What is plasticine made from?

Updated July 19, 2017

Children use plasticine not only in school crafts, but also for private entertainment. Its happy combination of ingredients makes it ideal for work and for play. Unlike ordinary modelling clay, it does not stick to children's fingers, and it will not dry out even after repeated uses.

Invention of Plasticine

William Harbutt invented plasticine in 1897, according to Schools Online. Harbutt and successive owners of its production rights have kept its exact formula secret, but its main ingredients are generally known.

Ingredients of Plasticine

The original plasticine consists of petroleum products mixed with calcium salts, such as calcium carbonate. The petroleum products are petroleum jelly and waxy acids, according to Schools Online. The addition of pigments gives it various colours.

A Generic Term

Although the term "plasticine" originally referred to Harbutt's specific invention, it has become a generic term applicable to any modelling clay of more or less similar composition.

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