Vellum paper, often also referred to as parchment, was originally not made of wood fibers or cloth. It was, instead, made from animal skin, particularly calfskin. Other materials included the skins of goats, deer, and sheep. The primary uses of vellum paper in those days included legal documents and copies of religious documents such as the Torah and the Bible.
Today it would be very expensive (not to mention controversial) to make vellum in this way, so it is mostly made by plasticizing cotton or other cellulose fibers. The process involves processing and beating cellulose fibers until all the air has been removed. When there is no more air present in these dense sheets, rich in moisture, they become translucent vellum paper.
Tracing Paper vs Vellum Paper
Because tracing paper is also translucent, it is often referred to as parchment or vellum. This type of paper is, however, made by treating ordinary paper with chemicals so the wood fibers are broken down and it becomes somewhat transparent. It weighs around 25 percent of the original paper but it is significantly stronger. Tracing paper can be so thick that it resembles heavyweight paper but can also be made nearly as thin as tissue paper.
What Does Vellum Paper Feel And Look Like?
In a sense, vellum looks similar to frosted glass. While it might not be 100% clear, it is definitely see-through. Vellum paper has an extremely smooth finish, not unlike plastic. While it is delicate and should be treated with care, it is also durable enough to stand up to cutting, printing, writing, gluing, and scoring.
What Is Vellum Paper Used For?
In modern times vellum is often used for formal documents such as certificates, diplomas, maps printed on a vellum paper roll, and blueprints. Another popular use includes vellum paper wedding invitations. Translucent vellum paper is also increasingly being used by scrapbook enthusiasts who would like the end product to look textured and stylish. Great care should, however, be taken to use the right type of adhesive and to handle it correctly otherwise the original elegance might be lost.
Other Modern Uses Of Vellum
Some of the most common uses of vellum include:
- Printable vellum paper has become quite popular for place cards
- Formal vellum paper invitations. These typically feature vellum inserts and overlays
- Wedding and other types of programs
- Gatefolds and wraps
- Promotional and marketing materials
- Packaging materials
- Favor tags
The above are only a handful of examples. The fact of the matter is that vellum fits in beautifully with many types of creative projects. Only your creativity and imagination will limit you.
Is Vellum Paper Printable?
Yes, it is quite possible to print on it at home. You can run it through either an inkjet or a laser printer. Keep in mind, however, that its unique finish and delicate nature make it a little bit tricky to print. That’s why it’s always a good idea to first get a few samples you can test on your home printer before you buy. Vellum is available in a wide selection of weights and brands. If one type is incompatible with your printer, chances are very good there will be another one that works perfectly.
Is It Easy To Cut Vellum Paper?
Yes, it is not really difficult to cut vellum. If you want the best possible results, however, make sure to cut it with the sharpest blade you can get your hands on. This is true whether you are using an x-acto knife, guillotine cutter, or paper trimmer.
Where to get?
We at Paper Paper have a whole selection of translucent vellum paper that is available in a variety of sizes, weights, and quantities. So make sure to check out all our Translucent Vellum Papers.