Vellum Manufacture

Vellum is a thin paper fabric made from the skin of a baby animal. These animals are usually calves, lambs or kids. It was first made by the Hebrews before 1000BC.

Vellum is prepared by taking the skin of the animal and not tanning, like Leather is made. Instead it is dried under tension and scraped and cleaned and de-haired. In the Middle Ages Vellum was very popular and was used for manuscripts. It is sheer and almost transparent. The hair is removed from the animals hide and them soaked and limed. The surface texture resembles that of an eggshell.

Vellum was used frequently as writing paper, bookbinding and parchment. It is not as popular today because of the modern day equivalents that have been developed.

Properties of Vellum

  • Durable
  • Lasts well
  • Very absorbent
  • Thin
  • Inflexible
  • Translucent

Uses of Vellum in Fashion Past and Present

  • Used frequently in jewellery because of its translucent properties
  • Handbags
  • Boots
  • Cases such as brief cases
  • Rigid garments/accessories

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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