The paper stock to be used could be recycled, textured, coated, or uncoated. Generally, the tougher and rougher the paper stock, the more durable the die metal needs to be. Smoother paper stocks don’t wear out the embossing dies as quickly and so Magnesium can yield good runs. Copper dies are recommended when using heavily textured papers and for longer runs.
The customer’s selection of the substrate may affect the appearance of the printed foil. Substrates such as cotton, vellum, laid (textured), straw board, recycled and other porous papers will dull certain foils. It is very important to select the correct compatible foil for the material it is to be printed onto. To achieve a good quality impression, the surface tension of the material to be printed on must be higher than 40 Dyne’s. A Dyne test marker is readily available and can be used to test different substrates for its potential hot stamping capability.
Recycled paper and board (card) is becoming increasingly popular. The print setup characteristics for recycled and virgin materials are generally quite different. This is due to high compression levels of recycled fibre in the substrate. When foil printing large solid areas on recycled materials, significantly more pressure is required when compared to virgin fibre material. When printing on recycled materials, it is quite common for the foiled print impression, not to appear as mirror-like as on virgin substrate. Compression inconsistencies in recycled substrates can make it difficult to print fine lettering or detail consistently. Recycled substrates generally tend to be fibrous and abrasive in character and so act as sandpaper on the printing die. This will result in a shorter print life for the die and an additional replacement die may be needed may need to be costed in.
Suitability of Substrate
Build up a range of samples for your own testing. Many suppliers will send you samples for testing particularly if you are a regular customer. In most instances foil suppliers are quite happy to test print foils onto the substrate you wish to use, and supply you with a compatible foil. They will also provide temperature data and any other information you require. It is best you ask for this information when you send then the substrate to test print.
Selecting a Supplier
1. Create a list of suppliers of foils, substrates and products you want to source using the internet, current suppliers, contacts in the trade, machine manufacturers etc.
2. Contact all the suppliers and get there catalogues, pricelist, colour swatches, samples etc.
3. Talk to these supplies and check the services and level of help they provide.
4. Avoid sourcing from too many suppliers as it can be a logistic headache and your shipping cost can be potentially be high negating any cost savings in product price.
5. When talking to suppliers you should be able to tell which companies are more helpful, easier to deal with, more flexible, have more of the products you want, more generous with samples etc. and put them is your list of preferred suppliers.
6. A list will soon be created on this website but as we would like to create a global list please send us the details of any suppliers you know off.