Metal Foiling and Machine Embroidery Part 2

Today we’re continuing our series on combining foil with embroidery! For ideas and info on how to get started, check out part 1 here.

foiled jacket 766x1024 Metal Foiling and Machine Embroidery Part 2

Today we’re talking adhesive! There are two ways to apply foil to a fabric surface—adhesive and fusible web.

Foiling Adhesive

  • foil stamp 300x233 Metal Foiling and Machine Embroidery Part 2Foiling glue can be applied with a stamp, stencil, paintbrush or a narrow-tip applicator allowing for fine lines and outlines.
  • To use the glue, apply it to the fabric right side in the design shape desired and allow it to dry thoroughly. It’s important that the glue is applied smoothly and doesn’t have any air bubbles or missed spots, as those will not adhere to the foil. Pop air bubbles with a pin point.
  • Depending on the adhesive thickness, drying time can be up to 24 hours, so be patient. It’s best not to hurry the drying process; avoid the temptation to grab the hair dryer or put the item in the microwave.
  • Some adhesives change from opaque to clear as they dry, so watch for the color change to ensure dryness. The adhesive can be applied long before the foil is actually adhered to the project, and the process will still work.
  • Most foiling adhesives are flexible; they can be used on knit fabrics without fear of cracking or splitting as the fabric stretches. Read the package before purchasing to double check if you plan to use it on knits.

Powdered Adhesive

  • In addition to using liquid glue, foil can be applied using adhesive granules. This technique allows for more abstract shapes than glue or web applications, but it can also be applied using a stencil for more defined shape. Granules are great for swirls, background sprinkles, and more. For the best control, mask out the unfoiled areas to avoid adhesive overshot.
  • Apply the powder in the desired shape, cover with a non-stick press cloth, and then iron on the cotton setting for 15 seconds. Use a small roller to apply extra pressure and push the adhesive into the fabric surface. Allow the glue to cool; peel off the pressing sheet. The foil is added after the adhesive is applied and ironed into the fabric (and cooled), just as you’d foil with the liquid adhesives.

Fusible Web

Fusible web samples 1024x441 Metal Foiling and Machine Embroidery Part 2

Different types of fusible web have different results.

  • Use this versatile product as an aid in the process and for extra creativity.
  • Trace a design onto the paper side of the fusible web and cut it out with scissors. Peel one paper layer and using a medium-hot iron, press the shape web-side down on the fabric right side. Let cool; peel off the second paper layer exposing the web.
  • For fun shapes, use a  scrapbooking punch on the fusible web, and then peel and press as for the hand-cut shapes.foil butterflies 1024x490 Metal Foiling and Machine Embroidery Part 2
  • Paper-back fusible web also comes in 1⁄4″- and 1⁄2″-wide rolls for even-width foiled lines and borders. Simply press lightly in place, peel the paper covering, and then use the iron to adhere the foil in place.
  • The density and structure of the fusible web will affect how much foil adheres to the fabric surface and also the definition of the shape edges—the nature of the web may not allow for precise, well-defined edges.
  • Experiment with various brands and weights to find one that gives the coverage for the look you like. In some instances, the actual web structure may show through the foil, adding texture, but this may or may not be desirable, depending on the design.

Check back on March 20 for our final installment and learn how to apply foil and care for foiled items while discovering some useful tips and tricks!



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One Response to Metal Foiling and Machine Embroidery Part 2

  1. Nancy says:

    This is so neat combining the foiling with embroidery. Thank you for the inspiration. I’m going to give it a try!

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