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Chinese Seal Paste

Chinese seal paste

​ 印泥



Chinese red pastes (印泥  yìnní) used for stamp imprinting on paper or silk have more than 2,000 years of history. Traditional pastes have intense red colors (although other colors are also used) and are stored in special containers, once mainly in porcelain, now also in ceramic and metal packaging.


The red color of the paste is caused by CYNOBER (a rare mineral from the sulphide group), which in a powdered form is mixed with castor oil and other natural ingredients, creating a unique consistency.


Traditionally, pastes come in two basic types, the two main ingredients that distinguish them are:


-silk: the composition of such a paste includes: vermilion, castor oil and silk threads. Silk paste is very oily and has a bright red color.


-natural plant ingredients: vermilion, castor oil and moxa (wormwood). Such a paste looks like a sponge and is not that greasy. Natural ingredients dry slightly faster than silk pastes.




Contrary to appearances, you have to CARE about the seal paste. Below are 5 practical tips for caring for your seal paste / inks to avoid premature drying.


1. Pastes should be stored in special containers. It is best to store the pastes in ceramic and porcelain containers. The paste should not be stored in containers made of gold or copper (it may cause chemical reactions and discoloration - the paste will blacken and harden). Red Chinese paste can dry quickly due to its loose structure, porosity and castor oil.

2. In order for the paste not to lose its properties, it should be exposed to the sun for about 15 minutes once every 4 months. This time should not be exceeded, as the paste will deteriorate.

3. After each use, close the paste package to prevent dirt and dust from getting inside. Contamination of the paste with dirt or dust affects its quality.

4. The paste may delaminate, this is a natural phenomenon caused by the different densities of the paste ingredients - the loose part will settle at the bottom, the castor oil will flow upwards. In order for the mascara not to lose its vitality and properties, it is necessary to mix it with a spatula (e.g. plastic) about once every two months.


By following the steps above, you will be able to enjoy your toothpaste longer!

Mixing Chinese paste
Chinese seals


In modern China you can buy many types of pastes, from cheaper to very expensive - everything really depends on the quality of the ingredients and the vessels in which the paste is kept. The cheapest ones in metal cans are perfect for amateurs and people who are just starting their adventure with Chinese seals, apart from the price, their other advantage is also durability (they do not dry out quickly) and simple maintenance.


In our store you can buy both traditional paste in a ceramic package and paste in a metal can  - both versions are perfect for amateurs of calligraphy and Chinese painting.

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