Hotfix vs. Non-Hotfix Rhinestones for Clothing

Hotfix vs. Non-Hotfix Rhinestones for Clothing

Posted by Rhinestones Unlimited on Mar 31st 2023

Are you looking for a way to bejewel your wardrobe? Sick of the same drab embroidery designs? If so, you’re in luck—rhinestones are here to save the day! Rhinestones can instantly transform any piece of clothing with bejeweled sparkle and color. But before you go on your bling shopping spree, there’s one important thing you must consider: hotfix or non-hotfix rhinestones for clothing.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of each and help you decide which type of rhinestone is best for adding some glamour to your looks. So buckle up—get ready for a lesson worth its weight in rhinestones!

What Are Hotfix Rhinestones?

Hotfix rhinestones are an easy way to add sparkle and glamour to your outfit. They come pre-coated with a special adhesive on the back, so all you have to do is melt said adhesive using an iron or specialized applicator, such as the BeJeweler hot fix tool, then position and place them on the surface of whatever item you want to bling up!

Hotfix rhinestones are great if you want to complete a project quickly with minimal effort; however, we want your project to be successful so we have a few helpful tidbits while deciding between hotfix and non-hotfix rhinestones for your project. 

Hotfix Glue Quality

Depending on the quality of the rhinestones you purchase, the pre-applied backing isn’t always consistent and strong, so your rhinestones may fall off more easily. For this reason, here at Rhinestones Unlimited, we sell the most consistent highest quality hotfix crystals, MAXIMA Crystals by Preciosa rhinestones.  We also sell LUX European Crystal, Starcut Crystal, and Priceless crystal hotfix rhinestones which all offer great sparkle, but we do suggest you test on your fabrics and realize that the glue on these more economical crystals is not the same as MAXIMA.  

Fabric Consideration

Hotfix rhinestones are made for fabric, however not all fabrics react well to heat.  If you are applying hotfix rhinestones to a fabric with a high amount of nylon or acetate, which burns, you will want to choose non-hotfix rhinestones with a fabric glue that works well on your fabric.  You will also want to consider how often your garment is washed- hotfix is the best on washable fabrics with simple designs.  In addition, if you are applying crystals to a natural leather, which has the oils impeded in the leather, you will not want to use hotfix adhesive. You will want to prime the leather plus use a fabric glue that works with leather.  Or, use metal settings to apply the crystals. 

Ease of Application

Large heat presses, or the amazing computerized hot fix applicator machinery used by manufacturers is costly.  This is not an investment that a small custom designer or do-it-yourself crafters or costumer will likely make, so an iron or BeJeweler tool are the best choices.  We have also heard of people heating up the rhinestones in a skillet!  If you have a method that works well and that you have become proficient at, go for it!  The hotfix stones are very secure when applied.  For a specialized custom creation with very detailed designs, or if you are simply faster at the glue method, non-hotfix is the way to go.   

For custom costumes (not washed often, tricky fabrics, and very detailed designs), we see these customers choose non-hotfix rhinestones for their projects. Our larger manufacturing customers choose hotfix because they have made the investment in the equipment to apply hotfix transfers or the machines that set hotfix with computerized precision.

What Are Rhinestone Transfers, Bandings and Appliques?

You can get standalone hotfix rhinestones, or you can get hotfix rhinestone transfers.  We sell the transfer paper and will launching designs that you can make yourself without design software and a transfer making machine.  With transfer paper, once your design is set, you simply peel back one side of the paper, place on your garment, and press with a heat press or iron. 

We also sell Priceless Crystal hotfix banding or appliques. Rhinestone banding and appliques are rhinestones set into a hotfix gel material that melts to adhere to the fabric which allow you to add some serious sparkle and beautiful texture to any outfit. Rhinestone banding is best described as a type of trimming made up of strips of rhinestones set into the hotfix gel, which you can use to create fun patterns or add unique details to clothing. Appliques are a type of decorative ornamentation, often made from fabric, crystals, or pearls, that you can affix to clothing to add a touch of sparkle and texture.

You apply transfers, bandings and rhinestones in one piece, typically by placing them on your clothes, covering the area with a teflon type paper to protect the fabric, and pressing with a heat press or a clothing iron onto the area. This will melt the adhesive on the backing and stick the banding or applique to the fabric.

What Are Non-Hotfix Rhinestones?

As the name implies, non-hotfix rhinestones are any rhinestones that aren’t classified as hotfix. Examples include flatback rhinestones that are applied with a fabric glue or metal settings, and sew-on rhinestones. Let’s take a look at each type of non-hotfix rhinestone and the benefits they offer.

What Are Flatback Rhinestones?

Shine brighter than ever with flatback rhinestones! These twinkling gems have a multi-faceted face, perfect for reflecting light and adding dazzling color to your project. Like hotfix rhinestones, they have a flat back. But unlike hotfix rhinestones, these backs don’t come preloaded with adhesive. You’ll need to purchase a glue that works with the material you are applying to. Or, alternatively you can use pronged metal settings such as tiffany settings that clamp over the top of the rhinestone like the setting on a diamond ring, or rim settings that place a metal ring around the rhinestone and clamp tight on the backside of the fabric. 

What Are Sew-On Rhinestones?

Want to add a little sparkle and shine to your outfit? Sew-on rhinestones are just the thing you need! Easily attach these gems with a sewing needle and silamide beading thread. Tiny holes across the outer edges of each stone provide ideal spots for you to string them up, giving you beautiful, shimmering results. While sew-on rhinestones take time and patience to apply, you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment after stitching on the final stone!

Which Should You Use?

There are so many amazing options when it comes to rhinestones. Which one is best for your project? It’s up to you! Just make sure you take into account all the specifics of what you’re making in order to find that perfect fit.

Prefer the do-it-yourself approach? Flatback rhinestones are for you! Perfect for your custom projects, these shimmering tools of the trade are easy to handle and design with. 

Hotfix rhinestones are perfect for mass produced glamour! Manufacturing many of the same design is sped up with the investment in some amazing equipment. For the DIY hotfix rhinestoner, an iron or BeJeweler applicator gets you the same strong hold that will hold up under many garment washings. 

Need to jazz up some leather or another thick, finicky material? You’ll want to use sew-on rhinestones or non-hotfix rhinestones with metal settings. This may be time-consuming, but they really stay put on tricky fabrics or under a lot of pressure or washings. You can trust that your bedazzled fabric won’t unravel. Sew-on jewels are usually larger and are sure to provide long-lasting sparkle and glamour.

Want to take your look up a notch with minimal effort? Look no further than hotfix transfers, bandings and appliques! They are the perfect way to add intricate patterns and designs without a lot of planning. For maximum impact in minimum time, these must-haves will make sure you always stand out from the crowd.  Although not discussed in this article, don't forget that non-hotfix bandings and appliques are also available and very popular!

So there you have it—hotfix versus non-hotfix rhinestones for clothing. With this knowledge, you can choose the right type of stones to make a dazzling, sparkly fashion statement! No matter which one you select, your clothes will be sure to stand out from the crowd. So go ahead and dazzle everyone with your rhinestone style!

If you’re looking for a way to add a little extra sparkle and shine to your wardrobe, come and shop with Rhinestones Unlimited. We guarantee you’ll find something you love in our selection of premium quality dark purple rhinestones. With hotfix and non-hotfix options available, you can easily customize your clothing to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re looking for a subtle pop of color or something bold and eye-catching, our rhinestones are sure to get you noticed!

Hotfix vs. Non-Hotfix Rhinestones for Clothing