Blots Iron Gall Ink

Item Code: I54
Out of Stock


I54. Blots Iron Gall Ink. 1oz wide-mouth glass Jar. From the UK.

September 2022: Currently out of stock.

Iron Gall Ink is quite thin, slightly gritty but flows well and produces exquisitely fine hairlines It appears grey at first but darkens to a velvety blue black on exposure to light and air. It is a favorite of pointed pen scribes for Spencerian Script, Copperplate Script and Modern Calligraphy.

In the medieval recipes there are only two methods of preparing ink; mixing gum with carbon or treating salts of iron with tannic acid. Iron Gall Ink was probably invented in the first centuries of our era. However, the earliest existing document written with iron ink is an Egyptian parchment of the seventh century. From then the use of iron inks spread to Europe. Blot's Iron Gall Ink is carefully prepared with reference to Palatino's recipe of AD1540 and is a rare opportunity to experience this medieval ink.

"Blots is the most traditional and oldest formula for Iron Gall ink still being made commercially, albeit the most acidic. It's derived from the medieval Palatino formula of 1540. The viscosity is perfect. If you want to pull the hairlines and shades of the Old-Timers, Blots is the way to go, in my experience." - Nick D'Aquanno

Q and A



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Not my first preference
May 7, 2013  |  By Itsy Kliman
I tried Blots Iron Gall Ink with various papers and many different nibs, but prefer the results I get with McCaffrey's Penman Ink (which I have used for years).

Interesting ink
Jun 25, 2013  |  By Robert hawkes
You have to be willing to roll the dice a bit with this ink. It does transform after drying. It darkens some but has some beautiful wash grays. My wife said she liked my drawings with this ink over others. Worth the experience for sure.

My favorite!
Apr 14, 2014  |  By Doug Brownell
I've used all three iron gall inks (McCaffrey's, Old World, Blot's), and Blot's is my favorite. As it ages and the water base evaporates, it thickens and darkens. I have a bottle that's 4 years old, and the ink writes *beautifully* -- writes smooth, black, yet still retaining the thinnest thins.I add a few drops of distilled water every once in a while and it just keeps going.

I need more
Jan 7, 2015  |  By Wendy
I absolutely love this ink. I can't stop writing and drawing with it, I wish they sold it in larger bottles as well...

Ideal ink for Copperplate Script
Nov 9, 2021  |  By Joe
From my experience, Blots Iron Gall Ink is ideally formulated for the modern Copperplate style scripts.

Good stuff, mysterious
Jul 4, 2022  |  By Frances Stroscio
Not being a chemist, I have no clue about this: I love the ink. It is WEIRD though! When you write, it appears GRAY on the paper. It quickly turns black - but it is unnerving until you get used to this. I hypothesize that the answer to the mystery is that the ink reacts to air exposure? It also tends to rust nibs but if you rinse them off and dry them that ought to help.