A material, made from the split skin of calves, goats, or lambs, used as a writing surface before the invention of paper. It is similar to, and prepared in much the same way as, Parchment. To prepare vellum, the skin is washed, rubbed with lime (which imparts a paperlike feel to the surface), and scraped with a knife to eliminate pits and bumps in the surface. The skin is stretched on a wooden frame, and the scraping continues until the entire skin acquires a uniform thickness. Unlike parchment, vellum uses the entire skin (it is not split into two layers the way parchment is), and this process results in a more irregular surface texture than is produced in the production of parchment. (See Parchment, Vellum Finish.)

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