Take two ounces of the best and most perfect nut-galls, and bruise them to pieces with a hammer. Put them into a large mug, with half an ounce of copperas, and a quarter of an ounce of powdered gum-arabic. Pour on a pint of boiling water. Cover the vessel, and let it stand in a warm place for a week; frequently stirring the contents with a stick. Afterwards leave it one day undisturbed; and then pour off the liquid through a funnel into a bottle; in the bottom of which you have put half a dozen cloves or a spoonful of brandy, either of which will prevent the ink from moulding. Keep the bottle closely corked.

How To Use Durable Ink

It is an error (rectified by experience) to wash as soon as possible articles that have been marked with durable ink. On the contrary, they should be kept without washing for at least a week. If washed too soon, the soap and water will disturb the ink before it is thoroughly dried in, causing the letters to spread and look rough. Also, it will not be so good a black. Every time, before using it, set the little bottle with the marking liquid in the sun, or before a bright fire; and then stir it up from the bottom. This will increase its blackness. After putting the wash or gum-liquid on the place to be marked, dry it by the fire or in the hot sun, and then iron it smoothly. Do not write the name till next day, and then, as above mentioned, set the marking ink in the sun, and stir it up from the bottom. When the name is written, dry it as soon as possible, and then iron it again.

Durable ink may be extracted by wetting the writing with hot water, and then rubbing on a little sal-ammonia.

After making durable ink, set the marking liquid or lunar caustic preparation for three or four days in the hot sun; otherwise it will not become black.

Sumach Ink

The milk or gum that exudes from the sumach is a good substitute for durable ink. Break off the stalks that support the leaves. Squeeze them into a cup, and write with the liquid. Expose it to the sun and it will become a fine black.

Very Fine Ink

Into a large jar or pitcher put half a pound of the best Aleppo galls, broken up with a hammer or flat-iron; but not pounded. Pour on two quarts of soft water, nearly of boiling heat. Cover the vessel; and let it stand on a warm hearth or in the hot sun for a fortnight; stirring it to the bottom twice a day, with a stick. At the end of the fortnight, add two ounces of green copperas; two ounces of logwood chips; two ounces of gum-arabic; half an ounce of alum; and half an ounce of sugar-candy. Let the whole remain in a moderate heat a fortnight longer; stirring it twice a day. Keep the mouth of the vessel covered with paper only, tied down over it. On the last day, do not stir it, but pour the ink through a strainer into another vessel, and then with a funnel transfer it to bottles. Pour a small tea-spoonful or more of brandy into the top of each bottle, if small. To a pint bottle there should be a table-spoonfui of brandy. This will preserve the ink from moulding. Cork the bottles well, and seal the corks. Keep them in a place of temperate heat.

In buying Aleppo galls get those that are dark coloured, heavy, and free from holes.

Good Ink

Bruise two ounces of Aleppo galls; put them into a pitcher with half an ounce of copperas, and a quarter of an ounce of gum arable. Pour on a pint of soft water at boiling heat. Cover it, and let it stand a week; stirring it several times a day, except on the last day. Then pour it through a funnel into a bottle that has half a dozen cloves in it. In pouring, see that you do not disturb the sediment at the bottom of the pitcher. Cork the bottle tightly.