The process required that a ‘blind’ impression be made into the substrate surface using a hand engraved tool, thereafter ‘Glair’ – a heat sensitive adhesive consisting of strained egg white and vinegar – was applied inside the impression area and allowed to dry. Petroleum jelly was then applied to the raised outer areas of the impression where gold embellishment wasn’t required.
A piece of gold leaf was then laid over the area to be decorated. As the gold leaf is thin the impression area is visible through the gold leaf, enabling the artisan to carefully press it in register into the impression. A heated tool was used to achieve the desired foiled design.
The 1930s saw the development of a material in roll-form capable of eliminating piece-by-piece handling of gold leaf. George M Whiley, the largest gold beater in the UK, introduced ‘spray gold’, a thin layer of gold deposited under vacuum onto a prepared glassine paper carrier, which proved to be the forerunner of hot stamping foils as we know them today.
Things have moved on rapidly since the thirties. Today hand engraved dies have been replaced by precision computerised CNC engraved dies, skilled artisans by high-speed state-of-the-art automated foiling equipment, and genuine gold foil coatings by cost-efficient tinted aluminium coatings. It’s these factors that have made foiling more affordable and accessible to a wider market for the purpose of adding value via visual appeal to a wide range of everyday products (packaging, labels, books, greeting cards, plastics, fabric, leather, wood, etc).
No other printing medium produces the same lustre and visual appeal that hot stamping foil offers, if you are looking for the competitive edge in a highly competitive market, foiling is the way to go.
UVP, based in Cape Town, is considered a leader in the modern art of hot stamp foiling with modern foiling equipment. It boasts a Bobst 102 press, coupled with a modern CNC and photo chemical engraving plant for precision reproduction of hot stamp tooling. Work is completed under the name UVP Products as well as the exclusive foil agency for API foils in South Africa, sold by United Foils International (UFI).
According to UVP its exceptional combination of skills and products are guaranteed to get the best out of any product.
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