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Blog Post By Genevieve Lewis

This paper is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time)

This Friday is the last day of my first week as news reporter at Print Monthly. It has been a huge learning curve moving from studying sport journalism at university into a full-time role.

I've chosen this as my favourite story from this week, as I learned about the history behind archival documents, such as documents used in the Queen's Speech, and how important it is for parchment to last. An interview with Antalis sales director James Jarvis revealed that this specialist goatskin paper lasts 500 years or more.


Antalis gets royal treatment

 

After a political disaster for Theresa May, the Queen's Speech finally took place on June 21st, outlining the proposed laws.

 

Brexit dominated the list, with 8 of the 27 bills focusing on the issue, and its impact on immigration, trade, and different sectors.

 

The list of proposed bills was read out by HRH Queen Elizabeth, who recited her speech from goat parchment, created by Antalis.

 

This is not the first time that the company have had the honour of supplying the long-lasting parchment, which is ideal for important documents.

 

Sales director at Antalis, James Jarvis, explains that the reason goat skin parchment is used for archival documents is because it can last 500 years or more.

 

The reason that it lasts so long is because the neutral PH value. The paper doesn’t deteriorate because it’s not alkaline or acid. The fibres, the make-up, it’s pretty robust

He says: “The reason that it lasts so long is because the neutral PH value. The paper doesn’t deteriorate because it’s not alkaline or acid. The fibres, the make-up, it’s pretty robust. If you look at it and you feel it, it is quite thick.”

 

Jarvis also explains that calf skin and other animal hide was used for archival parchment paper, before the switch to goat skin was made.

 

Despite being used by the Queen for important archival documents, Jarvis comments: “It’s never going to be an enormous part of the print industry,” but admitted that it was interesting because of the history behind it.

 

Jarvis continues: “The watermark is interesting, we print it in Scotland.” He described that the mark on the paper actually contains a goat within it.


He also explained that goat parchment can have more common uses. The special paper can be used to print wedding invitations and RSVPS's, or more prestigious certificates, such as university degrees.


The goat parchment can also be used to create family heirlooms, such as a document outlining a family tree. Jarvis notes that these can be printed “digitally” or sent to a “calligrapher” who can create these long-lasting documents.

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