Parchment is tanned goatskin or sheepskin. It has been used for everything from books, documents, diplomas, Torahs and lamp shades. At the end of the 19th Century Carlo Bugatti began using it to cover the occasional piece of furniture. In the Metropolitan
Museum of Art (NYC) there is a remarkable Moorish-influenced
Bugatti secretary and chair with parchment panels. In the 1920s
in Paris Jean Michel Frank started wrapping walls and furniture
in it. It reached its beautiful peak in Frank’s drawing room of the
Vicomte Charles de Noailles, which every decent decorator ever
since has ripped off in one form or another.
Every skin is, of course, a different animal so when multiple
skins are used on a project there is a beautiful variation in
tone and a discrete pattern. Not an appropriate choice for
PETA board members.