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How to Apply Swarovski Hotfix Crystals

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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.

How to apply Swarovski Hotfix 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:

  • Heat resistance (min. 120 °C/250 °F)
  • Resistance against pressure
  • Application area of the product
  • Suitability of surface properties and absorbency

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:

  • Very tightly woven textiles
  • Very thin fabrics, e.g. tulle
  • Smooth leather and smooth imitation leather
  • Hydrophobic or water-repellent treatments (silicone, synthetic resin as a waterproofing agent)
  • Teflon® coatings
  • Stain-resistant treatments
  • Easy-to-care treatments
  • Fluorocarbon finishes
  • Softening agents
  • Select dyes (dyes with metal pigments)
  • Enzymatic treatments It can sometimes be helpful to wash the carrier material before application, in order to remove any unsuitable finishes (particularly softening agents), and thus improve absorbency.

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.

How to apply Swarovski Hotfix Crystals

Application of Crystals using an Applicator

Hotfix applicators are a cost-effective way to apply 2078 XIRIUS Flat Back Hotfix (SS 12 – SS 34) and 2038 XILION Flat Back Hotfix (SS 6 – SS 10) onto the material.

How to apply Swarovski Hotfix Crystals using a hotfix 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.

How to apply Swarovski Hotfix Crystals with an iron 

How to apply Swarovski Hotfix Crystals with an iron

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.

How to apply Swarovski Hotfix Crystals Troubleshooting problems and cause

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Swarovski Crystals Size Guide & Visual Representation

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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.

Swarovski beads and crystals size chart


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