Make Your Own Imitation Vellum Or Parchment Paper.

Parchment paper and imitation vellum have been made by untold generations of inventive bookbinders by painting suitable papers with varnish or lacquer.

I was a professional binder for most of my adult life and I have used these methods myself on numerous occasions.

Both oil and spirit based varnishes have been used to make these vellums & parchments, I use a spirit based lacquer as it dries very quickly and with a harder finish than an oil varnish, this hard finish further imitates vellum and makes a very convincing parchment paper.

 

This is the recipe for the lacquer I use.

All materials are available from the gold leaf supplies page.

 

The alcohol used in this recipe does give of fumes, if they bother you make sure the room you use is ventilated.

In a screw topped jar mix four parts of methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) with 1 part blonde de waxed shellac, it is important to get this particular type of shellac as each type of shellac has its own colour.

Leave the mixture for 36 hours stirring occasionally, until the shellac flakes have dissolved.

When all the flakes have dissolved the lacquer is ready to use.

 

parchment

This shows the colour change that takes place when the lacquer is applied to a heavy 130gsm paper.

On the left is an untreated sheet of paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

parchment paper

Here is the result, what cannot be shown in a picture however is the feel of the parchment paper.

By applying the shellac lacquer we have changed the characteristics of the paper dramatically.

It is stiff and handles in the same way as a genuine parchment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project ties in very nicely with another project aimed at producing a gilded manuscript.

 

All materials are available from the gold leaf supplies page.

 

EVERY MONTH I SEND OUT A NEWSLETTER WHICH AIMS TO BRING YOU INTERESTING ITEMS CONCERNING THE WORLD OF GILDING AND RELATED CRAFTS. IF YOU WOULD CARE TO SUBSCRIBE PLEASE JUST MAIL Richard at gold-vault@orange.fr and put "gold-vault" in the subject box.

 

 

 

 
 
edenworkshops
 
Hi there, I've been browsing your wonderful website and I can't wait to have a go at some of the techniques you explore on there. Your manuals are definitely the best Iv'e found on the internet. 
Seb Dale 
  
I just want to salute your generosity in giving away your gilding knowledge. Excellent guide books,  I was not able to find such a simplified explanation in any book at the local library. 
Ghassan Haddad 
  
After looking at various sites and suppliers on the net, your site is just wonderful - clear, accessible, descriptive and demystifying. Thanks so much for making your knowledge available! Liz 
 
You did a brilliant job of mentoring me through my project, it turned out very well, I am extremely happy with the results.
Brendon
 
Your manuals are excellent. I easily worked my way through your gilded manuscript project and the result is now framed and hanging in my living room. Thank you.
Pauline