What are Embossed Envelopes?

If you’ve ever received a formal invitation, there’s a good chance that the invite was delivered inside an embossed envelope. Embossed envelopes are a striking type of personalized envelope, featuring characteristically raised indentations and an inimitable texture that gives the message more impact and gives it a better recall.

Embossed envelopes are made through embossing, a printing technique that is used on a wide variety of paper, cardstocks, and fabrics. Unlike many other printing techniques, embossing does not require ink or any other pigments, and the printer and designer can just emboss a suitable surface without leaving a conventional print on it.

Embossed designs are a popular way to add special detailing to formal correspondences and wedding invites, as the raised patterns allow a subtle interplay of light and shade, making the prints more interesting without being garish or too brightly colored.

The cost of embossed envelopes reflects the added labor and expertise needed to execute them correctly. Unlike many other types of prints, embossed envelopes require new dies be made. As the quantity tends to be comparatively low, the cost of these prints tends to be higher per piece, when considering the upfront cost of creating the special die.

How are embossed envelopes made?

If you’ve seen a document being notarized, you will have seen a simple form of the embossing process. The raised patterns and images are made by placing the paper in between two matching dies. The entire assembly is then pressed together. Heat may also be applied to help make any changes to the paper permanent.

Embossed envelopes are made much in the same way. The entire sheet of uncut paper or cardstock is placed between two customized dies, after which the whole thing is pressed together. The printer applies their expertise to determine how hard to press and how much heat to apply to achieve a specific effect on the type of paper used. After the pressure is released, the paper is then folded into envelopes, and special adhesives are applied to complete them. In other cases, pre-assembled or precut envelopes can be embossed as well.

Embossing can be done by hand, or by machine. In both cases, it takes special skills and tools to accurately create the needed designs on the dies. Dies can be handmade, or created through the aid of machines, with each method producing a subtly different effect on the final product.

Hand embossing is suited for small quantities of embossed envelopes. But for any significant quantity, machine embossing tends to be faster and more reliable. The cost of machine-embossed envelopes can also go down quite a bit if you order large print runs. As a large part of the cost of embossed envelopes are the custom dies that will not be used for other customers, the cost of small runs can be comparatively high. However, if you already have the dies, the cost of additional embossed envelopes can be much lower per piece.

Embossed envelopes are an excellent yet subtle way to add a little something extra to your formal correspondences and invites. For best results, make sure to have them made by a professional stationery maker that understands the small things that really makes these remarkable prints stand out.

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