Apparatus for embossing web material such as a heated thermoplastic web material comprises first and second embossing members each having a resilient embossing surface, and means mounting the embossing members for relative movement to define a roll nip between them. The resilient surface of the first embossing member has a primary embossing pattern thereon and is of harder durometer than the resilient surface of the second embossing member. Both resilient surfaces are soft enough to be temporarily deformed in the roll nip to press the web material between them into surface conforming contact with the primary embossing pattern. The temporary deformation also helps to expel air from between the web material and the primary embossing pattern to insure surface conforming contact of the web to the embossing pattern. A secondary embossing pattern is provided on the resilient surface of the second embossing member and is of lesser depth than the primary embossing pattern. The temporary deformation assists in providing full contact with both patterns.
A method of embossing the material includes heating the thermoplastic web material to a temperature within its softening range, introducing the heated material to a nip formed between the first and second embossing members, and allowing the embossed material to cool to set the pattern before removing it from the first embossing member.