Animal Parchment Types
Goat parchment tends to have a pebbly, somewhat pronounced grain that is noticeable when you run your hand across the surface. Also can have scars, bug/tick bites, scratches, and other markings that come from the wild nature of the animal’s life. Varies in color from white/cream to natural. Sizes range from 4 to 9 square feet.
Calf parchment has a very smooth, even grain, characterized by fat wrinkles that run perpendicular to the spine of the skin. Also tends to have much more noticeable veins visible in the flesh because it is a young animal with less-developed skin layers. Varies from white/cream, to veiny, to natural, to spotted in color. Sizes range from 5 to 10 square feet.
Sheep parchment is very similar to goat, but has a slightly finer grain pattern. The hide also usually has pronounced wrinkles located around the neck and spine, due to the much more pliable grain. Because sheep have more natural oils and grease in their skins than goat, their parchment tends to be much softer and rounder to the touch (meaning that it is easier to curve or roll than goat). Most skins come out in a gray/brown “antique” color, though some can be a light cream.
Deer parchment has a very smooth, fine-haired grain, but lacks the fat wrinkles of calf. It almost always has some sort of natural markings, like bites, scratches, scars, etc. Because we get the hides from hunters, the flesh usually has pronounced slices around the belly of the skin due to poor butchering. Color ranges from light to dark cream, with a lot of character from hair and scars.