With a surface like sheets of soft ivory, parchment became popular as a decorative finish during the 1920’s when modernism demanded neutral materials that maintained a sense of luxe. Avant-garde French designers such as Jean-Michel Frank, Jean Prouvé, and André Arbus rebelled against the bourgeoisie’s taste for old tapestries and dark wood, and designed clean-lined furniture upholstered in white kidskin and tables crafted of eggshell lacquer and parchment.
Parchment is a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin. Historically its most common use was for the pages of books or manuscripts. Vellum is the name usually used for a finer version of parchment, made from sheepskin or calfskin. Parchment or vellum is unlike leather in that it is not tanned, but stretched, scraped and dried under tension, which yields a stiff, translucent skin that requires great skill to dye and successfully apply to a wood substrate.
Alexander Lamont makes parchment furniture, lighting and objects. We have also developed printing methods that create layers of pattern over the surfaces such as the coral design on the Ocean Armoire and our newest technique, 'Suji' is hand-dyed parchment that creates a shimmering linear effect on the surface of the Mighty Table.