Aluminium Leaf is a very thin sheet of metal that is usually made by hammering or rolling a piece of metal. Foils are most easily made with malleable metals, such as aluminium, copper, tin, and gold.
Aluminium Leaf foils usually bend under their own weight and can be torn easily. The more malleable a metal, the thinner Aluminium Leaf foil can be made with it. Aluminium Leaf is usually about 1/1000 inch (0.03 mm), whereas gold which is more malleable than aluminium can be made into foil only a few atoms thick. Such extremely thin foil is called Aluminium leaf. Leaf tears very easily and must be picked up with special brushes.
Heavier foils made of aluminium are used for art, decoration, and crafts, especially in bright metallic colours. Metallic aluminium, normally silvery in colour, can be made to take on other colours through anodization. Anodizing creates an oxide layer on the aluminium surface that can accept coloured dyes or metallic salts, depending on the process used. In this way, aluminium is used to create an inexpensive gold foil that actually contains no gold, and many other bright metallic colours. These foils are sometimes used in distinctive packaging.