Foil stamping, typically a commercial print process, is the application of pigment or metallic foil, often gold or silver (but can also be various patterns or what is known as pastel foil which is a flat opaque color or white special film-backed material) to paper where a heated die is stamped onto the foil, making it adhere to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper. Foil stamping can be combined with embossing to create a more striking 3D image.
Foil stamping machines, also known as hot foil stampers, use heat to transfer metallic foil to a solid surface. Examples of items that are foil stamped include pencils, napkins, matchbooks, photographs and books. The foil stamp is a permanent process. These machines are popular with wedding businesses, photography studios and other businesses that need to brand or mark products.
A similar machine, called a foil fuser, creates a similar look in a process called foil fusing in which foil is fused to printer toner by means of heat.
Embossing is a process involving the same or similar dies, and can be combined with foil stamping to produce stunning effects. Blind embossing, or embossing without foil or ink, creates a raised or depressed image and is commonly used with academic and archival-quality documents.
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