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Is Rawhide Vellum?

 Patience--Rawhide is definitely not vellum.  It is, however, cheaper.

  Vellum is a tricky material to work with, so if you go the self-taught
route be prepared for an expensive learning process. If you are
interested in western wallet "rustic" style, maybe the rawhide would do
if you can find it thin enough. If you want the real thing, contact
Jesse Meyer P.O. box 307, Montgomery, N.Y. 12549 (914-457-3834) and tell
him you want an "el cheapo" skin to distroy while you learn on it. His
good stuff sells for $10.00 a foot and up depending on type (goat, calf,
or deer) so a small hide is going to run you a minimum of $45.  As I
say, he might have a low quality discard he could sell you for cheap,
but it is hard to spend a lot of time on something that is never going
to look very nice.
  This is an instance where a good weekend workshop could save you A LOT
of grief and money.  If you can't find a workshop, find yourself a web
buddy on this list in your vicinity who can give you some real
assistance and help you with tool and hide selection for the kind of
work you want to do.  I love working with vellum, but it is not a
forgiving material, and crucial things, like thinning it, can be tricky.
There are some good articles on vellum conservation bindings and
wrappers, but professional conservation journals are not easy to come by
unless you are near a large university or conservation center.  The best
one I recall is by Jen Lindsey, but I don't have the reference handy.
Someone else on the list probably does though. Jack Thompson will know
for sure.
   You may be one of those people who can dive right into the deep end
of the pool and love the experience of learning to swim from necessity,
but I would hate for you to spend a lot of money and time and conclude
vellum was bad, terrible junk not worth caring about, or, worse, that
you were not a very good binder.  That you are asking questions and
looking around is good, keep it up. I am sure there are lots of people
on the list anxious to help you out.

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