Foiling Experiments

Something on my self-set brief I still wanted to do now I had some finished designs, was foiling. In uni, we use screens to pull glue through to the shape that we want, which can then be used to create foiling samples, and also flocking which produces a lovely velvety finish. I thought foiling would look good on my work in a gold because of the yellow throughout most of the mini-collections. I thought about the use of the foiling for the front of the notebook, to add some interest to it and make it look like a more high end product.

I researched foiling and how to do it yourself, like what an independent designer would do with their own designs. A lot of people said they used a laminator, which heats up a high temperature to heat up and melt the plastic around the paper, which would bond the foil to the glued part of the design and act as though it had just been under the heat press. I did not have a laminator unfortunately, so I continued looking for other methods and whether it could be done simply using heat from an iron to bond it together.

I decided to just go for it, using a PVA glue, and a more industrial glue too for the tests. If I had more time I would have liked to have got in contact with someone in the print room and see whether I could order the type of glue for a further experiment, although I had hopes with the glues I had.

I painted some very simple designs, lines, stipples, something that would be simple to replicate and do again for further experiments if I needed to.

I used thin paper thinking it might work better so the foiling did not have to really bond to something more complex than fabrics. I ironed them both for around 20 minutes each and no difference at all was made unfortunately. This is something I am missing with Covid-19, the resources in Uni were really useful, I also really miss the photographic darkroom, I love cyanotypes and photograms, and I really wanted to play with these combined with digital work. Like using the cyanotypes to create motifs, then digitialising them into a pattern, or creating a digital pattern, then printing it onto acetate and making it into a cyanotype or photogram which can be repeated and continued.

I then thought about some sample packs I ordered from some websites to look into presspacks and paper qualities, I ordered a foiling sample pack when I was looking at my designs for consultancy.

This was a foiling sample by printed.com, which I think comes out a lot brighter and more professional than homemade anyway, I think this could be an option for when I actually make the products, and see how these look with some sampling. I was thinking of the words ‘notes’ or ‘to-do’ across the cover of a notebook for example, and I think overall the experimentation was fun and taught me about what is and isnt possible to do at home too.

Author: tahliadavid

BA(hons) Textiles student at Cardiff Metropolitan University

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