I'd like to practice my writing with brush, and came across this textile that I think is used a lot in schools at least in Taiwan:

水寫布 Water-writing textile Image from http://detail.net114.com/chanpin/1018435996.html

It's called 水寫布 (water-writing paper). When wet it becomes black, so that writing in water is highly visible. After drying it returns to white color again. Great, but my thought is that there must be some tradtitional forerunner material to this – something simple that has been used in the same way? Like some chalk paint on black background or something? It seems like a too good an idea to not be older than this material :)

Are there some traditional or readily available materials that can work in a similar way?

  • Are you looking only for the material to write on? Because lemon juice held over ink is the most inexpensive invisible ink there is. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 11:59
  • @TeacherKSHuang, thanks! Yes, looking for something else than paper to write on while practising so I can practise writing larger size letters without wasting so much paper ... :) Looks like I have to go to the sidewalk and write with water. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 20:15
  • Heh, yes, or chalk. But if you say that the water-writing paper in your example turns back to white, couldn't you just use it again? As in you wouldn't have to waste paper? Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


Don't know if it counts, but in mainland China, some people write on the street with a huge writing brush, half as long as an adult is tall. And they only dip the brush in water to write. After the water evaporates, the writing vanishes. It's the same principle as 水写布

Beijing - Public calligraphy

Beijing - Public calligraphy by Roman Harak licensed according to CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Exactly, and in a Korean movie you can see the same being done with a small tile and a cat's tail! ;)
    – Ludi
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 19:17

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