The more malleable a metal, the thinner foil can be made with it. For example, aluminium foil is usually about 1/1000 inch (0.03 mm), whereas gold (more malleable than aluminium) can be made into foil only a few atoms thick, called gold leaf. Extremely thin foil is called metal leaf. Leaf tears very easily and must be picked up with special brushes.
Foil is commonly used in household applications. It is also useful in survival situations, because the reflective surface reduces the degree of hypothermia caused by thermal radiation (see space blanket).