Papers for Foil Stamping

Posted by ashley mcneill on

Our little foil press is a tabletop model, accepting designs up to 5x8 making it perfect for invitations and stationery.

Like letterpress printing, some papers seems to take to the hot foil stamping better than others. (I'll work on gathering photos for examples.)

Handmade Papers


I've noticed that papers that aren't super plush for a great letterpress impression foil quite well and these have been rather successful with our little machine.

The stiffness of these papers works in their favor here:

While my favorite for letterpress, the Cotton color is too plush for foil and I have issues with it looking messy for full foil designs. However, for calligraphy accents or bolder texts, it's great!
No issues with other colors, just the Cotton. Papers are smooth enough that they're a joy to work with, but the cottons are usually too thick to make me happy.

With Complications:

Fringe & Rose

While very textured, RP and F&R foil pretty well, especially with calligraphy accents. The strong texture makes the combination of small text and bold scripts challenging. I'm still a fan.

This stiff paper foils nicely, when it's smooth. There are so many imperfections on the papers that the design can have bare spots. LOTS of extras would be required. If combing letterpress + foil, I don't see a problem.

Re: Envelopes

Due to the inconsistent nature of the handmade papers, and the importance of numbers to read correctly on addresses, I do not like, nor recommend, foil on handmade envelopes. I'm sure some places will do it, but I don't want to.

Cotton Papers

No complaints whatsoever with Savoy and Lettra.

Color Stocks

Keaykolour, great. (RIP) I purchased a lot of Deep Black, Biscuit, and China White.

Gmund, Colorplan, good.

Curious Metallics - WOW.

Other Papers


48# is better than 30# but I'd prefer not to do vellum. Since it's a plastic (basically), the high heats can warp it and still not be hot enough to control the foil. It's okay for bold things, not good for fine lines and smaller pieces.

Paper Cocktail Napkins


Linen Cocktail Napkins

No go. There is probably a specific foil for fabrics but we don't carry it.


120# Mohawk Superfine, foils great.

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