Seventeen pound vellum is a light-weight paper. We sell Chartham which is a very clear, excellent paper. I generally emboss only on the thin paper. It doesn't hold up well if you make holes in it. The transparency of this paper makes it a wonderful chouce for adding color. I use good quality artists' pastels that I apply on the back of the paper after I have embossed the design. The effect is something like cloissoné—very pretty!