Necessary or not?

It may depend on the type of heat tool you use.

There are 2 main types of heat tools to use for embossing out there, the mini hair dryer type with a wide nozzle and the more pointed nozzle type.

I have both and use them for different applications.

The mini hair dryer type is most widely known offered by Ranger and is called the Heat It Craft Tool. The 2 main advantages of this tool is the wide area of heat it provides AND it is very QUIET. Whenever I’m crafting at night after hours, I use this tool just for the sheer lower noise volume of it. I find it works great for drying craft items and large areas. I use this heat tool for when I’m drying Glimmer Mist or other colored sprays because the air is not directed in a small quarter sized area, but a much larger one. It doesn’t force the liquid color to go flying off the project from the movement of air, it dries in place with no splatter. The biggest disadvantage for me when using this heat tool is the inability to direct the air flow. If I’m doing regular embossing by stamping an image, I want a more directed heat flow. I find that hard to do with the mini hair dryer type and sometimes end up baking things too much or hitting things in the nearby area with the heat and melting them. Oops!

The more streamlined one is something like Marvy offers for a Heat Tool. This is the type that I use almost exclusively for heat embossing any stamped image. I have good control over the heat distribution and placement. Since the air is more focused, it doesn’t work as well over large areas that you’re trying to dry. It works great for large embossed images, just not for drying the projects.

So, where does “waving” come into this? Well, when you heat emboss an image, the tendency is to wave the heat tool over the area. I learned early on that waving is really not the right method as it tends to distribute the heat too much so that the image gets only partially melted and takes longer to emboss the whole image.

One of the most important things when embossing is to ALWAYS start with a HOT heat tool. That’s right, turn that baby on before you need it – heat it up and get it ready just like starting a car in the wintertime.!

Stamp, sprinkle the embossing powder, shake off the excess and BE STEADY using a HOT heat tool. Hold the heat tool over the area to emboss, about an inch from the paper, and wait until the powder turns glossy. IMMEDIATELY move to the next section of uncooked powder. Repeat until the whole image is heated, holding the heat tool steady and NOT waving. I think you’ll see a big difference when you try this method. I know I did.

Is there a time to wave? Sure. I find that when I need a general start to emboss, quick zap at the end of the embossing or to dry paper, waving does work quite well.

Why do we feel the need to wave the heat tool? I think it’s mostly fear of the heat. We don’t want to burn ourselves, burn the paper or overcook the powder. Those are just my guesses from my own experiences.

So, I dare you to try “no waving” and see what happens. Try it more than a couple times. Have fun and be safe.