The leaf in books is available both in the traditional loose form and in the transfer form.
Loose leaf is always used for the decoration of inlaid surfaces. It is also sometimes used in the decoration of smooth surfaces where the gilder prefers its use over the transfer leaf.
Depending on the type of work, for the application of the loose leaf special tools may be necessary such as squirrel hair gilder’s tips, available in different sizes depending on the size of the leaf.
In order to gild surfaces of all shapes and sizes, it may also be necessary to cut the leaf into smaller pieces with the use of a specific gilding knife and cushion.
The transfer leaf differs f rom the loose one in that it comes ready applied on a tissue paper, protruding from the booklet and easily removable without special tools, in order to facilitate and speed up its application.
This format is always applied with the oil gilding technique and is recommended exclusively for the decoration of perfectly smooth surfaces or for gilding being carried out outdoors. In the transfer format, the leaf adheres to the tissue paper by pressing without any glue being used.
The transfer leaf to be applied can also be cut and shaped with ordinary scissors if necessary.