What Is Foil Stamping

What Is Foil Stamping

Types of Foil Stamping

Types of Foil Used

Machines Used for Foil Stamping


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Foil stamping is a special kind of printing procedure where heat, pressure, and a metallic paper (foil) is used to create different shiny designs and graphics on various materials. Foil stamping gives the stamped design a shiny and incredible look and is increasingly becoming the preferred method of printing in many an industry.

Foil stamping is also referred to as hot stamping (because of the use of heat), foil printing, dry stamping, and leaf stamping. There are various types of foil stamping that can be used depending on your design needs.

Foil stamping is called dry printing because it does not use any sort of ink for printing purposes. It is a dry stamping process where ink, some sort of magnetism, or plates are not used to print letters and pictures as is used in traditional printing methods. In place of all these things, foil stamping uses dies or carved metal plates, heat, and foil in the stamping process.

In the foil stamping process, the die or the sculpted metal plate comes in contact with the foil and transfers a thin layer of the foil film onto the intended surface. As the metal plate is heated, the foil sticks to the surface only in the design of the plate and in the required areas with the desired imprint.

But how exactly did this technology originate?

Well, let’s take a brief look at the history of foil stamping.

Foil stamping as such was not invented by any one person. Instead, the process of foil stamping has gradually evolved from similar processes that were in use many hundreds of years ago.

More than 4000 years ago, there was a practice in ancient Egypt, to hammer and beat gold till it achieved a thinness of only 0.0001 mm. This beat gold was then used to embellish mummies and also in the decoration of arms, coffins, and other substances.

In the Middle Ages, there was some kind of mechanical machines that were used for printing. Some monks started using these machines and the beat gold to print their books so as to classify them. But the gold was not used directly for stamping. First, only the leather bound books were stamped with the machines so as to emboss the leather. Once the design was created on the leather, the beat gold was added to the stamping by hand.

This was the earliest form of foil stamping and was prevalent till the start of the 19th century. At such time, in order to simplify the addition of beat gold to the stamped design, the gold was fixed on to paper, and entire paper rolls with gold were created. Now, in order to remove the gold from the paper and transfer it to the stamped imprint, heat was used to simplify the process. The heat did the dual job of removing the gold from the paper and also making it stick better onto the intended surface.

As beat gold was very expensive to use, finally at the start of the 20th century, different types of metallic foils started to be produced to be used in place of beat gold for stamping. Thus evolved the process of foil stamping.

Today, foil stamping has found many applications and is increasing in popularity as a method of printing.

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