Hotfix elements have a coating of hot-melt glue on the back, enabling swift, simple application. This glue is activated by heat (applied either directly or indirectly), and bonds with the carrier material. When cooling, the glue hardens and securely and permanently fixes the elements in place. The Swarovski Hotfix adhesive is characterized by its wash resistance and easy-care properties. The temperature, application time and pressure can be varied according to the carrier material.
APPLICATION OF CRYSTALS
Before beginning the application process, you should always check whether the material you are using is suitable for Hotfix application.
Please check the following criteria:
Some textiles and special finishes are unsuitable for Hotfix application, due to a lack of absorbency.
The following materials are NOT suitable for Hotfix application:
The Hotfix glue was specially developed for use with textiles. However, experience shows that Hotfix applications can also be carried out on other materials such as wood, paper or metal. In such cases it is very important to carry out application tests beforehand, and to check the surface properties.
How to Check Suitability
The water drop test is a quick and easy way to get an initial idea of the absorbency of the carrier material. Apply a couple of water drops onto the carrier material. If the material quickly absorbs the drops, it offers good absorbency. If the water pearls off the carrier material, or if it takes a long time to be absorbed, the material offers insufficient absorbency. This can impair the effectiveness of Hotfix application.
Application of Crystals using an Applicator
Application of Crystals using an Iron
In general, an iron can be used for the application of all Hotfix elements. Always make sure that there are no steam vents on the soleplate of the iron. Pressure cannot be applied at these vents, and water droplets and steam have a negative effect on the application results. Always iron on a firm, flat, and even base.
Hot-melt adhesive generally requires 24 hours to cure completely. Any washing or quality assurance should take place after this period.
The following table outlines common problems and their causes when applying Hotfix elements, and offers advice on how to avoid them.
We have two Swarovski Crystal Size Guides to help you choose the right size for your Swarovski Beads and Crystals. This one includes a visual representation of the crystal size, the other found here includes measurements in mm and inches.