GALL NUT (Cynips): Galls are tannin-laden plant protuberances created by an insect that drills into any woody growth to lay her eggs. The plant defends itself by extruding a tannin-rich ‘nut’ or gall around the insect eggs. Oak galls are large and pithy; ‘Aleppo’ galls are small, hard, nut-like rounds totally unlike oak galls.
Used since ancient times for dye, pigment, and ink. Galls are used as a tannin mordant. As a dye, the colors are great to overdye for richer tones, especially with the extract. Dip gall-dyed fiber in iron mordant for a stunning warm pewter gray. Gall nuts were also extracted to make a black ink and as a colorant and mordant for medieval illumination pigments. 1 ounce of whole Aleppo gall nuts is usually 5 to 6 nuts. [India]
Amount: Whole nuts, approx 1oz
Alum mordant: golden-tan
Copper mordant: pale grayed-tan
Iron: dark gray
Tin mordant: light brown