A totally random question...

pablohoney77's picture

...but does anyone know how to create a watermark on velum? just wonderin'.

dan's picture

Paul, you might write Stathmore Paper about getting a watermark into paper. Its part of the paper making process.

kentlew's picture

Depends what you mean by "vellum."

A watermark is created by embedding a relief design on the screen used to form the paper. The paper is thus slightly thinner where the design is and that creates the watermark that you see when you hold the paper up to the light.

Technically speaking, vellum is calfskin -- so no possibility for a watermark.

But vellum is often used today to mean a mottled paper that is made to resemble traditional vellum parchment. In that case, a custom watermark might be possible, but most parchment stocks don't usually come with a watermark. That would destroy the illusion that the paper is vellum, wouldn't it.

Vellum is also used to describe a paper finish, usually as opposed to Smooth. Similar surfaces are Antique and Wove. The distinctions between antique, vellum, and wove are often slight and vary by mill. This kind of vellum paper frequently has a watermark, depending upon the maker and the quality of the paper and its purpose (usually papers for stationary get a watermark, while those for books do not, for instance).

Strathmore offers a program for creating custom watermarks, but the minimum order is obviously large. Other paper mills may also provide this service.

-- Kent.

gerald_giampa's picture

You might think of letterpress. Impression no ink. Or impression varnish. Still this is not a watermark.

I invented an interesting process for making artificial watermarks using water soluable light sensitive chemicals. You would print with kiss impression and expose automatically with light. Only problem was you had to wear gloves unless you wanted a sunburn.

I didn't want one.

kennmunk's picture

try asking these guys:


They are researching the old Icelandic manuscripts.

'But it's a danish email' You might argue, well, that's because we weren't very nice to the Icelandic people and among all the c*** we did to them, we stole the entire collection, we didn't give it back until '93 or something.
But these people may know a thing or two about vellum.

pablohoney77's picture

well i guess it isn't real vellum, just a kind of transparent-ish paper that a lot of people call vellum, to me it has a kind of plasticky feel. and i guess i don't want a real watermark either, i just want to "etch" (for lack of a better word) an image into the stock. My brother-in-law swears that lemon juice will do the trick (and he DOES know everything) but i'm kinda skeptical. so i thougt i'd ask the experts...

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