Cowley Vellum & Parchment are the finest skins available and have been manufactured by the same method for the last 200 years.
Cowley Calfskins are available in 8 varieties:
Manuscript: Typically the lightest shade of the calfskins (asides from Kelmscott). Manuscript skins have been prepared on both sides for calligraphy or illumination for use with a hard edged pen or steel nib.
Classic: Slightly more ivory or creamy in color with interesting vein pattern. Classic skins are only prepared on one side (grain side, or "skin" side).
Honey: Slightly darker, or honey toned, than the Classic Calf, and are only prepared on one side like the Classic Calf.
Veiny: These skins are very rare and have been stained by the animal's blood to give them their unique tone and pronounced veining.
Slunk: This small size vellum is produced from the skin of a still born or uterine calf. Slunk skins are valued for their thinness & smoothness, which is ideal for manuscripts, calligraphy, and other applications. Since these skins have not been exposed to the elements, their skin lacks most flaws commonly seen in other more mature animals. Natural slunk have not been whitened.
Translucent: These amber toned translucent skins are prepared using a formula from the 1700's to create their translucency. The image above has been photographed with a sheet of decorative paper behind it to demonstrate some of the skins characteristics.
Kelmscott: These are the whitest & the heaviest of all the vellums. Originally made to simulate ivory, these skins are finished with a plaster of paris coating that adds to the overall thickness of the skin. Kelmscott skins are especially sought after by botanical painters due to their smoothness for painting and ease of erasure simply by scraping away a top layer of the coating with a knife. While this coating does add significant depth to the skin, none of the luminosity innate to the properties of the skin seems to be lost.
Since skins are all hand finished & made, they do vary in tone & color