April 25th, 2009 by Solange
With spring come weddings and this year, I am going to…..no, I am not going to get married, I am going to try a new craft for my greeting cards. The other day, I saw this ever so romantic looking card, it looked like paper-lace on translucent embossed paper. When I enquired to how this ever so lovely effect has been achieved, I was told that it was “parchment craft”.
With a bit of research I found that traditionally parchment craft designs were all white on translucent paper and mostly used for religious celebrations such as communions. Nowadays, white monochrome has been joined by multicolored parchment papers, inks have followed suit, and parchment craft is use for all occasions.
Despite the fact that parchment craft has been used for centuries to enhance greeting card designs it remain a “niche” craft as it was re-introduced in Europe only recently.
Historians trace this ancient craft to the Catholic communities in Europe during the 14th century. For centuries to follow, South American people were introduced to this craft by missionaries. In the 19th century, the French, eternal romantic, used the technique to embosse cherubs and garlands of flowers for their “billets doux”.
Then, it disappeared from Europe without ever reaching the US, what follows is a fascinating modern success story:
In 1986, a Columbian woman, Martha Ospina, introduced it back to Holland. Since then, she has written a number of books on the subject and open her company the Pergamano craft which sells materials, trainings etc…. Pergamano is compound word: Pergamum and Mano. Pergamano became so popular that people refer to parchment craft as Pergamano craft.
By the way, Pergamum is the name of a Turkish town where parchment was developed. Today Pergamano craft has spread throughout the 5 continents.
• Patience, this is a real game of precision and patience but the outcome is just gorgeous.
• Parchment paper which is a very strong paper
• Base mat
• Embossing tool
• Pricking tool
• Mapping tool
• Scissors or craft knife
• Card with aperture
1. Tracing and embossing are the basic techniques.
2. Choose your design and place parchment paper over it, secure with tape
3. Using the mapping pen and white ink, trace around the design onto the parchment
4. When dry turn over, lay on base mate and with the embossing tool rub over the design,
5. Turn over again, this time with the needle tool prick holes in the part of the design that look like small dots.
6. Trim the parchment design and tape behind the aperture.
The result is a beautiful, intricate pattern.