Whole and Ground Oak Galls
Whole and Ground Oak Galls (sometimes called oak apples or gall nuts) are small to medium-sized round hard growths that are high in tannin, and are an ancient mordant. They are an essential ingredient in making oak gall ink and can also be combined with iron to produce gray, purple and black shades on textile fibers.
The gall is formed when an oak leaf bud or large leaf vein from the Quercus infectoria oak is invaded by the gall wasp and the wasp lays eggs in the twig. The wasp larva exudes a chemical that creates a protective housing (the gall) on the twig so it can feed and undergo metamorphosis into adulthood. The adult wasp exits the gall leaving behind a tannin-rich ball.
Our oak galls are often referred to as Aleppo Oak galls as they come from the Aleppo oak tree (Quercus infectoria). The tree is native to Southern Europe, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Cyprus, Lebanon and Israel.
By itself, oak galls make a light beige color. When dipped in an iron afterbath, the color quickly changes to a gray or “black” shade.
We offer whole oak galls, powdered oak galls, and gallo-tannin extract (extract of oak galls). You will need to crush the whole oak galls into powder before use. The powdered oak galls have been crushed and sifted and may be strained and reused. The extract is a more concentrated preparation of the oak galls and is mostly water soluble with a small amount of insoluble particles.
Use oak galls at 10-50% weight of fiber. Crush whole oak galls before use. Available in 100 gram and 1kg (1000g) bags. Crushed oak galls are also available in 100, 250 and 500 gram bags.
Gallo-tannin extract (oak gall concentrate)