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Gaufrier with Gaufrage (embossing press with blind embossing)
Embossed paper with a dolphin motif
Embossed paper seal

The embossing (French gaufre "waffle", "Honeycomb"), even stamping or blind embossing , is a printing process . A pattern or grain is embossed or sunk into the surface of a product in order to achieve a special appearance.

  • Embossing is the production as well as the process
  • Gaufrés is the collective term for all products with embossed patterns
  • Gaufrage is the name for a pattern or grain that is embossed on a product

Name meaning

The French gaufre means “ waffle ” or “ honeycomb ”, gaufrier means a waffle iron , gaufrier électrique means a waffle machine, gaufrer means “press in a pattern”. A waffle iron is still sometimes called a gaufrier today. A waffle iron presses a pattern into the waffle batter, which is set by heat. This process is similar to embossing.


In general, the Gaufrage is often used as a finishing process for textiles, cardboard , paper and leather to upgrade inferior goods in order to simulate high quality or freedom from defects.

  • In the paper industry , jewelry paper (e.g. greeting cards), wallpaper , cardboard (e.g. cardboard) are embossed.
  • In the packaging industry (e.g. cardboard), visually appealing packaging (finishing with embossing) promotes sales at the PoS .
  • In the textile industry , among other things, clothing , blankets , bed linen , carpets and curtains are embossed. Mostly in order to achieve a special look and a higher quality, but also to achieve easier maintenance (e.g. no ironing).
  • In leather processing, a special look is strived for by embossing. For example, cowhide is given the appearance of reptile leather (e.g. crocodile or lizard) or ostrich leather . Or upholstered furniture leather is given a grain embossing in order to achieve a uniform appearance.

The blank printing is a form of decoration in letterpress printing, for example for book covers , and art ( Blind pressure ).

Embossing has a completely different purpose in food technology: for vacuuming z. B. Meat, embossed plastic bags / tubes are used, which make it easier to suck out the air and thus enable a sufficient vacuum to be created. These products are often referred to as "goffriert" (German notation).


The embossing is done on a calender , a machine with several heated steel rollers . With embossing, one of the rollers is made of steel, it is engraved, so it has a pattern and is heated. The other roller has a softer surface made of rubber or fabric . To make the embossing permanent, the steel roller is heated and, depending on the material, pressed against the rubber roller with greater or lesser pressure. The goods are passed between the rollers and are thus embossed with the pattern or structure of the engraved steel roller. Different results can be achieved depending on the temperature and pressure. The embossing on the steel roller can either have raised or recessed patterns and thus achieve embossing using the letterpress or gravure printing process .


  • Wilhelm Kleinewefers: The Gaufrage . Pressing patterns into textiles, paper, leather, synthetic leather, celluloid, rubber, glass, wood and related materials. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2013, ISBN 978-3-662-33234-4 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-33234-4 ( limited preview in the Google book search [accessed on August 28, 2015] Reprint of the original edition from 1925).