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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs about Foiling
Ideas and products to make your foiling fast and easy

Answered by Marcia Ann Kuehl & Sharla Hicks © 2007

foiled butterfly

Facts about Foiling

How to Apply Foil



line break
Embellishment Index click here

How does Foil differ from Gold Leafing?

The special effects of foiling looks very similar to gold leafing applications but are easier and less costly to use than Gold Leafing material. Foiling is often more durable when washing is required.

Gold Leafing comes in sheets but is such a fine material that falls apart easily when applying to a surface.

Foil is a high gloss mylar that pulls away from the clear backing. Sometimes it is referred to as foil paper and other times it is referred to as foil sheets. Both terms refer to the same foil (high gloss mylar) used for special effects.

Heart with 3-d Foil appliedWhat Surfaces can Foil be applied to?

Foil can be applied to paper, sweater knits, fabrics, lace, leather, trims, glass, vinyl, plastic, ceramics, wood, walls and more. If you can apply glue to a surface, you can foil it! Understanding which adhesive to use is key to the look and effects you will achieve.

glass vase with double sided tape used for foiling Picture frame with 3-d foiling

How to Apply Foil to Surface

NOTE: Foil sticks to wet or dry glue! Each glues/adhesives recommended below has an active tacky quality that grabs the foil when rubbed or ironed. More Info here on adhesive for foiling

Dry Glue Steps:

  1. Using Bella Nonna foil paper 1. Apply adhesive/glue to the surface (fabric, glass, leather, wood, ect.) and depending on the adhesive used: More Info here on adhesive for foiling on how to apply adhesives
  2. Let dry to tacky (1-8 hours)
  3. Lay foil color side up on glued surface.
  4. Rub foil with finger nail or rubbing device like a finger presser or squeegee.

    Little Wooden Iron Tsukineko squeegee Finger Presser
    NOTE: Click each product for additional information

  5. Lift foil to reveal effect.
  6. You may re-foil, if parts of adhesive are not covered.

Wet Glue Application for Jones Tones glue or other wet adhesives

Using Bella Nonna foil paper TIP: Be sure to wash your brush, sponge, stamps, and stencils in water immediately after use.
  1. Prepare foil by applying glue to back side of foil
    • Precut foil shapes and apply glue directly to the backside of foil
    • Create design on backside of foil by applying glue with brush or sponge
  2. While wet, place foil glue side down on the surface to be foiled
  3. Apply even pressure without moving the foil.
  4. Dry flat 1 hour
  5. Peel off foil quickly
  6. You may re-foil, if parts of adhesive are not covered
  7. You may also use the foil until all the color is gone.

Special effects using partially used foil sheets

Collect and reuse your foil paper until all the color is gone. Partially used sheets can be used in a variety of ways. Foiling can be used to help create surface designs by building layers of foil color over the original fabric.

 

Well Used Foil Example
Well used Copper, Gold, & Iridescent Green
Used to create multicolor foiling in fabric example below.

  • Closeup of special effects n foilingWhile you can purchase multicolored foil papers, the choices are limited. Experiment with partially used sheets to create your own layers and patterns of colors.
  • Cut a piece of foil paper the size and shape to cover part of your design. Foil and remove.
  • Now, use another foil paper next to it, or on top of it. Keep doing this until you achieve the desired effect.
  • A well-used sheet will give a more random pattern of color and create a lightly covered area of color.
  • Combining multiple colors will provide a surface texture which now can be used as a designer fabric.

Foiling is a fun way to make an original piece of fabric that can be used to make quilts, fiber art wall hangings, altered books, cards, placed in a frame as a display of art or add pizzazz to home decor.

Is foils washable? i.e.: Wearables, Quilts, Home Wall

Not all foils are washable. Be sure to read the directions on the foil product and the adhesive/glue you have selected.

If the foil directions state it is washable:

  • When laundering, treat your quilts and wearables as a fine washable. Use water, a gentle soap, and a gentle cycle. Block and air dry.
    • Jones Tones and Bella Nonna foils are washable after application.
    • Jones Tones recommends to use mild soaps, turn the garment inside out, and use a gentle cycle. Jones Tones does not recommend using the dryer.
  • When applied to walls, glass, and other home decor items use a gentle soapy water, soft rag and a light touch to lift finger prints.

What size of foiling to purchase

Foil paper comes in many sizes, depending upon the manufacturer.

  • shoes with foilVariety packs offer multiple colors and are wonderful for small projects or first time foilers. They provide a nice sample of color ranges for experimentation and some will include different adhesives.
  • Economy rolls offer cost effective application for robust jobs like home interior wall applications.
  • NOTE: Here at Soft Expressions we have Jones Tones Economy Packs (multiple colors per package) or single foil color 50 yard rolls for the heavy duty user.

If you plan to foil a large project or multiple projects, buying larger pieces will be more economical. To avoid waste, cut a piece slightly bigger than the area you need to cover and set the rest aside.

When using a smaller foil paper than the area to be covered, either put two sheets side by side, or use one sheet of foil, rub, pick it up, moved it and re-rub. Keep moving it until the entire area to be foiled is covered.

Depending upon the design, a foil paper can be re-used until all the color is gone. Check after each use to determine if any color is still attached before throwing away. (See special effects for how to use up the last bits of foil on well-used sheets.)

fabric example with fabric Fabric example with foil
Fabric example and Fabric with Foil added
Note the added life in the foiled example which of course is even more beautiful in real life!

When to use foiling techniques for Fiber Art & Traditional Quilts

There are many ways to use foiling—and can be used by both traditional and art quilters with varying effects. Sometimes the fabric needed for a project just isn't available or is not quite right.

Traditional quilters can use foil to highlight specific areas of their quilts. Examples of this type of foiling are:

  • To hightlight an design begin by drawing a design using a liquid adhesive or a paint brush.
    • Outline the edges of an appliqué
    • Enhance the overall design by adding emphasis to the veins or hightlight areas in leaves, vines, or fruit.
  • Using a two step foiling technique, create more depth for landscape quilts.
  • Here is an example of adding depth to water:
    • In water areas, cut wave shapes out of fusible webbing or use double-sided tape and apply foil. This will create the feel of the water.
    • Now, draw thin water patterns using a liquid adhesive over the top, and change foil colors.
    • Some portions of the waves will stand out in more detail, and can create a wet look, or a shadow, depending upon the foil and fabric color combinations.

Art Quilters can use foil in many ways to make their art quilts sparkle without using conventional methods.

  • Foil over the top stitching to emphasize the lines.
  • Add depth or texture by using multiple techniques together.
    • Consider stamping with foil glue or using stencils to apply glue layer. Combined together for a one-of-a-kind surface design.
  • Foil can be applied to a variety of fabrics, even silk organza and fine tulle.
    • After applying foil to sheer fabrics, consider layering to create the depth of color and texture that adds excitement to fiber art projects.

Adhesive choices

There are many adhesive choices in the market and most can be used for many applications. Finished effect will often be the determining factor for adhesive choice. Read the adhesive directions and experiment with end results to determine the suitability of the adhesive for your surface choice (fabric, glass, wood, plastic, mesh, metal, leather, ceramics)

Environment can effect tacky quality of dried glue.

  • In dry climates complete project the same day or less. Overnight can make the glue's tacky quality dry and more difficult to use.
  • More humid climates, the glue tackiness can hold up for days, weeks and even months.
  • Sharla suggests that you experiment to understand how foil glue will react in your climate.

Liquid Adhesives/Glues

Liquid adhesives with applicator tips can be used right out of bottle to draw a lines for a particular pattern or design. Liquid adhesives can also be used to cover a large area, but will require other tools, such as brushes and a small container, to apply the glue to the surface of the fabric area.

Jones Tones Foil Glue

 

Jones Tones foil glue comes in a multiple sizes, even a gallon container. Most have an applicator tip. It is water soluble for easy water cleanup, with no sealing required. It dries clear and becomes tacky dry in a one hour time frame. It is machine washable. In addition to fabric, it an be used for leather, paper, glass, ceramics, and wood. It be used as is, or thinned down to a 10:1 ratio (That is 10 parts adhesive to one part water), before it starts losing its sticking properties.

Double-sided Fusible Adhesives

Double-sided fusible products are good for covering larger areas. Most fusibles have a paper backing and are easy to use. You can draw on the paper side and cut into shapes. To adhere to the right side of the fabric, remove the paper, put in place, and use a hot iron. Be careful when selecting a fusible, as many will change the hand of the fabric.

  • Steam-A-Seam2® has a heavy hand, that is, upon application the fabric which was once supple, is now stiffer where the product has been applied and feels thicker to the touch. This makes it a great product to use in wall hangings or in projects where you want the fabric to have more substance and to lay flat.

steam-a-seam2 used as an adhesive
More Info Here on Steam-A-Seam Foil Information Here
How to To Use Steam-A-Seam2® & Steam-A-Seam2® Lite with foil.

  • Steam-a-Seam2 Lite is manufactured by the same company, but only slightly alters the hand of the fabric. It has less bulk than Steam-A-Seam2® so can be used in a variety of applications where you want the fabric to retain more of its original properties.
  • Esterita Austin's MistyFuse is environmentally friendly because it is solvent free and recyclable. It does not have a paper backing. Misty Fuse has been extruded to a very fine web to create a lasting bond that does not add extra bulk. There is no extra adhesive, so your needles will not gum up. It is adhered using a hot iron and bonds firmly once cooled. It is suitable for a wide variety of fabrics and leaves a wispy textured design when foiling with it.
Misty Fuse Clear Misty Fuse Black
Misty Fuse comes in Black and White
More Info Here on Steam-A-Seam Foil Information Here

BoNash Starter Kit Dots and squiggles Jones Tones example

  • Jones Tones double-sided tape comes with the Value Kit. It is a fusible designed for fabrics. It is good for making designs with curves or long, thin linear patterns.

Jones Tones Value Pack with adhesives box foiled with double-sided tape
Jones Tones box example where the foil
was applied using doubled sided tape found in the Value Kit
to achieve very straight lines

Instructions for applying foil to fabric with double-sided tape

How to use Jones Tones double-sided tape, which comes with the Foil Paper Value Pack

  1. Position the tape on the right side of the fabric to create your design.
  2. Remove tape back.
  3. Lay foil color side up, on top of the double-sided tape.
  4. Rub the foil with even pressure and peel the foil paper away.
Jones Tones Foil Glue

Instructions for applying foil to fabric with liquid adhesives:

3D Effects

  1. If you use the Jones Tones adhesive right from the bottle, you will get a thick line for a 3D effect. Simply draw your design, using the bottle applicator tip.
    • The speed and pressure you apply to the tube as you drag the tip will affect the thickness of the lines.
  2. Wait at least 1 to 8 hours for the adhesive to dry completely. Jones Tones will dry clear.
    • In dry climates complete project the same day. Overnight can make the glue's tacky quality a little dry and more difficult to use.
    • More humid climates, the glue tackiness can hold up for days, weeks and even months.
    • Sharla suggests that you experiment to understand how foil glue will react in your climate
  3. Place a piece of foil over the design with colored side up.
  4. Be sure to read the glue/adhesive packaging as directions may differ. Some products, like Jones Tones tell you to place the foil over the top of the glue and rub evenly. Then simply pull the paper away.
  5. You may re-foil, if parts of adhesive are not covered
  6. You may also use the foil until all the color is gone.

Dots and squiggles Jones Tones example Artifical rose with foil applied

3-d foiling examples using Jones Tones

3-D effects Examples Created with
Jones Tones Foil Paper & Jones Tones Foil Glue

 

Three Techniques to Achieve Flat-Shimmery Effects

  1. Wet glue application with sponges and paint brush
  2. Double-sided adhesive that are finger pressed down or use the iron to activate glue

Use a paint brush or sponge technique to achieve flat or shimmering effects.

TIP: When painting or sponging glue on fabric, be sure to use a thin glue and work on a smooth surface.

  • Jones Tones adhesive can be thinned with water, up to a 10:1 ratio. (That is 10 parts adhesive to one part glue). Use a ¼ inch teaspoon to measure in a small container. Measure your adhesive, then add the water. Stir until consistent.
  • Bella Nonna adhesive can be used right out of the container or can be thinned if you wish.

Use a paint brush to apply a small amount of adhesive to the fabric.

TIP: Be sure to wash your brush or sponge immediately after.

Dry To Tacky Ahesive Foil Application

TIP: Be sure to wash your brush, sponge, stamps, and stencils in water immediately after use.

  1. Use a paint brush to apply glue directly to the fabric.
  2. Dry to tacky by waiting at least 1 hour for the adhesive to dry completely.
  3. Place a piece of foil over the design with colored side up.
  4. Be sure to read the packaging.
  5. Some products, like Jones Tones tell you to place the foil over the top of the glue and rub evenly. Then simply pull the paper away.
  6. You may re-foil, if parts of adhesive are not covered
  7. You may also use the foil until all the color is gone.

Wet Glue Application for Jones Tones and Bella Nona glue or other wet adhesives.

TIP: Be sure to wash your brush, sponge, stamps, and stencils in water immediately after use.
  1. Prepare foil by applying glue to back side of foil
    • Precut foil shapes and apply glue directly to the backside of foil
    • Create design on backside of foil by applying glue with brush or sponge
  2. While wet, place foil glue side down on the surface to be foiled
  3. Apply even pressure without moving the foil.
  4. Dry flat 1 hour
  5. Peel off foil quickly
  6. You may re-foil, if parts of adhesive are not covered
  7. You may also use the foil until all the color is gone.

Experiment with other Applicator tools

Experimenting with other ways to apply glue to the surface can create unique surface design textures.

  • Try applying the glue to a rubber stamp and stamp the fabric.
  • Place a stencil over the fabric and brush or daub the glue. Soft Expressions has some great Doodling Stencils and books that are ideal for developing unique repetitive designs
Dooding Templates Examples
stencils for foiling
NOTE: When glue is sticky on the stencil surface, use Staz-On All-Purpose Cleaner to remove
  • Use painter's tape to mask areas on the fabric before applying the glue by brush.
  • Pencil eraser tip to apply dots
  • Place texture plates under fabric or paper when applying glue
  • For a less uniform coverage, scrunch plastic wrap or tin foil dip in glue and apply to the surface

 

 

makeup sponge foiling example
Makeup sponge used to create pattern on fabric

Paint brush technique with Bella Nona  glue 1Paint brush technique with Bella Nona  glue 2

 

 

Oodles of Doodles Book
Doodle Foiling Ideas

StazOn All Purpose Cleaner
StazOn
All-Purpose Cleaner

Great for Stamps, Tacky Glue Removal & cleaning paint from stencils

 

Iron technique with Bella Nonna Use Iron application to achieve a flatter/shimmer quality

Some foil papers may instruct you to use a craft iron or the tip of medium-hot iron to fuse foil to fabric. Caution: If iron is too hot it can melt the foil. You may want to use a piece of lightweight cotton fabric or a Teflon sheet placed over the foil as a pressing sheet if using a hot iron. Wait until foil has cooled completely before removing.

Steam-a-Seam on rolls Instructions for applying foil to fabric with Steam-A-Seam 2®:

  • Trace a design (heart or swirl) onto Steam-A-Seam2® or Steam-a-Seam2 Lite. Steam-A-Seam2® adds a stiffer hand to the fabric than the LITE version, while Steam-a-Seam2 Lite has a lighter hand to the fabric. Both are adhered to the fabric in the same manner.
  • Cut out the design with scissors.
  • Peel off one side of Steam-A-Seam2® paper and place design on the right side of fabric with paper side up (sticky side down)
  • Set iron on medium heat and iron design in place.
  • Let cool and remove paper.
  • Place a piece of foil over the design with colored side up.
  • Use tip of iron to fuse foil to fabric by melting the Steam-A-Seam2® adhesive. (Note: it is best to use a hard surface with light padding rather than a thickly padded ironing board).
  • Caution: if the craft iron is too hot it can melt the foil. You may want to use a piece of lightweight cotton fabric or a Teflon sheet placed over the foil as a pressing sheet if using a hot iron. Wait until foil has cooled completely before removing.
  • When foil has cooled, peel away foil and your design is complete.
Pressure Sensitive Webbing: EZ-Steam II & Steam A Seam 2 Double-Side Fusible Web


Steam-A-Seam has been Discontinued by Manfacturer.

We found an EXCELLENT replacement in EZ-Steam II. Very similiar and in one way better as it is a smoother webbing without the dots that can show up when fabric or media is thin and the ironing process is completed.

Steam-A-Seam 2
Steam-A-Seam
12" Wide
Sold by the Yard
1 Roll left
Limited Stock

10% off
Lite Ez-Steam II by Pellon
Lite EZ-Steam II
& EZ-Steam II
Replacement for
Steam-A-Seam 2

10% off
.5" Lite Steam A Seam 2
Lite EZ-Steam
& EZ Steam II

1/4 in. x 40 yds.
1/2 in. x 20 yds.

10% off
.5" Steam A Seam 2
9" x12"
(5 Sheet Count)
Lite Ez Steam II
& EZ-Steam II

 

 

YouTube Video: Trish Stewart shows how to use Fusible Thread and Foil together
NOTE: Soft Expressions has an extensive line of FoilFoil Papers

Youtube Video by Trish Stewart
Applying Foil to Fabric Using Plants

NOTE: Trish Demos using Iron to adhere foil
NOTE: Jones Tones Foil Glue can be used With OR Without an iron

YouTube Video
Polymer Clay TV: Creating With Jones Tones and Mylar Backed Foil

Conclusion

Foiling is a unique and very gratifying embellishment technique to add the jazz to any project. It is simple to do and with a little experimenting special effects can be achieved that will add that extra sparkle wanted for any fiber, art or home decor project.



FAQS
faq index computer quilting eqcopyrightupgrades
foiling photo transfer
metallic-threadinvisible mach appliquenewsletters
line break

.

More Embellishments click here

Foil & Glitter Glues & Adhesives

More Info Here Frequently Asked Questions about Foil Answered here

10% off
(great for foil & glitters)
Write 'n' Rub Foiling Pen
Write 'n' Rub Foiling Pen

by Tonetex

Jones Tones
Foil Glue
Foil Glue

NO Iron Needed
Direct Cold Application
2 oz, 4oz, 8 oz, Gallon
glitter glue
Glitter Glue
2, 4, 8 oz
 
Pressure Sensitive Webbing: EZ-Steam II & Steam A Seam 2 Double-Side Fusible Web


Steam-A-Seam has been Discontinued by Manfacturer.

We found an EXCELLENT replacement in EZ-Steam II. Very similiar and in one way better as it is a smoother webbing without the dots that can show up when fabric or media is thin and the ironing process is completed.

Steam-A-Seam 2
Steam-A-Seam
12" Wide
Sold by the Yard
1 Roll left
Limited Stock

10% off
Lite Ez-Steam II by Pellon
Lite EZ-Steam II
& EZ-Steam II
Replacement for
Steam-A-Seam 2

10% off
.5" Lite Steam A Seam 2
Lite EZ-Steam
& EZ Steam II

1/4 in. x 40 yds.
1/2 in. x 20 yds.

10% off
.5" Steam A Seam 2
9" x12"
(5 Sheet Count)
Lite Ez Steam II
& EZ-Steam II

Jones Tones Foils & Adhesives

More Info Here
Frequently Asked Questions about Foil Answered
Text &

Go to Video

click here For More
Embelishments & Foils

 

Value Kit
450 Foil Paper Value Kit
450 Foil Paper
Value Kit

Economy
475 Foil Paper Economy Pack
475 Foil Paper
Economy Pack
410 Primary Rainbow Foil
401 Primary Rainbow Foil
402 Iridescent Swirl Foil
402 Iridescent Swirl Foil
405 Silver Halo Foil
406 Leopard Foil

403 Holiday Set Foii
403 Holiday Set Foil

404 Gold Rainbow Foil
404 Gold Rainbow Foil
also see
10% off
(great for foil & glitters)
Write 'n' Rub Foiling Pen
Write 'n' Rub Foiling Pen

by Tonetex

Page 2: Jones Tones SUPERIOR VALUE
Economy Rolls : 12 x 36"/Yard OR 12" x 50 Ft.

451 gold roll
451 Gold
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
452 silver roll
452 Silver
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
453 copper roll
453 Copper
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll

454 Red
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
455 purple roll
455 Purple
12" x 12" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
456 green roll
456 Green
12" x 12" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
457 blue roll
457 Blue
12" x 12" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
490 gold hologram roll
490 Gold Hologram
12" x 12" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
491 gold laser glass roll
491 Gold Laser Glass
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
492 silver hologram
492 Silver Hologram
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
494 silver laser drops roll
494 Silver Laser Drops
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
495 pearl swirl roll
495 Pearl Swirl
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
496 swirl
496 Swirl
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
497 iridescent green roll
497 Iridescent Green
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft
Economy Foil Roll
4998 rainbow roll
498 Rainbow
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll
499 blue rainbow roll
499 Blue Rainbow
12" x 36" Sheet
OR
12" x 50 Ft.
Economy Foil Roll

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