[Scriptoris] Vegetable Parchment question

rose_welch at yahoo.com rose_welch at yahoo.com
Wed May 12 17:25:15 PDT 2010

Even if its more than the original poster wanted, I found it fascinating. :) Thanks for posting!

-R the O
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

-----Original Message-----
From: Elaine <eshc at earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 18:58:23 
To: <jwtopp at peoplepc.com>; Scribes within Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.<scriptoris at lists.ansteorra.org>
Cc: <scribes-bounces at antir.sca.org>; <MK-SCRIBES at yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [Scriptoris] Vegetable Parchment question

You are on the right path when you start to investigate the  
manufacture and permanency of your art materials. You go, Girl! Set  
yourself up with a ring binder for this and all future information  
and tests you try. It will save a Niagara of tears later.

Trust Mistress Serena when she advises against vegetable parchment.  
Stay with archival (museum quality) papers for work that will last  
and not turn crumbly, yellow, or even spotty eventually.
I have been on the professional side of paper and had to learn a lot  
before I sold it as a retailer and my work as a traditional  
watercolorist/calligrapher in the mundane world and work I did for  
the SCA.. I vote Serena's advice, too.

Think of your recipient. Would you want to have someone spend time  
working on a project for you only to have it degenerate to something  
you'd eventually only hang on the back of the closet door? Products  
you receive (or even get on sale) may not be in your work's best  
interest, however well-intentioned your gift-giver or store is..  
Treat yourself like an Old Master and only use tested, professionally  
recommended products that will let your work be beautiful for  

Even when you are testing or practicing for "the real scroll," use  
the good stuff. The results will be more accurate, and you will take  
more care.

Try the following for information:


A paper made by passing a WATERLEAF sheet through a bath of sulfuric  
acid, or (at times) zinc chloride, under established conditions of  
time, temperature, and the like. The treated paper is then washed  
thoroughly so as to remove the acid or zinc salt, after which it is  
dried. The chemical partially dissolves or gelatinizes the paper,  
which is then regenerated when the chemical is diluted by the  
washing. This forms a very tough, stiff, smooth paper with an  
appearance somewhat like that of a genuine parchment. Because paper  
treated in this manner has a tendency to become brittle and to  
wrinkle upon drying, it is frequently treated with a plasticizing  
agent, usually glycerine or glucose. The waterleaf sheet is made from  
rag or (more usually) chemical wood pulp. (17 , 82 , 143 )
Bookbinding and the Conservation of books: A Dictionary of  
Descriptive Terminology by Matt T. Roberts and Don Etherington,  
Drawings by Margaret R. Brown

Another website to look at for minute, lengthy detail (truthfully, I  
didn't read it all):


The above is probably more than you wanted to know. It is actually  
from the The Guild handbook of scientific illustration By Elaine R.  
S. Hodges, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (U.S.)

Hope this helps. Some may want to just print it out, punch ring  
binder holes in it and stash it for future reference.

Good luck,
HL Lete Bithespring

On May 12, 2010, at 6:06 PM, <jwtopp at peoplepc.com>  
<jwtopp at peoplepc.com> wrote:

> Mistress Serena says that vegetable parchment is chemically  
> unstable.  How
> so?  I love the fake parchment I received as a gift when in the Mid- 
> realm.
> I really need to know how unstable it it .  Thank you
> Janie Topp
> Lady Maeve Dianotto
> New work posted on facebook
> Janie Winther Topp
> _______________________________________________
> Scriptoris mailing list
> Scriptoris at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/scriptoris-ansteorra.org

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