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Loose Leaf vs.  Transfer Leaf vs.  Roll Leaf


Transfer Vs.  Loose Leaf

Loose Leaf a.k.a.  Surface Leaf


Loose leaves are placed between pages in a book made from specialty tissue paper. There are 25 leaves in a standard book. The leaves are barely held in place by the paper, and will come loose with a light puff of air.


Loose leaf is generally preferred by professional gilders when working indoors.  The leaf is easily moved with a gilders tip.  When working with large flat areas, the Thorn Tip works well for picking up, and precisely placing leaves where you want them.


Transfer Vs.  Loose Leaf

Transfer Leaf a.k.a.  Patent Leaf


Each leaf is adhered to a sheet of special transfer paper. The leaf is easily transferred from the paper to the item being gilded by applying a bit of pressure to push the gold leaf on to the adhesive.


Transfer leaf is generally preferred when working outdoors, where loose leaf may blow away, or by gilders who prefer not to work with a gilders tip.  Compared to loose leaf, transfer leaf can more easily be manipulated by hand, since the transfer paper to which the leaf is adhered can be easily picked up and moved to the item being gilded.

Transfer Leaf works well with flat or rounded surfaces, and is ideal for walls or ceilings.  It does not work as well with high-detail, deeply carved, or intricate objects.

Transfer Vs.  Loose Leaf

Roll Leaf


Roll leaf is loose leaf that has been placed on a long sheet of transfer paper, with a small overlap, making it one very long continuous leaf.  The rolls are trimmed to various widths, and are a quick and efficient way to apply leaf over large, or long, flat areas.  Leaf can be easily unrolled in one continuous strip, rather than placing a series of leaves one after another.