Parchment is a writing material made from animal skin, and it is prepared by a process called tanning. The process of making parchment involves several steps:
- Preparation: The skin is removed from the animal and soaked in water to soften it.
- Detailing: The hair is removed from the skin using a chemical solution or by scraping it off with a knife.
- Liming: The skin is treated with a solution of lime and water to remove any remaining flesh and fat.
- Bating: The skin is treated with a mixture of water and enzymes to further soften and remove impurities.
- Tanning: The skin is treated with tannins, which are chemicals that preserve the skin and give it a more flexible and durable quality.
- Drying: The skin is stretched on a frame and left to dry, then scraped and sanded to create a smooth, even surface.
- Finishing: The parchment is treated with oils or other chemicals to give it a final finish and protect it from damage.