Talk:Parchment

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Old & irrelevant[edit]

In the museum at Colonial Williamsburgh, VA. there are crafters, re-enacters in the garb of the day making products of the time in the way it was done then. In the paper making arena there is a very interesting exhibit. They make paper by boiling wood, making wood pulp and add cotton cloth, which is boiled down into it's base fibers. They dip a screen into the vat, and then lay it on a pad made of leather. The sheet dries between layers of cotton cloth, kind of like a primitive denim. Once it is dried, it has the consistency of a course paper. 66.53.73.115 06:06, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Cleanup Needed[edit]

The layout of this article is awful. The table of contents does not appear until 70% of the way into the article. It obviously needs to be restructured. Furthermore, the introductory definition does not include household parchment paper, which is addressed later in the article, but probably does not belong here. Perhaps at the top, something could be added like:

This article is about animal skins which have been prepared for use in writing. For the material which is used in baking, see parchment paper.

I am adding a cleanup template tag.--Mm35173 13:56, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

I have taken a moment to address both these points. I am removing the cleanup template tag. any other issues? --Wetman 19:36, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
This appears to still be an issue. "Parchment paper" as a baking term is a completely different topic which deserves it's own article. I'm creating Parchment paper (baking), adding a disambiguation tag here, and reducing the plant-based parchment section appropriately. -Verdatum (talk) 17:32, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Distracting blank spaces[edit]

Formatting that encases the framed table of contents in text, in just the way a framed map or image is enclosed within the text, is now available: {{TOCleft}} in the HTML does the job.

Blank space opposite the ToC, besides being unsightly and distracting, suggests that there is a major break in the continuity of the text, which may not be the case. Blanks in page layout are voids and they have meanings to the experienced reader. The space betweeen paragraphs marks a brief pause between separate blocks of thought. A deeper space, in a well-printed text, signifies a more complete shift in thought: note the spaces that separate sub-headings in Wikipedia articles.

A handful of thoughtless and aggressive Wikipedians revert the "TOCleft" format at will. A particularly aggressive de-formatter is User:Ed g2s

The reader may want to compare versions at the Page history. --Wetman 19:46, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

What is "thin"?[edit]

We say it's "thin"; what does that mean? Can someone be more specific? Is parchment as thin as paper? --Doradus (talk) 04:23, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

thinner than leather, thicker than most paper. Johnbod (talk) 13:14, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Want to add that to the article? --Doradus (talk) 22:24, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Parchment Craft?[edit]

Is the section outlining the history of the Columbian woman who started the Parchment Craft company all that important? I see from google that they're a a relatively big player in what must be a very small game, but this part of the article reads more like an advertisement. I would have just deleted it, but I don't know enough about parchment in general and parchment craft specifically. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.234.199.244 (talk) 00:48, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

A concern about content[edit]

In the text it says:

Though the Assyrians ate the Babys to impress their cuneiform on clay tablets, they also wrote on parchment from the 6th century BC onward.

The phrase "ate the Babys" is quite disconcerting to me. I have done some research and find no other similar such reference on the net. WHAT did the author intend to say.

John A. Kunecke —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jkunecke (talkcontribs) 03:32, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

There appear to be several instances of vandalism in this article. I just removed one reference to 'penis parchment' that was missed in several edits and am concerned about the validity of sentence related to uterine vellum. Could someone be kind enough to go through and add appropriate citations or remove anything that appears factually questionable? 67.247.67.149 (talk) 04:01, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Vellum Merge[edit]

Looking at the content, I'm generally opposed to the merge, I see no problem with both articles existing. However, much of the content of vellum is redundant to that of this article. Since vellum is a complete subset of parchment, the article only needs to describe aspects of it that are unique from regular parchment. -Verdatum (talk) 20:41, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the two articles should not be merged. However, I think that vellum and parchment are different materials, not different grades of the same material. The difference is in the manufacture, and it would take an expert in that process to clarify the difference. I will approach someone from William Cowley Ltd (the only UK manufacturers of vellum and parchment) to see if they can give some advice. Paulwnash (talk) 11:52, 26 May 2009 (UTC) As I see from the sources I obtained and so the article self says, it is completely the same thing, but of a better quality. Therefor I suggested the important information to be merged, and the clarified the difference. -shoteh (talk) 02:17, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Comment. For now, Calfskin redirects hereto Vellum. If this merge goes ahead, that would change the scope of this article, perhaps enough that Calfskin should no longer redirect here. --Una Smith (talk) 03:34, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Personally calfskin means shoes to me; but is there a more appropriate article? Johnbod (talk) 08:57, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Can one explain what relation "tanned" calfskin used for shoes, has to parchment or vellum which are never tanned? BTW Why is the article under the Judaism scope and not in any industrial and/or scientific one? - shoteh (talk) 02:25, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Only the obvious. What is the point of your question? The issue was where calfskin should redirect to. Feel free to add appropriate projects. Johnbod (talk) 02:31, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
It sounds like Calfskin should not redirect to Vellum. Should it be an article, a redirect to another article, or a disambiguation page? Below is a list of the articles that currently link to Calfskin. --Una Smith (talk) 19:16, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Parchment, Vellum, Black tie, Scutum (shield), Index of fashion articles, Chukka boot

Actually Calf#Uses_of_calves, which I have added to, is better, & I've changed it to there. Johnbod (talk) 03:25, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed the question which was addressed to me. My point was that we should look for editors with some knowledge, are we should educate ourselves before editing something here. -shoteh (talk) 04:02, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Vellum is made of calfskin, while parchment is made of sheep or goatskin. The article on parchment is therefore inaccurate. Vellum and parchment are very different media, though the techniques by which they are finished are fairly similar. Neither is tanned, as that would harden the hide, so it could not be rolled, as it would loose all flexibility. It would also darken it, so that the ink would not make a good contrast on the surface. I think rather than merging these two articles, they should be cleaned up and kept separate. 98.216.0.130 (talk) 02:01, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Could you back these claims up with sources? Regardless of whether or not tanning is used in parchment, tanning does not irreparably harden leather; if it did, leather clothing would not exist. tanned leather can be extremely soft. While the chemicals used in tanning generally change the skin's color, it is not always to a darker color. -Verdatum (talk) 14:34, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm highly dubious about the claim re species - while calf is certainly a source of good vellum, the skin of other animals is often so described as well. AFAIK, it takes dna testing to tell the species used for sure. [http://library.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/s4-XVI/4/439 This article addresses the issue, but I can only see p1. And this Johnbod (talk) 17:31, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but this is silly. Wikipedia articles should be about things not about words. There is a wide variety of materials made that fit this general category, varying by many factors such as animal uses, process used, split or non-split etc. Different people divide up this variety using these two words "vellum" and "parchment" in different ways, and some not at all. There is no single authoritative way to do so. (For a good discussion of this see: Parchment vs Vellum.) These should become a single article with some discussion of the different ways that people apply these two words. --Ericjs (talk) 02:11, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Citation in German about quality of medieval parchment[edit]

The article features a citation from Eisenlohr (1996) supporting the claim that medieval parchments offered a writing surface unsurpassed by paper or other materials since. I think it needs a good translation into English; however, I'm nothing more than a dabbler in matters both Germanic and pergamentary, and would like some help from those better qualified! The original runs thus:

Die Qualität der mittelalterlichen Pergamente mit geschlossenen Oberflächen für eine beiderseitige Beschriftung und Bemalung, ungewöhnlicher Strapazierfahigkeit und Haltbarkeit über viele Jahrhunderte ist bislang weder erreicht noch übertroffen worden.

I freely admit to largely basing my attempt on Google Translate's rendering:

The quality of medieval parchments with closed surfaces for a mutual inscription and painting, unusual Strapazierfahigkeit and durability over many centuries has so far not reached yet been surpassed.

Replacing the words that Google failed to translate, and paraphrasing where I saw fit, got me this:

The quality of medieval parchments, with surfaces prepared for both writing and painting, extraordinary strength, and durability over many centuries, has not yet been surpassed.

Iblardi has since come along and reworked several points, like so (edits bolded):

The quality of the medieval parchments, with closed surfaces for writing and painting on both sides, extraordinary strength, and durability over many centuries, has not yet been matched or surpassed.

I disagree with the addition of "the" and the use of "closed" (I was just guessing on "prepared", and wonder if "sealed" isn't the sense meant, but "closed" is just poor English as far as I can tell), but the other two are clearly correct: beiderseitige seems to be "both sides", not just "both" as I had it, and I forgot erreicht "matched" altogether. Anyone else want to help? -- Perey (talk)

I would guess it means "prepared" here. I think we have, here or at vellum, enough English sources on the durability of parchment/vellum (I'm not sure if German distinguishes between the two). Johnbod (talk) 17:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that "closed surface" looks like bad English, but I did find some instances when doing a Google query, for instance "Carbon-based inks are very stable, but bind poorly to the smooth closed surface of parchment",[1] "This technique works well on a skin with a closed surface".[2] I took it to refer to the smooth(ish) structure of an animal's skin in comparison with the more absorbant fibrous structure of paper, but I am not completely sure. I suppose that a synonym is to be preferred if a literal translation makes the footnote incomprehensible. Or probably better, a source written in English. Iblardi (talk) 19:17, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Apart from Insular vellum, high-quality material was heavily polished, which may be what is meant. Johnbod (talk) 22:07, 29 April 2010 (UTC)


I added dubious to this quote: It seems to take the hyperbole of a translated work, and apply it as fact. It is also quite sweeping: No one in the modern age has produced better quality parchment? This seems unlikely. Also, what is the metric that dictates quality? I would remove this sentence. - mikedh —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.112.64.18 (talk) 04:52, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Jewish parchment[edit]

The cited passage from the Talmud does NOT say that Moses wrote the Torah on parchment...

http://halakhah.com/pdf/nezikin/Baba_Bathra.pdf

--Teacherbrock (talk) 15:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

If no one objects I will remove the dubious statement about Moses. --Teacherbrock (talk) 15:49, 11 May 2011 (UTC)