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Manga Carta's 800th Anniversary.

The nation celebrates Magna Carta day, one of the most celebrated documents in history, today - but did you know it was written on parchment made from sheepskin?

To make parchment, sheepskin is soaked in lime and then stretched out very tightly between pegs in the ground and left to dry. Once dry the skin is scraped off to create a soft and smooth writing surface that works well with ink. It looks like there is only one company left making parchment from sheepskin in the U.K today and the parchment is generally used for conservation work by archives when fixing original manuscripts.

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