Among those who apply rhinestones to fabric, there are two different types of people. There are those who prefer hot fix rhinestones and those who prefer glue on. Generally, more people prefer the latter with some people even insisting that the bond of hot fix stones is inferior. However, when applied correctly, hot fix rhinestones will adhere to fabric just as effectively as glue on.
Things to consider when using hot fix rhinestones
First, always pre-wash your fabric before you start. This will remove any chemical finishes that may interfere with the absorbency of the glue. Keep in mind also, that some fabrics and just not suitable for hot fix application. These include very tightly woven textiles, smooth leather or smooth imitation leather, and thin fabrics like organza. In addition, those fabrics with water repellent treatments, easy to care treatments or softening agents may not be suitable.
To check fabric to see if it is suitable for hot fix application, you can do the water droplet test. Apply several drops of water to the fabric. As long as the water drop is absorbed quickly, you can use hot fix rhinestones. On the other hand, if the water droplet pearls or is absorbed slowly, you cannot use hot fix rhinestones.
How to use a hot fix wand
Hot fix wands or irons are great for home use to activate the glue of hot fix rhinestones. If you choose to use an iron, you will need one without steam vents. Irons with vents do not provide a flat surface and consequently prevent adequate pressure when applying rhinestones. Also, water and steam can negatively affect the hot fix application. Swarovski, a manufacturer of rhinestones, recommends a temperature range of 250 degrees F – 340 degrees F to activate the glue. For those of you who use Celsius, that’s 120 degrees C – 170 degrees C.
A hot fix wand is ideal for home use. Wands come with different screw on tips to accommodate different size rhinestones. You lay the rhinestones on a flat surface, facet side up. Heat up your wand. Once the wand is heated, place the tip over the top of the rhinestones. The rhinestone will stick in the cup of the tip. When the glue begins to bubble, tap the rhinestone onto the fabric. Do not press down hard as this can cause the glue to spread and the rhinestone to stick in the cup. Allow the rhinestones to cool, which takes only a few minutes.
Because it takes only a few minutes for the rhinestone to cool, hot fix application is quicker. Glue on rhinestones require a 24 hour wait time for the glue to cure. Chiefly, this is one of the key features of using hot fix rhinestones.
Should you have any other questions about hot fix rhinestone application, you can contact us here at Rhinestones Etc and we’ll be glad to help.
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