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What is foil stamping and how does it work?

By October 6, 2021October 25th, 2021News

We see foil stamping in many different formats, from fancy stationery to book spines. It is not just a decorative and aesthetically pleasing choice but originates from a traditional craft that has been practiced by artisans for many years. If you’ve ever been curious about foil stamping, this is what it is and how the process works.

What is foil stamping?

Also known as foil printing, leaf stamping and hot stamping, foil stamping is where a type of metallic paper is applied to various materials to create beautiful designs and graphic texts. Foil stamping can be very inspirational, as well as an indicator of quality and luxury and an attention-grabbing detail. When done well foil stamping creates a beautiful shiny finish that looks great on many different items, such as wedding invitations or business cards.

How does foil stamping work?

Foil stamping uses a sculpted metal plate or die. When this is applied to the foil a thin layer of it is transferred onto the surface area of the book, stationary etc. When the metal plate is hot the foil will stick to the surface where it is intended to end up, where the print is required. A foil stamping machine is the essential piece of kit that helps to bring these shiny designs to life – in addition to the foil itself it’s the other key component in the process. There are a number of different types of foil stamping machines that can be used including:

  • Hand operated stamping machines. These are manual machines that require the process of foil stamping to be carried out by hand. There will usually be a lever positioned somewhere on the machine that can be pulled in order to bring the printing mechanism into contact with the material that is being stamped. This type of machine can have either a manual foil feeder or an automatic foil feeder.
  • Pneumatic operated foil stamping machine. These machines tend to run automatically and use an air compressor to move the printer head so that it comes into contact with the material that is getting stamped. There is very little effort required to work with a pneumatic operated foil stamping machine – once the start button is pressed the machine will complete the rest of the task itself.

Foil stamping is a process that can be done in many different ways which all produce a similarly beautiful, metallic result, whether on book covers, invitations or business cards. If you’re looking to really make an impact with items like this then foil stamping provides a beautiful, striking aesthetic finish.