Gold Leaf Sheets
Genuine gold leaf sheets can be and are often used for gilding in a number of ways, whether indoor or outdoor and on various materials.
Sets of gold leaf come in packs of 25,100, 250 or 500 Gold Sheets and are 3 1/8-inch x 3 1/8-inch in size. 500 hundred sheets should be sufficient to cover an area of approximately 32 square feet. However, for curved surfaces, more sheets will be required.
Our genuine gold leaf is available in 12kt, 18kt, 21kt, 22kt, 23.5kt, 23.75kt and 24k gold variations. All of our variations of gold leaf are available as “Loose” or “Transfer/Patent” sheets.
- One Sheet: 3 1/8″ / 80mm
- One Booklet: 2 Square Foot (Approximately)
- One Pack: 32 Square Foot (Approximately)
Loose Gold Leaf
Loose gold leaf sheets of gold leaf are inlaid loosely within a booklet of 25 tissue paper compartments, with each sheet having its own compartment. Cutting this gold leaf is simple. All you have to do is take it from the booklet with your gilding knife and gently place it on a gilder’s cushion. Alternatively, you can also drop it directly onto the gilder’s cushion without the gilding knife. From here it can be picked up and placed on a prepared surface using a gilder’s tip.
Here the individual sheets of gold leaf are pressed into the tissue paper. This tissue paper is larger than what you’ll typically see with loose-leaf sheets meaning that the gold leaf can be cut into shape before being transferred to the prepared surface.
When transferring this type of gold leaf to a surface, the sheet will be placed leaf side down and the tissue paper gently rubbed with a cotton ball to remove it. Often when gilding outside transfer/patent gold leaf is what people use, however, when doing so we recommended that 23.75kt or 24k gold leaf is used.
What Are Gold Leaf Sheets Used For?
Gold leaf sheets are a type of metal leaf that is incredibly thin and comes in either gold sheets or flakes. Most typically, this type of gold will be used for the purposes of decoration and there are a number of ways in which you can do this.
Most typically though, the gold leaf will be applied to various surfaces with the use of an adhesive size. There are two main types of adhesive size. The first being oil based which comes in quick or slow drying varieties and is your best choice for outdoor work, Meanwhile, water-based sizes will often be ready to have gold leaf gilded to them quicker and remain tacky for much longer. As such, they are better for interior gold gilding work.
When using an adhesive size such as this, the gold leaf will be able to be gilded to a wide variety of different surfaces. Common examples of this include plastic, ceramic, wood, paper, stone, glass and fabric along with a wide variety of other materials. The result of doing this being that the surface you choose to gild ending up looking incredibly beautiful. In fact, the gilded surfaces can often be fantastic works of art.
Additionally, some gold leaf will be used for the purposes of decoration of food and drink. In which cases the leaf will have to be of the highest purity. As such, the edible gold leaf will be displayed and sold separately.
How Are Gold Leaf Sheets Made?
The method of making gold leaf sheets is a process that is used near enough universally around. In fact, this same technique goes back thousands of years with the main thing to change being the technology employed for this process. However, it is also a labour that can be quite difficult and time-consuming. The reason is that there are a lot of steps involved in the creation of gold leaf sheets. A basic outline of which is as follows:
- Alloying: Pure gold will be melted and small amounts of silver and copper will be added to create an alloy. This helps to provide subtly different colours to the gold. More silver is lighter whilst more copper will be redder. Following this, the alloy will be moulded into gold bars.
- Rolling: The gold bars will be rolled slowly multiple times. Each time, the gap in the roller becomes more narrow to make the gold even thinner until it is a long gold ribbon.
Weighing And Cutting: The gold ribbon will then be cut and weighed to ensure it is the correct size.
- Preparation And Beating: Around five hundred or so of the gold pieces are arranged between black paper sheets in an interchanging pattern. Following this, it is taken to the beating machine where the gold we are hammered even thinner. This process will be repeated five times, with the paper being changed before each beating.
- Quality Control: Of course, at each step, the gold is checked for any defects but just before the gold is ready for cutting and packaging, samples of it will be checked again more thoroughly.
- Cutting And Packing: The gold will be placed upon a suede pillow and cut into shape. After which it is then ready to be packed between two sheets of tissue paper. Twenty-five of which will be packaged together in a booklet.
Are Gold Leaf Sheets Real Gold?
Gold leaf sheets can either be made using genuine karat gold or imitation gold. Whilst genuine gold leaf is more expensive than imitation we recommend using the former when possible as it will last much longer.
How Expensive Is Gold Leaf?
The price of gold leaf depends on a variety of factors. These include:
- Whether the leaf is genuine or imitation gold leaf
- The karat of gold leaf
- Whether you buy loose or transfer/patent leaf
- Whether you decide to buy a booklet or pack (the latter can work out cheaper as you’ll be buying in bulk).
Are gold leaf sheets worth anything?
Genuine gold leaf sheets are worth quite a lot of money, especially to gilders and craftspeople. This is because an item gilded in gold is often more aesthetically pleasing and can therefore be sold for a higher price. Additionally, the karat of the gold leaf used will also increase this value even further.
What Adhesive Can I Use For Gold Leaf?
During the process of gilding gold leaf and adhesive size will be used to bond the gold leaf to the desired object. These sizes can be either water or oil-based, however, water and oil sizes cannot always be used interchangeably.
Oil-based sizes can either be purchased in quick or slow drying varieties and are your best choice for outdoor work.
However, water-based sizes will often be ready to have the leaf gilded to them quicker and for longer. Additionally whilst not ideal for exterior work, water-based sizes aren’t ideal for exterior work, they will often work better for interior decoration due to providing a better finish.