Dating back to Neolithic China, India ink is a deep-black ink made from carbon sources, such as soot, mixed with water. Additives change the durability and consistency of the product, so some manufacturers add glue or shellac to the formula.
Although India ink is most often sold in bottles with stoppers as seals, some solid varieties exist that require the user to add water to liquefy the product.
India ink application requires a special metal-tipped pen. The pen creates a small reservoir of ink that requires precise penmanship to create the intended effect. When the reservoir runs dry, the user then repeats the dipping process.
Invented in 2697 BC by Tien-Lcheu, India ink is one of the longest-lasting inking mediums in history.