Parchment, the name given to prepared skins of animals, which are used for writing on, and in the manufacture of various musical instruments.
The skins are first soaked in lime to remove the hair, then shaved, washed, dried and stretched, and finally smoothed with fine chalk or lime and pumice stone. The skins most used are those of the sheep and goat, but the skins of the wolf and ass are also used; whilst vellum - a fine kind of parchment - is made from the skins of calves, kids, and still-born lambs, and the skin of the fur-seal is sometimes used for very fine varieties. The Eskimos also use the entrails of seals. The word is also frequently used for a document written on parchment.