Hot-foiling hints

Some hints and tips to get the best results for hot-foiling using the CraftyChique ImPress

  Hot-foiling requires getting to know your machine and the intricacies of hot foil stamping, in addition to a bit of experimenting. Following our tips below you will soon be able to create many beautiful images for your projects. Hot-foiling on assorted media We have spent time with the foil supplier determining the scope of the ImPress’ capabilities using various foils and substrates. We recommend you try hot-foiling on test samples until you are familiar and happy with your ImPress and before you use your final substrate. We have been able to achieve excellent foiling results using the new improved ImPress. This was originally on sale from around September 2014. It had significant improvements over the previous version:
  1. It has a more sophisticated heating element that maintains constant temperature across the surface.
  2. It has been better constructed to ensure that all joints are square.
  3. The frame has been strengthened and the springs adjusted so that it is sturdier and more comfortable to use
We have tried to trouble-shoot customers’ problems, who have the previous design and we have tested three old Dragons. It seems that the temperature specified in the instructions may be insufficient. We recommend that you start at around 3 and gradually increase the temperature to 4 until you get good results. Some tips as follows:
  1. The variables when foiling that affect outcome are
    1. Temperature
    2. Dwell time
    3. Pressure
    You will need to experiment with these three, but for foiling on a smooth card or paper surface, a thermostat setting of around 3 (with the improved ImPress, most likely higher for the old design), short dwell time of about a second and decent pressure works well.
  2. Heat-reactive foils – we have determined from our supplier a range of gold, silver, shiny colours, lace and holographic foils that work well. These may be used with other hot-foiling machines. However, the foils are not suitable for laminator methods or laser printers.
  3. Substrate – we found that higher quality digital printing paper and smooth (ultra or extreme) card work best. The ImPress hot-foiler will not work well with dry or cheap paper. We have also tested pearlescent, mirri, hammer effect, linen, kraft and cards with a gloss finish such as Chromalux. Heat-resistant acetate and vellum also work very well, but at a lower thermostat setting of say 2-3. Some cards which are sold as smooth are not smooth enough, hence it is a trial and error exercise until you succeed. Real smooth leather, ribbon, smooth wood, glossy cardboard/albums, cellophane, wrapping paper and decoupage paper usually work well too.
  4. The make-ready mat needs to be in place. This is a rubbery mat which should ideally be stuck to the base under the positioning mat. The whole mat should not be stuck down, but about 1cm of the perimeter release film should be cut so that it can be ‘loosely’ stuck down, with adhesive all the way around. Sometimes it helps if you put a card on the mat underneath the substrate – for foiling on some ribbons for example.
  5. The surface your machine is on needs to be sturdy and flat and at the right height so that you can use your body weight to exert pressure.
  6. Dies – it is recommended that the die is left to heat up in the ImPress for at least 4 minutes up to the optimum temperature (at or above 115 degrees Celsius, thermostat setting 3). If the die is too cool the transfer glue will not be melted enough to stick the foil. If the die is too hot the foil will bleed and release too much foil and will make your image appear fuzzy.
  7. Dies where there are large areas of foil to be put down, generally in images, may require more trialling, but can be double foiled to fill in completely as long as the substrate remains in its original place and is not moved. Hold the substrate down as you lift the ImPress to make sure it doesn’t move. You can examine whether the image has transferred by holding the used foil against the light. All of the die pattern should be transparent. Any excess bleeding can be rectified by gently brushing away with the fine finishing brush.
  8. Scrap foil may be used to fill in empty areas or borders on your cards or scrapbooks, by simply using glue or double sided sticky tape, hence reducing wastage.
  9. Repeat projects – If you regularly use a particular die for wedding stationery business or Christmas greetings or charity card sales, it may help you to make a mask/stencil on scrap card. Attach the mask with cellotape to the top of the positioning mat in order to speed up alignment, avoid bleeding, reduce foil wastage and ensure accuracy for your repeat runs. Visit the blog section for more information.
Hot-foiling and appliqué on multimedia We hope you find the above tips and guidance to be useful. We are constantly updating these hints as we come across new ideas. We are very happy to test foil for you on your preferred substrate, before you embark on your project, if you wish to send us in your sample substrates. We are also very happy to send out a sample of test foils for you to experiment with, prior to placing an order. In due course we shall expand the range of foils as we test them. Please feel free to make a request if you wish to see a particular design in stock. If you have had success with hot-foiling on unusual media, please do share with us. If in your experience you have gathered some neat tricks that help you save time or get efficient results, please do let us know so that we can share with the crafting community. We would be happy to display your creations on our website and Facebook page with your permission and cross-promote your business. Happy crafting, Have a look at these projects you can use your machine for:
Moulding shapes with thermoplastic beads
Mixed media – Friendly Plastic and Thermoplastic beads plaque
Card with Daisies and Dragonfly using Embossing Powders
Shrink Plastic – Embedded black shrunken flowers
Cold enamelling – Sea horse on board and copper hand
Foiling with cutting dies
A tip for preventing ‘bleeding’ of foiled images

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