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.