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About This Product

India ink is one of the most important materials in the artist's studio. It's a waterproof, lightfast ink traditionally made with carbon black and a natural shellac resin binder. Used for centuries by professional illustrators, painters, and cartoonists, it's a bulletproof black ink that's ideal for all kinds of dip pens and brushes.

Oddly, however, it's not that easy to find real india ink anymore. Most permanent black inks today are made with acrylic binder, which lacks the clarity and ultra-matte finish of shellac-based black ink. This is because acrylic resin is cheaper and more readily available than shellac, which is only found on trees in India and Thailand. (It's produced by the lac bug, native to South Asia, which deposits it on the trees.)

For those who want the best, darkest, most durable black ink, Schmincke has re-introduced its india ink, originally listed in Schmincke's 1912 catalog. The new Indian Ink 1912 is much like the version used over a century ago, with a very simple formula and a glass dropper bottle.

We love the black-hole darkness of this ink, its high viscosity (which is perfect for coating a dip pen nib), and its lovely shellac aroma. The shellac preparation used in india ink is water-based, so you can dilute Schmincke Indian Ink 1912 with water for neutral grey tones.

Available in two sizes: 28 mL glass bottle with leak-resistant dropper cap or 250 mL plastic bottle with nozzle cap. Made in Germany.