Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Chinese ink

An INK of considerable antiquity, made from lampblack or soot obtained by burning vegetable oils, such as sesame or wood (tung oil). The quality of the oil is of major importance in this type of ink. The collected soot is sifted; heated along with white, transparent oxhide, or fish glue; and pounded in a mortar until it is soft and pliable and can be molded into sticks. This type of ink, having a base of carbon, is very stable when properly prepared, and, not having acidity, has no harmful effects on paper; however, it is easily affected by water. (130 , 143 )

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