Sunday, 27 October 2013


The magenta line represents the paper and the black shape represents the embossing/debossing material.

For the best result copper should be used, however, for ease and time laser cut wood – 2mm thick – can be used for the top process.

Any text below 10pt does not emboss clearly.

Depth and clarity
-                It is difficult to get both
-                Usually one and not the other

Bold type gives the best results.

Positive should be printed black and white on acetate – frosted acetate holds the ink better. Any images should be high contrast otherwise they will not emboss.

Producing a plate can take up to 7 hours.

When embossing, the emboss itself can be empasised by using buckram over your chosen material.

It is difficult to ink and emboss as it is not possible to ink the etched area.


1.    Sand down the surface of the copper plate

2.    Degrease the plate

3.    Blot dry

4.    Etching plate is then covered with a light sensitive material
-                Remove inner matt/frost layer
-                Place gloss side up on the plate

5.    Place on press

6.    Lay acetate over the plate to prevent the texture of the cloth being left on the film

7.    Don’t touch and pull through the press

8.    Rotate 90° and run back through the press. This prevents air bubbles and creases

9.    Trim off the excess and the lamination is complete

10. If you want to use images, the image needs half tones – easily done on a laser printer

11. Exposed to a random dot screen, breaking up the half tone

12. Place image-side down – do not reverse the text

13. Stick to the plate using magic tape

14. Light box – 9 light units for acetate

15. Solution
-                10 grams of sodium carbonate
-                1 litre of water
-                18°c
-                Best results use 3 litres of water
-                All done for you

16. Peel of clear glossy film layer and place in solution

17. Sponge every 30 seconds

18. Wash with cold water and block quickly

19. Put back on the light box

20. Tape up the back to protect the copper

21. Etch for 6-7 hours

22. Rotate the plate half way through so that the copper dissolves equally

23. Place on formica boards – add stock – cover with tissue paper – slide into the press

24. Tighten screw – pull out leaver – pump until it is not possible to pump any more – push button back in – keep pulling handle

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