The Foragers: How to make medieval ink from Oak Galls

By woodlandstv

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Here the foragers show you how to make medieval ink using foraged Oak Galls. This simple recipe uses only Oak Galls, Iron Sulphate and water, so everyone can become a medieval writer.

A film by The Foragers

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Very nice video. Thanks for taking the time to make this.

Take It Outside

May 16, 2018

I'd love to see what other items can be used to make ink or dyes. 🙂 Great video


May 16, 2018

That was cool! Now to find out if we have oak gall wasps in Australia.

Brumby Bailey

May 17, 2018

There are many kinds of oak galls, as there are many varieties of gall wasps and they have sometimes two sexual cycles (each one creates a different gall), only one type is called "apple" gall and there are also currant galls, marble galls, knopper galls, artichoke galls, silk button galls… The recommended galls for ink making were Aleppo galls, traditionally brought from Turkey (due to them having a higher level of tannin), but in the UK we can use marble galls. Iron gall ink is the most durable and resistant ink, but it's a nightmare for conservators, due to it's acid content and many historical documents have suffered the corrosion.


June 8, 2018

There are lots of oak trees on the farm where I grew up. In over 60 years, I only remember one tree ever having galls. Now that I know what they are I'll pay better attention. There might be more. Thanks for the video.

Oldold Pilgrim

October 2, 2018

what a shame this episode is introduced by a couple of blokes who appear to not take the subject seriously. Horrible attitude and affected presentation.


May 27, 2019

I discovered this same property when I cleaned some carbon steel knives in a solution of very strong tea. Tannic acid is present in both tea and in oak trees! My knives, whilst clean and rust free were now completely black, although fortunately it did come off with some fresh water and a rag!

Adam Smith

January 7, 2020

I thank you for the knowledge you've shared


April 4, 2020

They also needed to add a binding agent or something to thicken the ink.


April 4, 2020

Correct, check out clau's comment, it contains more in depth and accurate information than shared in the video.


April 4, 2020