Foil Laminators

Foiling with a pouch laminator is the easiest way to apply a professional foil to your printed design. It is less expensive that a foil fusing machine, and better for lower volume needs. But not all laminators will work; in fact, they need some various adjustments and features to be considered foil-capable, and even then, you might need to do some testing with your specific paper stock and foil type before knowing if it will work properly.

With a great pouch lamination machine and a high quality thermal reactive foil roll, you can turn your plain printed pages into gorgeous metallic designs. The process essentially works by printing your design using a try-toner printer or copier machine, placing a piece of foil onto the paper over the portion of the design you want to foil, placing the sheet into a protective pouch carrier folder, and then running that through your laminator. It is easy, can be pretty fast, and brings the fun of foiling into the hands of all kinds of users, whether professional businesses or individuals.

So now let's review some of the important features that your pouch laminator will need to have in order to be capable of producing a foil laminated page. The foil laminators we have at Binding101 are tried and true, and all contain some combination (or in some cases, all) of these features. Scroll down just a bit more and you will also find a how to foil video, which features our best laminator for foiling, which is the SpeedyLam. You can also click here to visit our resource center and learn more about foiling, or give us a call at (866) 537-2244 with questions or help choosing.

Foil Laminator Recommendations:

   • Temperature - The minimum temperature your laminator should reach is 300° F, however, the ability to get hotter is recommended. Some of the foils, such as the holographic patterns, may require additional heat, so the hotter your laminating machine can reach, the more professional and solid foil you will be able to achieve, even with the more frigidity reactive foils.

   • Heat Settings - Having heat settings, or the ability to adjust hot hot your laminator will run, is another important factor. This variable hear allows you to make minor adjustments for the various foils and paper stocks that you may be using. As mentioned above, we recommend beginning with about 300° F, and then running a test sheet and making any adjustments based on the results.

   • Speed Settings - Adjustable speed settings are also important. When working with more difficult foils you can slow down the speed so that they spend more time in the heat, allowing for a more solid finish. And, on the other side, you can speed it up if your foil is leaving residue on your paper, indicating it is spending too much time in the heat.

   • Mil Thickness - Your laminator will need to be able to handle at least a 10mil thick lamination pouch in order to handle foiling, because we will be using a pouch carrier in addition to some potential scrap paper, which all add girth to the thickness of your item. If you use a machine that can only take a 3mil pouch, for example, you run the risk of jamming or damaging your laminator.

Foil Laminator FAQs:

   Q: I have a craft laminator...will it foil? Because we do not sell that particular laminator, we are unable to test to confirm, however, some people who foil for crafting with their smaller laminating machine have reported back to us that they simply run the material through the laminator 2-3 times and are able to get a nice foiled finish.

   Q: My foil isn't transferring...what's wrong? There are several things that you can try to troubleshoot and locate the problem. The most common issue is that the ink used is not a dry toner. Remember, our heat reactive foil is only compatible with toner printer sheets and won't work with wax-based inks. Click here for a full list of foil laminator troubleshooting tips.

   Q: What color ink will the foil work with? Our reactive foil responds and connects with dry toner, no matter the color. That being said, if you are using a solid foil (versus a transparent fol where you want the ink color to show-through) then it is always best to use black ink. Black is the most saturated and solid color, so the foil will always stick best to black.

Foil Laminator Troubleshooting:

Foil Not Transferring - If the foil is not transferring, or you are only seeing a partial transfer with speckles of foil missing, then there are several things to do to troubleshoot the foil problem:
   1. Is your ink a dry toner? Remember, thermal foil will not stick to anything buy a dry toner, so if your are not using a compatible ink, it will not transfer.
   2. Is your paper a smooth stock? Textured paper stocks are too porous to accept foil; your paper needs to be smooth for proper foiling.
   3. If your paper uncoated? A coating on your paper stock could affect the transfer. Foil will not transfer well onto coated paper stocks (sometimes worded as C1S or C2S on your box of paper).
   4. Is your laminator hot enough? 300° F is the minimum recommendation that your laminator needs to reach, and hotter is better. Some paper stocks (like thicker sheets) and even some foils will need more heat to transfer properly. If your laminator is already at it's top heat, then try slowing down the speed. If you do not have adjustable speed or heat, then try just running it through a 2nd time. Note that it can only be heated a couple of times before the foil becomes unusable, so you may need to use a new piece of foil.

Foil Transferring onto Paper Stock - It is a good idea to have a paint or dusting brush handy to lightly dust off the page after foiling, as some speckling on your page is normal. This will help remove those speckles. If they are not being removed, then your laminator may be too hot or too slow. Try lowering the temperature or increasing the speed and running a new sheet to see if that reduces the speckles.

Foil Transferring onto Pouch Carrier - You should always place a piece of scrap paper on top of your foil before you run it through; this will protect the top side of your carrier. If your foil piece hangs over your sheet, (such as if you are foiling a border on your design) then you will need a piece of scrap paper below your page as well.

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Foil Laminators

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  1. Laminating Pouch Carriers (Box of 25)

    • Keep your Pouch Laminator clean from adhesive runoff seeping from the Laminating Pouches into your heated rollers or plates.
    • Made from a coated stock that prevents your pouches from sticking to the carriers.
    • Sizes: 9 1/4" x 12 3/8" or 12 1/2" x 18 1/2"
    • Quantity: 25 Carriers

    Starting at: $15.39

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  2. Quick-Lam DH330 Dual Heat 13" Pouch Laminator

    • Speed: 21 Inches / Minute [Fixed]
    • Warm-Up Time: 3 Minutes
    • Maximum Mil Thickness: 10 Mil
    • Temperature Range:176

    $239.00

  3. Akiles ProLam Ultra Photo 13" Pouch Laminator

    • Speed: 53" / Minute [Adjustable, 9 Speed Settings]
    • Heating Type: Roller [6]
    • Maximum Mil Thickness: 14 Mil
    • Temperature Range: 32

    $528.99

  4. Akiles ProLam Photo 13" Pouch Laminator

    • Speed: 12 to 59 Inches / Minute [Adjustable]
    • Heating Type: Roller
    • Maximum Mil Thickness: 10 Mil
    • Temperature Range: 32

    $638.50

  5. SpeedyLam 330R 13" Pouch Laminator

    • Speed: 12 Feet / Minute (144") [Adjustable]
    • Warm-Up Time: 5 Minutes
    • Maximum Mil Thickness: 14 Mil
    • Temperature Range: 0

    $1,199.00

  6. Tamerica TCC 1400F+ Roll Laminator & Foil Fuser

    • Capable of Foiling, Laminating, & Mounting
    • Variable Speed & Heat Settings
    • Temperature Memory Function
    • Mounts up to 3/16" Thick Boards

    $1,799.00

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Video Transcript
Hi, my name is Mallory, and today I am going to show you how to turn a printed sheet into a gorgeous foiled print using a pouch laminator.
Ok, so the first thing you need to do it print the design you want to foil. It needs to be printed using a dry toner ink onto a smooth paper stock. Thicker paper like cardstock works fine, as long as there is no texture and the ink used is a dry toner (not an inkjet or other wax-based ink). You are also going to need a pouch carrier, which is this folder here. This is going to protect your laminator.
Now place your printed sheet onto the pouch carrier, an...
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Hi, my name is Mallory, and today I am going to show you how to turn a printed sheet into a gorgeous foiled print using a pouch laminator.

Ok, so the first thing you need to do it print the design you want to foil. It needs to be printed using a dry toner ink onto a smooth paper stock. Thicker paper like cardstock works fine, as long as there is no texture and the ink used is a dry toner (not an inkjet or other wax-based ink). You are also going to need a pouch carrier, which is this folder here. This is going to protect your laminator.

Now place your printed sheet onto the pouch carrier, and lay your foil roll over your design. Make sure all the ink that you want to foil is covered. Next, cut your foil to fit the design. Place the foil with the non-colored, gray side down over the portion of your design that you want to foil. So I’ve trimmed my foil, and now I am going to place a piece of scrap paper on top of the foil to prevent it from transferring onto my carrier. If your foil overlaps your printed sheet, you can also place a piece of scrap paper below your design.

Now bring it over to your pouch laminator, which should be pre-heated. The temperature to use is going to vary quite a bit, depending on the supplies you are using, including the paper thickness, the laminator, and even the foil itself, because some colors need a little extra heat. You may need to do some testing before you can get the perfect finish, so be sure to have plenty of printed sheets to work with. I am using the professional, James Burn SpeedyLam 330R, set to 150 degrees Celsius (or about 300 degrees Fahrenheit) using a speed setting of 2. Other laminators may work as well, but there are a couple things you need to keep in mind… they need to have adjustable heat and adjustable speed settings in order to work. They also have to hit really hot temperatures, the minimum typically being about 300 degrees Fahrenheit (but again, that will vary depending on several factors, which is why adjustable heat is necessary). It also needs to be able to handle a 10 mil thick pouch minimum, since we are using a thick pouch carrier and scrap paper. If you’re using one of the smaller home office pouch laminators, it might still work, you may just have to run it through more than once to get the foil to stick.

So we’re going to lay our carrier flat and open it up. There may be some static, which for me lifted up my scrap paper. You can kind of see where it grabbed the design here. Now find an edge and peel it up. This is my favorite part...Voilah! You’re done.

The color used is our regular metallic gold, which is our most popular. We have several other golds available, including matte gold and rose gold too. Plus a ton of other colors, holographic patterns, iridescent rainbow colors, and more.

You can see here that I should have placed a piece of scrap paper below my design, because my foil overlapped my print and stuck onto my pouch carrier.

Thanks so much for watching, I hope you enjoyed this video. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more foiling videos, as well as a ton of other videos about all the products that we have to offer at Binding101.com