What Fabrics Can Be Embossed?

What Fabrics Can Be Embossed

If you are searching for a way to add a luxurious touch to a material then embossing is a technique you should take a closer look at. This natural-looking and very elegant method of decorating can be achieved on a variety of materials from paper and card, to metals and plastics and, of course, fabrics too. 

What Is Embossing?

Embossing is when a pattern, design, or text is added to material through a process involving pressure and heat. The process results in the design being raised up from the rest of the material. This creates a beautiful and tactile effect that exudes luxuriousness. 

What Fabrics Can Be Embossed?

Almost any fabric can be embossed with designs, patterns, or text including cotton, leather and pleather, polyester, velvet, and fleece. This high-end effect works better on some fabrics than others. One reason for this is the heat involved in the embossing process – materials that burn, shrivel, or shrink with the application of heat will not be the ideal fabrics for embossing. 

How To Emboss Fabrics

Embossing fabrics is a fun craft to try out yourself. However, if you are looking for exceptional quality, if you are worried about damaging your fabric, or if you are wanting a large amount of embossing done – a single large piece of fabric or a number of smaller items – it is well worth getting professional embossers to help you. 

To emboss most fabrics you will need ink, a stencil or stamp, embossing powder and a heat or embossing gun. Although these craft tools look like small hairdryers, there are differences that make hairdryers an unsuitable replacement. 

Hairdryers do not get hot enough (some embossing guns reach about 650 degrees Fahrenheit) to effectively melt the embossing powder. Also, the air does not come out in a controlled stream – the result is that your unmelted embossing powder will be blown about everywhere. 

How To Emboss Cotton Fabrics

  • Using the stencil/stamp and the ink put the design on your chosen fabric. 
  • Cover the ink with the embossing powder.
  • Shake or blow off any excess powder. 
  • Use the heat gun to activate the embossing powder.

How To Emboss Velvet Fabrics

Velvet is a relatively easy fabric to emboss as it not does not require embossing powder. Instead, designs can be ironed onto a velvet fabric after moistening it with a generous spray of water. Ideally, carry out a test piece first, if possible, as velvet fabrics do not all have the same composition and those with a lower rayon content do not take heat as well as those with a higher rayon content. 

  • Simply put the pattern on your ironing board.
  • Spray the velvet with water.
  • Iron the velvet (right side up) with the patterned item/stamp underneath. 
  • Hold the iron in place for around 30 seconds. 

How To Emboss Leather

This process will only work on untreated leather. You will need a piece of untreated leather, a stencil, die, or stamp, a clamp, and leather finish. 

  • Stretch the untreated leather on a work table.
  • Moisten with a damp sponge. 
  • Place the die or stamp on the leather where you want.
  • Use the clamp (and a flat board if required) to push the design onto the leather. 
  • Tighten the clamp as far as you can.
  • Leave for at least 20 minutes. 
  • Remove the leather from the clamp.
  • Use the leather finish. 


Embossing, particularly embossing fabric, is a fun craft project which can get you some good results. However, if you are looking for a really high-end finish, want fabric embossed for a special occasion, or need a large number or quantity of embossed fabric and/or leather then contact us at Furnells for a straightforward and quality service.

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