INTRODUCTION Tea is created by using the leaves of a plant known as Camellis sinensis. This plant is a native to China, South Asia and Southeast Asia but is now found all over the world. Tea-drinking can be traced back to the 10th century BC in China before it was spread to Korea and Japan.
But in1903, the creation of the first teabags were recorded. It was then in 1904that these were shipped around the worldand they are infact still used until now.They are not only cheaper, but also theyare easier to find and to use in makingtea. The reason for their more affordableprice compared to loose tea leaves isbacause most companies use fannings orthe left-overs of larger tea leaves afterthey are gathered to be sold.
Basically, this drink is made bybrewing tea leaves to create anextract. Due to the chlorophylls andother pigments in the leaves, theextract commonly appears with abrown color.Inwww.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/7H.html, it was mentioned that theaflavinis the reddish-brown pigment found intea. It is an example of a flavonoidwhich acts to create color.
This research is being done to find out the potency of theextract of the leaves from the the plant Camellis sinensisas an ink. Nowadays, ink is a pigment in a liquid or pasteform used as colorants and dyes. Also, they arebecoming more and more expensive because of theirincreasing purposes. Our research aims to produce thisink as a cheaper alternative to those commercial ones.Compared to the ink we are aiming to create,commercially produced inks are toxic and can behazardous to a persons health once there isinappropriate contact with it. To match with the color andconsistency of other inks, we will be adding othersubstances, specifically vinegar and cornstarch, whichare common and easy to find.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Generally, this investigatory project aims to find out if tea bags can be used to create an ink. Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions: a. Can vinegar strengthen the color of the product, ink? b. Can cornstarch contribute to achieving the right consistency of the ink? c. Are the processes boiling and straining efficient in taking the extract out of the tea bags?
HYPOTHESES Extracts taken from tea bags have the potential to be made into an ink. If vinegar and cornstarch are added to the mixture, then the product would have a stronger color and a thicker consistency than that with none.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THESTUDY This investigatory project will benefit us by producing an alternative for other inks. These other manufactured inks nowadays come quite expensive prices, but since the materials to be used in our project are common and easy to find, you will be spending less money. Also, no harmful chemicals will be used in making our ink. Therefore, it is non-toxic compared to commercially sold inks which have the tendencies of causing harm to ones health and to the environment.
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS Our research and experiments are only limited to making a simple ink as a colorant. It does not include inks that are used in machines such as printers, copiers, etc. Also, our study includes the effects of vinegar and cornstarch on the product. To have accurate observations, we will be creating two set-ups: an ink without vinegar and cornstarch and one with vinegar and cornstarch.
REVIEW OF RELATEDLITERATURE The history of Chinese inks can be traced back to the 18th century BC, with the utilization of natural plant (plant dyes), animal, and mineral inks based on such materials as graphite that were ground with water and applied with ink brushes. Evidence for the earliest Chinese inks, similar to modern ink sticks, is around 256 BC in the end of the Warring States Period and produced from soot and animal glue. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ink)
The India ink used in ancient India since atleast the 4th century BC wascalled masi, and was made of burnt bones,tar, pitch, and other substances. Indiandocuments written in Kharosthi with inkhave been unearthed in Chinese Turkestan.The practice of writing with ink and a sharppointed needle was common in early SouthIndia. Several Jain sutras in India werecompiled in ink.(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ink)
Saffron (Crocus sativus) is well known asthe source of a truly brilliant if ratherfugitive yellow and there is evidence of itsuse, both as a colorant and medicine, inthe Greek and Persian civilizations of thesame period. (Cannon, 1995)
Pliny, in his “Historia Naturalis”, speaks ofvegetable dyeing in Egypt during Romantimes (Ciba Review, 1938) and it is thoughtthat these people could have learned theircraft from India, where textile dyeing hadreached a position of preeminence. Indianskill in vegetable dyeing and paintingreached a high point in the two centuriesfrom 1600 to 1800 AD, when the paintingand resist dyeing of cotton cloth known to usas Chintz became the basis of the largesttrade in textiles that the world had everseen. (Irwin and Brett,1970)
In Mediaeval and renaissance Europe treatises andmanuals on the preparation of artists colours containmany references to plant colours, one such beingCennini‟s, „Il Libro dell‟ Arte‟ of 1437, in which he sets outrecipes for the preparation of block-printing inks fromsaffron and brazilwood (Caesalpinia sp.) The Strasbourgmanuscript, of an earlier period, also describes the use ofa whole range of plants used in the manufacture of inksand water-colours. Later we see developments invegetable block-printing inks in 17th and 18th centuryJapan where it is interesting to note that some colourswere actually leached from previously dyedcloth. (Strange,1924) (source:http://www.artmondo.net/printworks/articles/ growink2.htm)
Its interesting to note that with all the attentiongiven today to the health benefits of tea, thiswonderful plant began in China not as abeverage, but as a medicinal herb. Have wecome full circle? Early historical accounts of teaare unclear, for the Chinese character for tea hadnot been standardized, and several otherChinese characters appear in books referringvery likely to the same plant, Camellia Sinensis,what we now call tea.(source:http://www.indigotea.com/chinateahistory.shtml)
Flavonoids are the yellow plant pigments seen mostnotably in lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. The namestems from the Latin word "flavus," which means yellow.Flavonoids in flowers and fruit provide visual cues foranimal pollinators and seed dispersers to locate theirtargets. Flavonoids are located in the cytoplasm andplastids. Many of the foods that we eat, including darkchocolate, strawberries, blueberries, cinnamon, pecans,walnuts, grapes, and cabbage, contain flavonoids. Thesechemicals lower cholesterol levels, and many haveantioxidant properties. Anthocyanins andproanthocyanidins, and the reddish-brown pigmenttheaflavin found in tea, act to create color, while mostother flavonoids are visible only under UVlight.(source:http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/7H.html)
Theaflavin (TF) and its derivatives, knowncollectively as theaflavins, areantioxidantpol-yphenols that are formedfrom flavan-3-ols such as in tea leavesduring the enzymatic oxidation(called fermentation by the tea trade) of tealeaves, such as in black tea. Theaflavins aretypes of thearubigins, and are thereforereddish in color. Analogous compoundsinclude EGCG in green tea; theaflavins arenot found in green tea.(source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theaflavin)
“Extraction is very simple, and a few basic rules quicklybecome apparent. I started by soaking plant material,then simmering or boiling it to release the colour.Boiling is not always advisable, particularly with reds,as some tend to become more brown or evendisappear when boiled. Thus if you know that a certainplant should produce red then my advice would be notto heat above 800 C. until you‟re sure it won‟t spoil theresultant colour. Most plants do in fact produce somecolour especially in soft, or artificially softened water(by adding washing soda, Sc), but many are simply toodull, weak or uneconomic to persist with.”(source:http://www.artmondo.net/printworks/articles/grow ink4.htm)
Tea dyeing is an easy way to mute fabrics or givethem an older, antiqued look. Tea stains the fibersand gives a semi-permanent dull brown "dirty"tone to the whole piece. It is used when you wantto "antique" a craft textile such as a doll dress orsmall quilt.Because the process uses tea bags it is notsuggested for use on large objects. Tea alsoleaves an irregular spotted stain over the wholepiece and it is not going to give you a "perfect" oreven color. If you want to color large objects orget an even tone, use a commercial dye product.(source: http://www.reddawn.net/quilt/teadye.htm)
Though we first introduced you to artist Carne Griffithsby showing you his incredibly interesting lightboxpieces, hes actually known for his beautiful paintingsthat are made with ink and tea. As he tells us, "I work inan unusual medium, I draw in calligraphy ink and usevarious types of tea to blend the lines - then I repeatthe process - layering the work. In the studio I have ahost of different flavored teas.. chamomile, vanilla andhoney, chai, earl grey, fennel, green tea...you get theidea."(source:http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/portra its-dripping-with-ink-and-tea)
Griffiths uses the medium of tea andink (sometimes graphite, vodka, whiskey, andothers) to create these pieces.Tea and ink as a medium has become atrademark for Griffiths in the art world. Whileunique on its own, tea has helped him developa palette of colors that he is comfortable with. Itgoes without saying that Griffith‟s work has adistinct feel. The tea provides a delicatesaturation and texture that draws viewersin.(source: http://www.nonsensesociety.com/2011/12/carne-griffiths/)
Remove the teabags from the boiling water. Use a strainer and a fork to remove all of the extracts.
Remove it from the heat and let it cool. When done, store in a bottle.
FINDINGSDuring the procedure itself, we have observed thatboiling is an effective process of extraction. Right afterwe have placed the teabags in the boiling water, thechange of color is very noticeable. During this step themixture had a very strong smell from the tea. Whilefollowing the procedures for set-up A which included theplacing of vinegar, there was no immediate change incolor as we expected. Instead, the vinegar‟s effect wasseen when we tried to paint the two inks on paper.While applying the ink on paper, it was harder to use inkB because it‟s consistency was very watery. Thus itbecame runny and scattered unlike in ink A.
After letting them dry, it was seen that ink Ahad a darker color while ink B‟s writingsfaded.
ANALYSIS OF DATAOur hypothesis which states that tea bags have the potentialto be made into an ink if vinegar and cornstarch is added isproven correct. We had two setups which were Setup A thathas vinegar and Setup B that has no vinegar. Vinegar ismainly a dilute aqueous solution of acetic acid which is animportant reagent and industrial chemical, mainly used in theproduction of cellulose acetate. A cellulose acetate is usedas film base in photography and a film base is a transparentsubstance which acts as a support medium for thephotosensitive emulsion that lies atop it, its base generallyaccounts for the vast majority of the thickness of any givenfilm stock. The addition of vinegar and cornstarch in makingan ink can result to a thicker consistency and consistentcolor which is better for the usage of the ink.
Our observations prove that adding vinegarto the mixture can be made into an inkbecause without the vinegar there would beno consistency on the mixture and it will beless seen.
CONCLUSION Tea bags can be used to create an ink. Vinegar can strengthen the color of the product, ink. Cornstarch effectively contributes to achieving to the right consistency of the ink. The processes boiling and straining are efficient in taking the extract out of the tea bags.
SUMMARIZATION There are many different kinds of ink. In our experiment we will use tea bags as the main component of our ink. Having two different set- ups will provide the chance to compare the colors and consistencies. Cornstarch is an efficient additive to have the right consistency of the product. Also vinegar is also efficient, though there is no obvious change in color, it was seen that it gave the ink a consistent color whether wet or dry.
We therefore conclude that one can createan improvised ink using the extract fromtea bags. This will be very convenient andcheap because the ingredients to be usedare commonly found around the house.Also, the said processes, boiling andstraining, are efficient and can be easilydone.
RECOMMENDATIONBased on the conducted experiment, we recommend thefollowing for further improvements. To have better results ofextraction, suggest that there would be longer minutes ofboiling. We also recommend that one should make use of alarge amount of corn starch, a thickening agent, so theapplication of ink would be done easier. Instead of directlyplacing your desired amount of cornstarch in the mixtureabove low fire, it would be better to dissolve it first in cold orwarm water to avoid forming lumps. We still recommend theusage of vinegar because of the results we have observed.Depending on the availability, one can also use processedsoybean oil as a drying oil. This is used as a base for printing inks and oil paints.