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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Uses | 0 comments


Real Parchment or Vellum has a depth, clarity and luminescence that set vellum well apart from paper. These qualities add impact and importance to printed text or graphics while also being visually bright and clear. Stunning results are achievable

Printing on Parchment and Vellum is more difficult than printing on paper. Although William Cowley offer a printing service, any printer, with a sound skill base, who is prepared to spend a little more time working with this unique material, will find the results very well worth the effort. Letterpress, Litho and screen-printing are all used successfully with real parchment.

For centuries, Parchment and Vellum has been the material of choice for prestigious documents. Because of its exceptional quality, strength, longevity and unique appearance it has been used for documents that must convey honour, distinction, importance or authority.

The qualities of parchment and vellum add  impact and importance to printed text or graphics while also being visually bright and clear. Stunning results are achievable

To this day Parchment and Vellum is used for Royal and Government documents, and since time immemorial for all manner of Public Records, City ‘Freedoms’, Academic and Vocational Diplomas, Charters of Association, Membership Scrolls, Retirement Gift Diplomas, Book pages, Memorial Books, Family Trees, Menus, Wedding and other Invitations, plus a whole variety of important historical documents and books; the list goes on!

William Cowley is the only manufacturer of genuine Parchment & Vellum in the UK

see more technical information

It is important to use suitable inks and to appreciate that parchment sheets do vary in thickness and do not behave quite like paper. Best results, with least wastage, are obtained if print shop humidity does not vary too much. Very dry or damp workshop conditions are not ideal, as this will encourage the parchment to curl.

A couple of other points to bear in mind is that oil based ink (recommended) dries slowly on parchment so paper interleaving, or other separation methods, may be needed at feed out position. Also before use, or when ink is dry, sheets can be reversed rolled around a 75mm,or larger, tube to flatten.

Recommended Parchment and Vellum for print

1. Sheepskin Parchment – White/Light cream  – Softest type of Parchment – Can use both sides –

Approx thickness 0.25mm

2.  Calfskin Manuscript  Parchment – White/Light cream  – Can use both sides –  Approx thickness 0.3-0.4mm  depending on finish – Stiffer than Sheepskin Parchment.

3.  Calfskin Classic Vellum – Light cream/Dark cream with light veining/marbling and subtle variations in surface colourUse one side onlyThickness can be adjusted to suit requirements.

Other possibilities…

4. .Natural Calfskin – Dark cream/cloudy variable marbling –  No two pieces are alike – Use one side only

5. White Goatskin – Creamy follicular/cloudy effect – Use one side only

6. Natural Goatskin – Very variable, follicular, dark/cloudy with a rural ”rustic” effect – Use one side only

NB: Thickness can be adjusted on all these latter three types which are not normally chosen for printing because of the varied shades and markings within each piece and from piece to piece. They are included here because, technically, printing on them is no different from the recommended types. The visual effect would be highly individual and striking.

We also offer a Printing Service. Click on the green link to see details

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