Custom Furniture & Architectural Surfaces


parchment screen

Classic Calf Parchment Screen            
Parchment is a semi opaque sheet like material made from animal
skin. The most widely used animals being that of calf, goat and

Distinguishing Parchment from Leather -

The distinction between parchment and leather is that
leather is tanned and parchment is mechanically processed by
stretching the wet pelt while it is drying. During stretching some of
the fibers are broken under the tension allowing the remaining fibers
to become aligned into layers parallel to the grain and flesh surfaces.
While the pelt dries the fibers are set into the stretched alignment
by a pelt fluid which acts as an adhesive. Once dry the fibers do not
revert to their soft relaxed state but create a highly taught sheet
which is smooth, strong and semi-elastic.

Slunks -

Parchment is also made from the skins of unborn animals. These
skins are called slunks and are regarded as a material of very fine
quality with characteristics of extreme smoothness, absence of
follicle pattern, and are small in size. Slunks are very unique and
are available in limited quantities and color.

Transparent Parchment -

Transparent parchment while not completely clear has a beautiful
translucency. In the Middle Ages transparent forms of parchment
were used in scriptoria for tracing features in illuminated manuscripts
as well as in as in spectacles, magnifying glasses, and as a window
material when glass was not available.

In eighteenth century England, bookbinders devised a way to
decorate bookbinding's in transparent parchment. The transparent
parchment binding cover was painted on the inner or flesh side in
reverse. It was then adhered to the binding so the decoration lay
on the inside where it could be seen through was well protected
by the thickness of the parchment.

Transparent parchment can utilized to enhance deigns where the
substraight surface or inner side of the parchment is decorated.


Types of Parchment:

Cinch offers two types of animal parchment, goat and calf, in many types of finishes.


Goatskin is characterized by a follicle pattern consisting of rows of hair pores, sometimes predominantly parallel. The grain exhibits numerous variations. Goatskins are available in:

    Creamy White Goat

      mouse over or click to see detail

    Natural Goat

      mouse over or click to see detail

    Slunk Goat

      mouse over or click to see detail


Calfskin is characterized by a smooth surface and a subtlety dense and random follicle pattern. Calfskins are available in:

    Classic Calf

      mouse over or click to see detail

    Natural Veiny Calf

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    Transparent Calf

All parchments vary in shade and markings from skin to skin and
within each skin. Characteristics of the animal as a unique individual,
for example age, sex, diet, stress, and state of health effect the
grain pattern and visual appeal. However English Classic Calf and
English White Creamy Goat vary least, while English Natural Veiny
Calf and English Natural Goat vary most.

Size of Parchment:

Goatskin's average in size from 5 to 9 sq. ft  (0.45 sq. M - 0.9 sq. M) .
Goatskin's average usable area is 24" x 36"  (609 mm X 914 mm).
A half goatskin's average usable area is 13" x 25"  (330 mm X 635 mm).

Calfskin's average in size from 7 to 9 sq. ft. (0.45 sq. M - 0.9 sq. M).
Calfskin's average usable area is 26" x 40"  (660 mm X 1016 mm).
A half calfskin's average usable area is 14" x 26"  (355 mm X 660 mm).

Slunks either from calf or goat average in size from 1.5 to 3 sq. ft.  
(.14 sq. M - .28 sq. M). For more information on slunks see
Parchment - Description and History at the bottom of this page.

The spine area of the animal can be apparent in the pigmentation of
the skin and runs the length of the skin. If you do not want the
spine area to be a part of the parchment design then we suggest
working in "half skins".

Furniture Specifications:

Custom parchment furniture specifications are discussed on a project
by project basis. Please contact us to discuss you furniture designs.

Panel Specifications:

The maximum panel size for a panel with no seams is 22.5" x
36.5" (571 mm X 927 mm). Panels can be larger but multiple skins
have to be joined to cover the surface.

Minimum substraight panel thickness 5/8" (16 mm), not including

Cinch Parchment Covered Panels Include:
-    Providing substraight
-    Sizing panel as specified by the contractor
-    Preparing the surface for covering in parchment
-    Purchasing, preparing and applying the parchment to both sides
     of the substraight (all parchment work at Cinch is counter warped
     for long term stability.)
-    Finishing as specified by the designer/contractor
-    Design layout of panels for installation (a key will be shipped with
     the marked panels)

Hardware For Panels:
    All hardware specifications will be defined in the proposal process.
    Cinch does not provide or install hardware when we are not the
    contractors for the installation.

Installation Options for Panels:
-    Mounting Z-Clips on both the panel and the millwork substraight.
-    Mounting KD (Knock Down) Hardware on both the panel and the
     millwork substraight.
-    Screwing in from the back of the millwork substraight into the
     panel (least desirable).

    If millwork trim is specified around the panels it is best to install
    the panels prior to the millwork trim so the fit can be adjusted by
    the trim not the panels (the panels cannot be cut down to fit
    because the parchment must wrap over the front edges and
    around to the back of the panel for stability).


Goatskin parchment starts at $120.00 per sq. ft. with a Satin Finish
Calfskin parchment starts at $130.00 per sq. ft. with a Satin Finish
Transparent Calf starts at $140.00 per sq. ft. with a Satin Finish
Slunks starts at $160.00 per sq. ft. with a Satin Finish

Goatskin and calfskin have a three sq. ft. minimum.
Transparent calfskin has a five sq. ft. minimum.

This is for preliminary purposes. The formal proposal cost per square foot will reflect the size and complexity of a project.


Parchment samples are available in four options.

-   Cuttings Sample - Free

Parchment cuttings sample
      Parchment cuttings sample

    Cuttings are individual pieces, approximately 2" x 3" (51 mm x
    76 mm) of the parchments we offer. They are not adhered to a
    substraight and do not have finish.

    Cutting are a useful reference to the nuances of parchment. Each
    cutting is labeled with the parchment type and Cinch' contact

-   Individual Sample: 5" x 7" x 5/8" Wax Finish - $ 150.00 each
    Individual Samples are covered front back and sides with the
    parchment requested. A wax finish is applied for basic protection.

    Individual samples with a wax finish are a useful reference to
    present the beauty of the material as applied to a surface. The
    wax finish is somewhat protective but will not hold up to careless
    handling, and/or exposure to moisture or heat. Each sample is
    labeled with the parchment type, finish and Cinch's contact

Natural Goat Parchment Sample - Satin Finish
      Natural goat parchment sample- satin finish

-   Individual Sample: 5" x 7" x 5/8" Satin Finish - $ 200.00 each
    Individual Samples are covered front back and sides with the
    parchment requested. A satin water white finish is applied for

    Individual samples with a satin finish are a useful reference to
    present the beauty of the material as applied to a surface. The
    satin finish is the most protective finish we offer. Please refer to
    Product Care below for more information. Each sample is labeled
    with the parchment type, finish and Cinch's contact information.

-   Custom Samples

    Available on request. Please contact Cinch so we can
    discuss the best possible solution for your project.
    Sample costs will reflect the complexity of the projects
    specifications. If the projects proposal is accepted and
    contractual agreements are met Cinch will deduct the cost
    of the samples from that project.

    Please allow 3 to 6 weeks for delivery.

Product Care

   50° to 75° Fahrenheit
   40% to 65% Relative Humidity
   No extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity
   No proximity to direct heat sources
   No proximity to direct sunlight
   No contact with moisture

Clients must be made aware that some changes in the surface
configuration of the parchment should be anticipated. Parchment is
extremely reactive to changes of temperature and relative humidity.
Ideal conditions for parchment are temperatures between 50° F to
75° F and a relative humidity of 40% to 65%. Parchment must not
come in contact with liquid, nor must it be allowed to be in dry
conditions. Parchment must be kept away from sources of direct
heat (air sources as well as CPU's and laptops), and out of direct
sunlight or other harsh light sources. Heat and or extreme dryness
will cause parchment to contract, lift, dry out and harden.

Dusting and Care:

-    Gently dust with a soft cotton cloth.
-    Always use coasters under both hot and cold drinks.
-    To prevent gouging and scratching, use felt backing on lamps,
     ashtrays, and accessories.
-   When serving hot foods, always use place mats under plates
     and hot pads under serving dishes.
-    To prevent moisture damage make sure plants are in drip-proof
     pots, and keep foliage from touching the parchment surface.
-    When placing items on parchment, always set them down
     gently; when retrieving items, pick them up, don't slide them.
-    Don't place rubber or synthetic materials, such as plastics,
     directly on parchment, since they might contain chemicals that
     could damage the finish.
-    Don't place magazines or newspapers on the parchment surface;
     the ink will bleed into the finish and eventually damage the
-    Blot spills immediately. Gently blot the area with a succession
     of clean, soft, dry cloths until the spill is gone and the area is
     completely dry.

Application Possibilities


     Seating:  benches · chairs · stools ·

     Tables:  coffee · console · demi-lune · dining room · dressers ·
     end · game · night stands · serving · sofa · stacking · nesting ·
     writing ·

    Case Pieces:   armoires · bar carts · bookcases · cabinets ·
     chest of drawers · cupboards · desks · etageres · head and
     footboards · secretaries · sideboards ·

    doors · moldings· railings · shelves · wall paneling ·

    blotters · boxes · chests · trunks · clocks · frames · lamp bases ·
    magazine stands · sconces · pedestals · screens · suitcases ·
    trays · wastebaskets ·

Parchment History

It is said that parchment, as a manufactured product, was
invented in Pergamum as an alternative to papyrus around the early
part of the second century B.C. There is evidence that a parchment
like material was available in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia
possibly dating back to 2500 B.C. but this early material was not
uniform and compared unfavorably with papyrus. Due to suppressed
exports of papyrus by King Ptolemy of Alexandria, parchment making
was perfected at Pergamum in the second century B.C. and
afterwards became the material of choice for scribes because it could
be produced rapidly, simply, consistently, and at a reasonable price
compared with papyrus.

One Cottage Street     Easthampton, MA 01027     413.527.8686    © Cinch 2004-05