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What is Pergamano? & Parchment Craft Basics
By Marie Browning, Marie Browning Creates, 

Pergamano is a trade name for Parchment craft supplies. However the term Pergamano ("Perga," Spanish for parchment, and "Mano," Spanish for hands) is now used world wide to describe this fascinating new craft.

Even though we are just discovering this creative new art, parchment craft had its beginnings as religious art as early as the 15th century. It began in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands where the Catholic faith was strongest and wroth by Nuns as devotional pictures and communication cards.

The craft was brought to the new world and kept alive in Columbia at the Catholic schools. The modern history of the craft starts when Martha Ospina traveled from her country of Columbia to Holland where she began to teach it to ladies to learn the Dutch language. Martha has developed precision tools, books of patterns and a thug following around the world. Pergamano is now one of the fastest growing crafts in the world, and very popular in the Netherlands, Europe, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Canada. The craft is now just being introduced in the US market with explosive results.

The heavy parchment paper is a translucent grey color, but when you pressure emboss it (pressing on it with a small round-ended tool) on a soft surface, it becomes a satiny, opaque white. In addition to pressure embossing, there are various painting and perforating techniques that can be applied to make a very elegant looking piece of art work. The perforating makes the parchment lace-like, using perforating tools such as the flower tool, the four hole piercer and the diamond tool and grid.. With these techniques, you can make cards, bookmarks, boxes, lamp shades and even three dimensional flowers.

The most important element is that you have fun with Pergamano. Experiment and try different ideas. I think you’ll find yourself amazed at the results, I know I do!

Parchment Craft Basis

There are three basic steps in doing parchment craft. The first one is the tracing and coloring of your design. Traditionally the tracing was done with white ink, but now many colored inks are available for tracing. To color your card you can paint with pintura paints or pinta perla paints. You can also add color with dorso crayons which you use on the back of the parchment paper. ("Dorso" is back in Spanish). One more way to add color is using the perga liners (water-color pencils).

The second step in parchment art is the pressure embossing. For this you need a stylus and a padded surface. After all the tracing and coloring are done, you turn over the parchment and emboss from the back side. Many sizes of embossers are available from the fine embosser, for thin, sharp ones to the hockey stick, for embossing large areas. You can also emboss with some of the perforating tools for deferent effects. Another embossing method is "stippling," which used the single hole perforator and the embossing wheel.

The third step is perforating. You punch holes, then make cuts with the parchment craft scissors to create the hallmark X-design. When you combine these X-designs with embossing you end up with a very beautiful lacy-looking design.

Another perforating effect is made with the 2 needle tool. The tool makes perforated outline around your outside edge of the piece, which you simply tear away to create a lacy edge.

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