Pergamena Parchment

 

Our Fine Parchment Products
Pergamena offers calfskin, goatskin, deerskin, and sheepskin parchment in pre-cut sizes and full skins. Parchment is produced in three thicknesses: thin (below .25 millimeters/below .010 inches), medium (.25–.45 millimeters/.010–.017 inches), and thick (above .45 millimeters/above .017 inches). A wide variety of dyed goatskin parchment is available, including custom colors.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss possibilities for custom orders or a sample book.

 

 

Parchment Types

Calfskin Parchment
Calfskins are thin but tough and flexible, hence they are the traditional choice for binding and manuscripts. Calfskins sometimes exhibit surface veining and often lack a discernable grain. This latter quality, along with a dense skin fiber weave, is ideal for text or calligraphy, as there is less visual competition from the parchment surface. Calfskins average 5–7 square feet and are available with a calligraphy/manuscript-quality finish on one or both sides, or with a standard unfinished surface for binding or interior and furniture applications. Color range includes natural, white, spotted, field (veiny), and transparent.   Skins usually yield 15" across the spine by 20" down for 4-6 sf. skins, 20"x24" for 6-7 sf. skins, 24"x26" for 7-8 sf. skins, 24"x30" for 8-9 sf. skins, 26"x32" for 9-10 sf. skins, and 28"x34" for 10-11 sf. skins.  
Uterine Calfskin Parchment
Also referred to as slunk calf, these are skins removed from calf fetuses. Traditionally produced for Jewish kosher purposes, they are usually prepared on the flesh side for calligraphy for use in scrolls. Uterine calfskins are difficult to come by, but we now produce a limited amount of these beautiful skins, which are prized for their delicateness and tissue-thin nature. The grain coloration varies, sometimes exhibiting a corrugated pattern. Colors range from holstein spotted to brown or natural, while the flesh side is usually white. Owing to their very young age, they are very small and average between 4-6 square feet. Slunks are priced by the skin.   Uterine calf hides usually average 16-22" across the spine by 18-24" down.
Deer Parchment
As deerskins come from wild animals and are not farm-raised like other animals used for parchment, the skins are often sturdy and weather-beaten in appearance, making them incredibly rich in character. Every skin is strikingly unique due to scars, occasional holes, bruising, and other environmental factors. Although the hair shafts tend to be large and hollow, the follicles appear relatively small and the grain usually falls somewhere between sheep and calf. Deerskins average 5–9 square feet and are available with a calligraphy-ready finish on one or both sides, or with a standard unfinished surface for binding or interior and furniture applications. Deerskins come in natural color only.   Deer hides usually yield 17" across the spine by 20" down for 6-7 sf. skins, 20"x24" for 7-8 sf. skins, 24"x30" for 8-9 sf. skins, 26"x32" for 9-10 sf. skins, 28"x34" for 10-11 sf. skins, and 30"x36" for 11-12 sf. skins.
Goatskin Parchment
Goatskins are tough and sturdy, and have historically been used most often in bookbinding. They have a very pronounced grain pattern that can be surprisingly subtle in its gradation, character, and color. This often makes goatskins the preferred choice for furniture and interior applications. Goatskins average seven square feet and are available with a calligraphy-ready finish on one or both sides, or with a standard unfinished surface for binding or interior and furniture applications. Color range includes natural, white, and cream, in addition to a range of standard dyes or custom dyes.   Goat hides usually yield 15" across the spine by 18" down for 5-6 sf. skins, 17"x20" for 6-7 sf. skins, 20"x24" for 7-8 sf. skins, 24"x28" for 8-9 sf. skins, 26"x32" for 9-10 sf. skins, and 28"x34" for 10-11 sf. skins.
Sheepskin Parchment
Sheepskins often have a tight but pronounced grain. Because they tend to be large, clean, and easy to work with, they are often used for furniture and interiors. Sheepskins average nine square feet and are available with a calligraphy-ready finish on one or both sides, or with a standard unfinished surface for binding or interior and furniture applications. Sheepskins range in color from beige to antique to dark tan and can have some mottling.   Sheep hides usually yield 20" across the spine by 24" down for 6-8 sf. skins, 24"x30" for 8-9 sf. skins, 26"x32" for 9-10 sf. skins, 28"x34" for 10-11 sf. skins, 30"x36" for 11-12 sf. skins, and 32"x36" for 12-13 sf. skins.