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Hot Stamping Technique

General Information

Hot stamping represents a printing method that alters the material's surface, creating a three-dimensional effect. Pressure is applied from a press designed to print on the product's surface. This technique is widely used to transfer designs onto leather or leather-like products, allowing the addition of metallic finishes for chromatic customization. The hot stamping process involves transferring both metallic and neutral films onto objects with regular surfaces. An engraved cliché is fixed on a heated plate, then a coloring tape, called "foil," is positioned between the printing substrate and the cliché. When the cliché presses against the sheet, heat separates the coloring layer from the foil and transfers it onto the product itself.

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Customization and Production Times

Hot stamping favors regular surfaces. This technique is very durable, offering long-term durability, abrasion resistance, and color stability. Hot stamping is not suitable for creating extremely small details or subtle shades. It gives brilliance and metallic effects to printed images. Production times may be longer compared to other printing techniques, as it requires specific machine setup. Foils are available in different colors and effects, with the most requested being metallic, gold, silver, marble, leather, and many other options.

Colors and Materials

Hot stamping can be used on a wide range of materials as long as they have mainly regular surfaces. The support materials on which printing is performed include plastic, glass, various fabrics, and paper, which is the most common material. Hot stamping cannot be considered as colored printing because it does not allow the creation of shades, but reflects the material's gradation on which it is applied. You can only choose the color of the foil with which the printing will be done, which can give a metallic effect to the image. You can choose to apply a darkening print that will make the logo darker than the rest of the material. Alternatively, it is a three-dimensional relief print that takes on the color of the object on which it is applied.

Maximum Number of Possible Colors

It is not a colored print; the tone of the image can only vary based on the color of the foil placed between the object and the printing machine. This technique can take various forms: it can be monochromatic or even three-dimensional, creating a raised logo thanks to the pressure exerted by the printing machine. Foil colors range from classic metallic sheets in white, black, gold, and silver to opaque ones or those that offer an enameled effect.

Equipment and Support Materials

The process starts with engraving the design on the cliché plate, followed by preparing and applying a substrate on the printing material to protect it from high temperatures. Subsequently, the cliché is heated to the appropriate temperature in relation to the printing material. Finally, pressure is applied to the cliché to transfer the image onto the desired object.

Cost of Engraving and Customization

This technique can be costly, especially when working with small quantities of products because the cost of the printing equipment must be considered. Therefore, it is advisable to amortize them through orders of high volumes. It is still a more expensive technique compared to other traditional prints.

Products Suitable for Hot Stamping

Hot stamping is widely used for producing adhesive labels, such as those applied to wine bottles, or for business cards, T-shirts, various fabrics, personalized packaging, keychains, agendas, and wallets.

Warnings

Hot stamping is a surprisingly unique process that gives a three-dimensional, metallic, or darkening effect. It requires significant investments for setting up the printing equipment. This technique is not the ideal choice for small quantity productions and may struggle to do justice to small-sized details or shades.