Ink printing

The History of Ink 

Ink is something we typically take for granted today. From textbooks to religious manuscripts to fortune cookies, ink is a constant presence in our daily lives. But have you ever thought about where ink comes from and how it all began? Well, if you have, keep reading as we’re going to share the history of ink and how it evolved to become what it is today.  

Ink printing

The beginning of ink 

In 2500 BC, the ancient Egyptians and Chinese both developed ink. They created ink by using carbon particles or lamp black and used gums or glues to bind surfaces together. By 23rd century BC, the Chinese were using natural plant dyes and minerals with water as a form of ink.  

The development of India Ink 

In the 4th century BC, India ink emerged as a popular medium in China. Although invented in China, it was called India ink as the materials came from India. This form of ink was made using burnt bones, tar and pitch which were typically written with a sharp pointed needle. The earliest examples of India ink can be found on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

How ink evolved  

By the first centuries BC, papyrus scrolls became a popular writing surface in Egypt. A papyrus scroll is made from the pith of a papyrus plant. Between the 5th and 15th century AD, carbon inks and iron gall inks were commonly used. Iron gall ink is made from iron salts and tannic acids. This type of ink was standard use within Europe from the 12th to the 19th century. The 6th century AD saw the invention of the Quill pen while 953 AD marked the creation of the reservoir pen, two significant developments in the history of ink. By the 15th century, an oil-based ink was developed by Johannes Gutenberg and in 1856 AD, English chemist William Henry Perkin stumbled upon the discovery that synthetic dyes could be applied to ink.  

Four-colour print was pioneered in the 19th century AD, which simplified and expedited the colour printing process. By the 1970s, inkjet printers were developed by Canon, Epson and Hewlett-Packard. These state-of-the-art printers included four different types of ink: solvent, aqueous, UV-curable and dye sublimation inks. 

Most printers today use solid ink, which is created by melting ink sticks. At 1Print, we offer high-quality and efficient printing services. To get a quote, call us at 1300 327 471.