly fugitive, non-permanent ink. It has very little water resistance. There was significant fading after only one day in the sun, and by the third day the writing sample had disappeared all together. Ink samples I made last year that I stored in a cool, dark room have already shown some fading, despite being in the dark, though they have remained pink and have not browned yet. The letters that survive from Colonial times show that this ink browns with age. The ink doesn't store well in the bottle, either. The batches I made last year have lost some of their pinkness. So I recommend only making enough ink to last you one season, and enjoy its bright color while you can today.

 

Re: "letters that survive from Colonial times..." : There are no letters that survive from Colonial times written in pokeberry ink. Pokeberry ink was first made in late 1815 by Laurence A. Washington of Buffalo, Virginia. He experimented used 5 different formulations of the ink, and a description of his experiments was published in various newspapers in 1816. -Jenzum

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