Lawyers used sheepskin as anti-fraud device for hundreds of years to stop fraudsters pulling the woo - Deepstash
Medieval and early modern fraud-prevention technique

Experts have identified the species of animals used for British legal documents dating from the 13th to 20th century, and have discovered they were almost always written on sheepskin, rather than g...

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Lawyers used sheepskin as anti-fraud device for hundreds of years to stop fraudsters pulling the woo

phys.org

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Why?

Sheep deposit fat in-between the various layers of their skin. During parchment manufacture, the skin is sub...

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The fat content played a key role

Sheepskin has a very high fat content, accounting for as much as 30 to 50 percent, compared to 3 to 10 percent in goatskin and just 2 to 3 percent in cattle. Consequently, the potential for scrapin...

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And it continued for centuries

The continuing use of sheepskin over goat or calfskin in later centuries was likely influenced by their greater availability and lower cost.

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