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Paper Embossing – Paper Stock Selection Guide

For foil stamping projects, your choice of paper stock may also affect the final foil appearance. Papers such as 25% cotton, 100% cotton, vellum, laid stock and other porous papers will dull certain foils. The solution is to communicate to your stamping supplier the stock you’ve selected so they can order a metallic foil formulated for that specific stock. Check with your printer to determine the dyne count (surface tension) of a sheet when laminated. The dyne count should be higher than 40 for the sheet to be foil stamped.

  • Recycled Stock:  As the use of recycled stocks has become quite common, there are some considerations worthy of mention. Due to high compression levels of recycled fiber, stamping large areas requires significantly more tonnage, or pressure, applied by the stamping press compared to virgin fiber stock. Because of this fact, often a foil will not appear mirror-like, and fine lettering or detail presents a greater challenge because of compression inconsistencies. In addition, because of the abrasive, fibrous nature of these stocks, die life is shortened often resulting in loss of detail or additional cost.


  • Dark Colored Stock: As opacity levels vary with different foil pigments, resulting colors and contrast may not be acceptable when applied to dark stocks. This is not only true of translucent pastel and light foils, but with high gloss pigments as well. Check with your stamping supplier to achieve best results.

Paper Selection Guide for Foil Stamping