The maker then uses a crescent shaped knife, (a "lunarium" or "lunellum"), to clean off any remaining hairs.
Once the skin is completely dry, it is thoroughly cleaned and processed into sheets.
The skin is washed with water and lime (Calcium hydroxide), but not together.
Vellum is a translucent material produced from the skin, often split, of a young animal.
In 1519, William Horman could write in his Vulgaria: "That stouffe that we wrytte upon, and is made of beestis skynnes, is somtyme called parchement, somtyme velem, somtyme abortyve, somtyme membraan." To-day the distinction, among collectors of manuscripts, is that vellum is a highly refined form of skin, parchment a cruder form, usually thick, harsh, less highly polished than vellum, but with no distinction between skin of calf, or sheep, or of goat.
French sources, closer to the original etymology, tend to define velin as from calf only, while the British Standards Institution defines parchment as made from the split skin of several species, and vellum from the unsplit skin.
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