I have been looking at impression mats - one type has a raised pattern that leaves an embossed pattern on the fondant and the other has the pattern cut out of the mat like a stencil, leaving a raised pattern on the fondant. Do you experienced decorators prefer one or the other for ease of use or is it more just a matter of taste, and what you ultimately want the pattern to look like on the fondant?
I prefer the ones that leave an impression on the fondant. The other one is really a stencil and made to use to apply icing in a specific pattern. Two completely different applications. My favorite impression mat is a diamond impression mat. I dust it with petal or pearl dust and work my way around the cake. Instant design!