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What Is Vellum Finish?

Vellum finish paper is recommended for watercolor painting.
watercolor palettes and brush image by egal from Fotolia.com

Vellum finish is typically a term used to describe the finish on paper stock. The two main types of vellum paper include vellum finish paper and translucent vellum paper. Novice crafters should be clear on the definitions in order to stock the correct type of paper for a specific paper craft. Each type of paper has very specific uses.

Finish Versus Paper Type

According to the California Paper Goods website, a paper finish is described as a paper’s texture. Textures (or finishes) vary based on the treatments applied to the paper’s surface. Paper type refers to a specific kind of paper rather than its texture.

Vellum Finish Definition

According to the California Paper Goods website, vellum finish describes paper treated with a fine-toothed texture. In other words, the paper may appear smooth when looking at it straight on but a tilt in the light reveals a fine, evenly applied rough finish. The B and F Papers website adds that vellum finish paper features an eggshell-like feeling when touched.

Translucent Vellum Paper

Translucent vellum paper is a paper type and not the vellum paper finish. Translucent vellum paper is a thin, see-through paper often used in scrapbooking, according to the Paper Mill Store website. People commonly include translucent vellum paper in wedding invitations.

Uses of Vellum Finish Paper

Vellum finish paper has many uses for paper crafters. According to the California Paper Goods website, the finish is perfect for colored pencils and absorbs ink evenly. The site recommends using vellum finish paper for heat embossing, stencil embossing, rubber stamping, chalk work, watercolor and die-cutting. This paper finish is one of the most versatile available to crafters.


Vellum also describes a natural fabric in addition to paper types and finishes. According to the NearSea Naturals website, vellum fabric is a tightly woven fabric made from 100 percent hemp. Compared to other hemp fabrics, vellum features a fairly soft texture. The website recommends using this fabric for shower curtains, upholstery and clothing.

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