In a traditional procedure, passed on for centuries in Altenburg, hides from calf, goat, deer, horse, sheep and bovine animals are processed by hand into parchment and drumheads.
As a result of different drying operations, transparent, white or antique parchments can be created. The finished parchments vary in thickness from wafer-thin 0.1 for strong restoration and writing parchments to about 3 mm for Bongo and Conga heads for the music industry.
Production process from hides to drumheads
The skins are purchased as "fresh hides” (salted) or as “dried hides ".
Rinsing and soaking
The goods are collected in batches: the same species - the same weight and a maximum of 400 pieces per barrel. After thorough rinsing and soaking, liming is carried out on the hides which causes the pores to open and releases the hair.
After again rinsing the first part of game is taken out of the barrel and the tissue is removed. The scars and the hair side are cleaned by incineration. The flesh side is treated with a tissue removal device and planed down to the subcutaneous tissue. Now the pelts (skins) are put into a barrel, rinsed, neutralized and sorted according to their intended use.
Drying the parchment
The final step is the drying of the parchment. This is dependent on the desired quality and use.
"Einsteinen von Hand" (stone tacking by hand)
According to ancient tradition, the bare pelts are tacked with stones by hand. After tacking, the parchments are stretched onto frames. Other pelts are dried on plates.
The entire process from soaking to the drying of the parchments, depending on the skin, takes about a week and must not be interrupted. The raw material that we process is exclusively from Europe.