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Calfskin leather dyed black
Calfskin parchment page from an 11th-century book

Calfskin is a leather or membrane produced from the hide of a calf. Calfskin is particularly valuable because of its softness, and fine grain, as well as durability. It is commonly used for high-quality clothing, shoes, wallets and similar products, as well as traditional leather bookbindings. In Spanish, the word is "Novillo", referring to leather from animals less than three years old. Chickenskin, despite its name, is actually a form of calfskin made using the skin of unborn calves.[1]

In fashion, soft finished calfskin is sometimes described as veau velours (French for "velvet calf").[2]

Fine calfskin is one of the skins used for vellum and parchment manuscripts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cumming, Valerie (1982). Gloves (Reprinted. ed.). London: Batsford. p. 93. ISBN 9780713410082. 
  2. ^ Lewandowski, Elizabeth (2011). The Complete Costume Dictionary. Scarecrow Press. p. 308. ISBN 9780810877856.