Paper Embossing is a new trend in the crafting industry that gives you the freedom to create your own custom projects by adding texture to paper, cardstock or other material. Embossing is the process of creating a raised or 3D image on paper and other material. An embossed image is raised against the background to create depth and texture. This is accomplished by applying pressure between a male and female embossing folder. In crafting these folders are generally made of a hard plastic and have some sort of design on them. When your paper or other material is placed inside the folder and then rolled through a paper embosser, the pressure applied causes the textured design to be pressed into your material.
Embossing is accomplished with only a few tools, generally an embosser and a folder. While there are many manufacturers of embossers and embossing folders, most machines will work with all variety of folders. Some of the major paper embossers include the CuttleBug, eBosser, Sizzix Big Shot Pro, Artisan X-plorer, and the Sizzix Vagabond machine that was inspired by Tim Holtz. All of these machines will work well for paper embossing and will work with most folders. The biggest difference in the machines is how they work, some you have to hand crank while others have a motor and the machine will do the work for you. Another feature to consider is the maximum size the machine can accomplish.
Embossing folders have two sides - the “male” side or the side that will emboss your material and the “female” side that will deboss your image. Depending on what look you want, you can use either side of the material that has been in the embossing folder. These come in a variety of styles and sizes. Generally folders are sized 4” x 6” or 5” x7”, making it easy to emboss the most common sizes of cards. Some of the folders also have a special hinge for continuous embossing, so that you can emboss longer than the embossing folder would generally let you do. This feature is great for those who want the embossed look in their scrapbook or on other large projects.
There are a few different techniques that are most commonly used for paper crafting; blind embossing is the most common. This is done without any ink or other pigment on your material, only the paper or other material is used. The second most common technique is using Ink, which is done by applying ink to one side of your folder and then running it through your embosser, thus creating your paper that is embossed and applying ink at the same time. Finally there is foil embossing, which uses a very thin foil and heat to apply the sheet of foil to the embossed area of your paper.