If you need Hot Foil Stamping
type for your Kingsley Machine,
click on the photo above and it
will take you to a showing of the
Hot Stamping Letters  we are
currently running.
Imprinting Leather

Foil to Use

At one time only 23-K gold was used to imprint  leather goods and Bibles.  However, today we have found a replacement we use in
our shop to process leather work that we feel definitely replaces the need for 23K gold.  You might try some the next time you
have the need for some foil for your leather imprinting.    Leather goods being imprinted with monograms or names  stamped with
23-K gold or a synthetic gold all are subject to  the acids used in tanning the leather and can turn the  green,  refuse to stick to the
surface of the leather leaving spots were there is no color in your imprint.  Further, many if not all leather is waxed or treated to
make it look shiny and nice.  The was or treatment blocks the foil from sticking to the leather.  We attempt to clean the leather
prior to doing any monogramming or imprinting.  There will always be some spoilage and loss when doing this type of work, as we
the imprinter are unaware of what the tannery  or others have done to treat the leather.  Try a sample before embarking on you
project this will help avoid greater losses.  

If your imprint is a bit blurred or needs to be re-stamped the 23-K gold is very forgiving and may allow you to re-stamp the item
provided it has NOT moved.   Use clamps or other devices to hold down your item under the stamping head so it does not move
during the imprinting operation.   There are now some good custom foils that work well on leather,  and we use them  almost
exclusively now, but should only be used, in our opinion, buy the most seasoned printer.   Practice first and many times to get the
feel for imprinting leather, it will be well worth you time.  

We do not use the foil feed when imprinting leather as the foil drags on the type and, as we call it, preheats it causing a poor
imprint.  Also, when the foil is installed in the machine it block the operators view of the imprint area.  It is vital you see the imprint
area and not move the item till you are confident the imprint is well done.  

We find it best to cut a small piece of foil off the roll and place it on the substrate, then place the imprint.  Read about Blank
Stamping Below.

The Surface Must be Level

The surface must be level and solid underneath.  If the item is uneven we place the hard red cushion board inside the item to give
us a flat surface.  If you omit this step the imprint will be uneven.  Remember you cant stamp over a seam or stitching.   If you
have a seam under the leather, you wish to imprint, it will cause a high spot under the printing area and result in that portion of the
imprint to be printed uneven and if you force the type down into the leather to make up the difference you will smash the type.  If  
an extra thickness of leather runs at an angle underneath the imprint area, to compensate for this, insert small pieces of cushion
board to level up the surface.   When doing a Bible open the cover and insert only the cover under the machine.  Trying to stamp a
book that is close is a recipe for disappointment.

Blank Stamp First

We recommend that your stamp the name without gold (blank stamp) into the surface first to get a clear, smooth impression on the
leather, in a sense ironing the spot to be imprinted with the type and making ready the imprint to receive the foil.   Then place your
small cut piece of foil over the imprint and re-stamp the same area "laying in" the gold into the imprint.

To do this you will need some type of holding down fixture.  The old Kingsley Machine came with a Leather Goods Clamp.  The
Clamp was excellent for holding down billfolds, leather suit cases and the cover of Bibles, we use ours all the time when
imprinting leather.   The other manufacturers have unfortunately discontinued making the clamps for there machines or never
made one in the first place.  Cheep clamps form the hardware store that are spring loaded will do if you can not get an old
machine with the clamp.  

Finishing Up

Now, leaving the item in the machine, wipe off the surplus gold with a soft cloth, best is an old towel that has been washed so
many time it has holes in it.  Be careful NOT to move the item in the machine.  Take a  look....  If it needs another impression
because the gold did not fill in, then you still ok to do it again.
Leather goods and bolts of leather come waxed many times.   It is not possible to do a good job imprinting a waxed item.
There is much more to the art of leather imprinting but this should get you started.

For a detailed discussion on how to Imprint a Bible check out this web page:  
 Bible Imprinting

DO NOT FORGET to always use a cushion board under all your work!!!
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Use a support under leather to
insure the area to be imprinted is
FLAT, SMOOTH and with out
obstructions behind the surface
(zippers, folds, pockets...etc)
Imprinting Embossing Leather
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david@belltype.com                                         310-890-2164