A Florentine tradition: Made in Italy exported worldwide by Manetti

What is gold leaf?

Pure gold leaf is an almost impalpable layer of precious metal, obtained by subjecting an ingot to 10 processing phases. Thanks to its extraordinary thinness, it can be applied to almost any surface and is ideal for gilding any rigid or flexible material.
There are two primary gold leafing techniques: water gilding
(an ancient practice, used today for both the gilding of new projects and for restoration, where the gold leaf is applied to historical works from previous eras) and oil gilding (a simpler and faster method where the leaf is laid directly on a sticky adhesive composed of water, alcohol and/or varnish).

Gold leaf booklets

Gold leaf booklets

Available in various formats and thicknesses the genuine gold leaf booklets are ideal for restoration, for oil gilding and water gilding on elaborated surfaces and for transfer leaf application on flat surfaces both indoors and outdoors. Each booklet contains 25 leaves.

Gold leaf booklets
Gold leaf rolls

Gold leaf rolls

Ideal for rapid and accurate gilding of large, flat surfaces, gold leaf rolls are easy to cut into the size needed for each application.

Gold leaf rolls
Gold powder and shells

Gold powder and shells

To apply with a brush, powders and shells are the best formats for any retouching and for carved or highly irregular surfaces.

Gold powder and shells
French cut leaf

French cut leaf

Preferred by the most expert gilders, the French cut leaf is especially popular on the French market. Each book contains 25 leaves.

French cut leaf
Gold leaf for iconography

Gold leaf for iconography

To achieve the so-called "mirror effect", the gold leaves must have such a weight and uniformity that they do not present defects once applied over the icon.

Gold leaf for iconography
Glass leaf

Glass leaf

Glass leaf is often used for the “verre eglomisé” technique, resulting in a mirror finish on which engravings or decorations can then be made.

Glass leaf

Which gold leaf to buy – Formats

Available in various thicknesses, Manetti pure products can be purchased:

  • in the classic loose leaf format (ideal for decorating both carved surfaces with the water gilding technique or smooth surfaces with the oil gilding technique);
  • in the transfer leaf format (suitable for decorating flat surfaces and external gilding, only with the oil gilding technique);
  • in the French cut format (used primarily by French gilders, with the leaf right to the edge of the booklet);
  • in rolls (pure gold leaves are laid on a roll of tissue paper, forming a continuous layer of pre-overlapping leaves. Rolls are used for gilding large flat surfaces or outdoor decorations.
pure gold leaf

To guarantee a legally impeccable procurement that respects ethical market practices, particular importance is placed on where we buy the raw material for our leaves. Manetti gold is certified no-conflict gold and is monitored along the entire supply chain. Traced from its extraction, our gold is purchased exclusively from banking institutions authorized under international regulations and, once it is transformed into Manetti gold leaf, it is traceable right up to the time of sale to the consumer.

Range of applications – what are gold leaves used for

Gold leaf is used for gilding carved and smooth surfaces, in wood, glass, stone, metal and plastic. In recent years, it is also being used on leather and fabrics. Thanks to the various types of formats available, it is suitable both for the gilding of large surface areas and for fine detailing.

Gold leaf for art, decoration and restoration has a wide range of applications:

  • Architecture;
  • Interior design;
  • Exterior restorations;
  • Interior restorations;
  • Statues;
  • Theaters;
  • Special applications;
  • Lettering;
  • Gates of buildings.

How is genuine gold leaf produced?

It is produced through a multi-stage process.

1) Fusion

Our pure gold is melted and fused with other noble metals at high temperatures and then, the incandescent liquid alloy is poured into a mold and cooled

2) Lamination

Rolling machines are used to reduce the thickness of the ingot. In the first phase, called “roughing”, the gold is flattened to just a few tenths of a millimeter. In the second phase, called “finishing lamination”, cold rolling cycles and annealing rolling cycles are alternated to make the metal softer. The end result is a gold sheet with a thickness that can only be measured in microns

3) Beating

Beating is performed in several cycles: the thin gold foil is cut into small squares, inserted between sheets of paper in special packages, and beaten by mechanical hammers

4) Smoothing

In this phase, the gold leaf is entrusted to the skilled hands of goldbeaters. The goldbeaters pound it with 5 hammers of various shapes and weights, making the surface perfectly smooth

5) Cutting

The last stage of production involves placing the leaves on a leather cutting cushion and hand cutting them with a special double-bladed knife. After performing this operation, the cutter uses wood pliers to insert the leaves into tissue paper booklets. The art of cutting is rooted in the ancient craft of gold beating, and mastering this skill with precision requires a long period of training and apprenticeship.

To summarize, what is Manetti gold leaf? It is a precious veil that we create with micrometric precision, backed by a centuries-old knowledge of the art of crafting gold and meticulous quality control at every stage of production.

Watch the video of the production process ↓

 Colors 🎨  26 shades of gold
 Sizes (books) 📏  80×80 mm (3,14×3,14 in.) – 100×100 mm (3,93×3,93 in.)
 Min. Order Quantity (books) 🕮  100
 Prices 💰  Starting from 12,50 € (13 $) – Check the prices here and buy
 Karat ⭐  6-24k
 Formats ☞  loose, transfer, french cut, in rolls, in powder
 Thickness ☞  standard, double, glass, extra

gold leaf books 24k

Made in Italy with 24-karat gold

From bulk gold leaves in 24 karats to 6 karats, we offer a myriad of possible choices, in a range of 26 different colors.
Among our colors, we feature the great classics: Yellow Gold (extra, light, dark, and RU), Red Gold, Green Gold, White Gold and the special colors, Caplain, Moon e Champagne. In 2021, we became the first and only company to create and offer 22-karat rose gold leaf in our catalog, the result of eight years of research!
Since ancient times, these products have been a symbol of luxury and elegance. Manetti gold is synonymous with excellence and tradition: each sheet is produced and packaged inside our plant in Florence.
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