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Foil stamping, (also known as foil application) typically a commercial printing process, is the application of metallic or pigmented foil on to a solid surface by application of a heated die onto foil, making it permanently adhere to the surface below leaving the design of the die.
In the process known as hot foil stamping, foil stamping machines uses heat to transfer metallic foil to a solid surface. Examples of items that are foil stamped include annual reports, pocket folders, product packaging, note cards/thank you cards, business cards, envelopes and letterhead. The foil stamp is a permanent process.
There are two primary types of foil stamping machines. The first type is manual and the second is pneumatic (air powered), which typically used in a commercial print shop. Manual foil stampers are ideal for low jobs and the pneumatic is ideal for medium to high-volume jobs.
Commercial Foil Stamping is usually produced on a Kluge foil stamp press or a Heidelberg Windmill retro fitted for foil stamping. 
Foils come in a wide selection of colors and finishes, from the most commonly used metallic gold and silver to foils with pearlescent and holographic effects.