ART OF STAINED GLASS
FOILING GLASS

Foil Types and Colors
Foil is available in a variety of widths, thicknesses, and backing colors.

Widths

  • 3/16"
  • 7/32"
  • 1/4"
  • 1/2"
  • Scalopped
  • Flat squares
The preferred width is that which will leave a crimped edge of about 1 mm (approx 1/32") around each face of the glass. For normal glass, 3/16" is preferred. For thicker, textured glass, 7/32" is commonly used. 1/2" foil is useful for wrapping steel reinforcement rods. Sheets of foil are also available in small packages, that are invaluable for cutting out detailed foil overlays.

Colors
  • Copper-backed
  • Silver-backed
  • Black-backed
Ordinary copper-back color is less slightly less expensive, and the favorite for opalescent glass if the lead is to be patinaed in black. When foiling clear glass, one must take care to match the foil backing color with the intended patina. For instance, if planning a black patina, all clear and cathedral glass in the project should be foiled with black backed. If planning no patina, silver-backed is preferred. With copper patina, one may choose copper or black backed, depending on the desired effect.

If you are foiling opalescent glass, black-backed foil might make the colors appear more muddy, especially if the pieces are small, and the class is translucent, like Youghiogheny glass. Copper-backed foil will contribute to the reflection of a bit more light within the glass, causing it to appear brighter than if it were foiled with black-backed foil. With hot colors such as yellow, orange, red, pink, or even green, the coppery reflection will enhance the color shade, but with a cool color such as blue, you might prefer to use black-backed if the opalescent glass is too translucent.

Foil with scalloped edged can also be purchased. It is most commonly used to decoratively edge boxes and other small projects.

Thickness
  • 1 mil
  • 1.5 mil
Thin, supple foil is preferred because it can be more easily crimped without breaking the foil. Edco foil is preferred by many glassers. Thicker foil (1.5 mil) is more difficult to crimp and since the foil does not confer structural stability, its use has fallen into near oblivion.

Hand-foiling technique
Foil is self-adhesive. Simply wrap around the glass, and fold the edges over with a fid or the sides of small, closed scissors.













This is what the beginner project should look like once foiled:






Foiling

Page 1
Page 2 (foil overlay, rods)
Page 3 (textured glass)
Page 4 (drapery glass)