How is Chalk Made?

Where does Chalk come from?

The word chalk comes from the Latin word ‘calx’.

Chalk comes from limestone. Most of the chalk you can get today was made almost 50 to 100 million years ago. It is chemically made of calcium carbonate. The porous sedimentary rock naturally deep under the sea where small circular calcite plates called coccoliths accumulate to form limestone.

In its natural form chalk can be found in colors ranging from white, grey, and yellow. The different colors occur due to various impurities in the chalk.  Did you know that if you subject chalk to heat and pressure it can turn into marble.


Where do you find chalk?

England has a lot of natural chalk deposits. Their cliffs are made from chalk, and can resist the weather much better than normal cliffs. Since chalk is a very porous material, it tends to absorb water and store it. You may find pictures of tall and steep cliffs like the Isle of Wight as great examples.

Use of chalk

Chalk is mostly pressed into white sticks which are then used for a variety of purposes from scribbling on the blackboard, outlining designs on fabrics for tailors and making art works on sidewalks. Some of the different uses of chalk and their types include blackboard chalk which is made from gypsum, sidewalk chalk, agriculture chalk made from calcium carbonate and calcium oxide.

Chalk also has a variety of other uses, it was originally used to draw those white lines that define the court boundaries in sports like tennis, badminton and other such sports. It is used in agriculture to treat soils that are too acidic in nature. You can use it if you are a gymnast or rock climber to remove the perspiration in your hand. Did you know even your toothpaste has a small amount of chalk in it.