Vegetable glue

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Egyptian figurine
MFA# 13.3815


A carbohydrate based adhesive that is typically made from hydrolyzed Starch. Any starch (corn, wheat, tapioca, etc.) is boiled and treated with an Alkali to produce a clear, viscous liquid. Vegetable glue is a liquid at room temperature and does not need to be heated. Because it remains soluble in water, even after drying, vegetable glue is used for Wallpaper paste.

See also Dextrin.

Synonyms and Related Terms

mucilage; cola vegetal (Esp.); colle végétale (Fr.); vegetable paste

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, even after drying.

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 15
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Boise Cascade Paper Group, The Paper Handbook, Boise Cascade, Portland OR, 1989
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982