India ink (or Indian ink in British English) is a simple black ink once widely used for writing and printing and now more commonly used for drawing, especially when inking comic books and comic strips. India ink is also used in medical applications.
The process of making India ink was known in China as early as the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, during Neolithic China. India ink was first invented in China, although the source of materials to make the carbon pigment in India ink was later often traded from India, thus the term India ink was coined. The traditional Chinese method of making the ink was to grind a mixture of hide glue, carbon black, lampblack, and bone black pigment with a pestle and mortar, then pouring it into a ceramic dish where it could dry. To use the dry mixture, a wet brush would be applied until it reliquified. The manufacture of India ink was well-established by the Cao Wei Dynasty (220?265 AD). Historically the ink used in China were in the form of ink sticks made of lampblack and animal glue.


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