What to check if your hot fix rhinestones are not sticking.
The process we recommend:
- Is your applicator tool at the correct temperature? Glue melting temperature: 250 to 340 degrees F
- Your hot fix applicator may not be working correctly, so the glue is not melting correctly - then the stones won't stick.
- Are you waiting long enough for the glue to melt before placing the rhinestone on your fabric? You must wait until the glue is completely melted before placing it on your fabric. The glue will turn shiny as it melts. When the complete surface of the rhinestone is shiny, it is ready to place on you project. This can take anywhere from 15 to 25 seconds - depending on the size of the rhinestone and the Swarovski article. In our experience, the older Swarovski articles (which have a grey or grey/green adhesive) may take longer to completely melt, and may take a higher temperature to melt as well. The newer rhinestones (with the copper adhesive) seem to heat up quicker and melt quicker. No matter which adhesive is on the rhinestone, adding pressure once the stone is placed on the fabric will set the bond much better then not adding pressure.
- Did your fabric pass the "Water Drop Test"? If not, the hot fix rhinestones will NOT adhere to the fabric.
- Plug your hot fix applicator tool in and let it heat up for about 10-15 minutes with the tip size you require for your project.
- Once heated, pick up your rhinestone with your tool tip and watch as the glue melts (about 20 seconds).
- Once it's completely melted place it on your fabric (I keep my finger behind the fabric where I am placing the stone for added pressure/support).
- Once the stone is placed, I push firmly down on the top of the rhinestone (while still hot) with the side of the tool (you may get burned if you use your finger) for a few seconds. This helps to push the glue into the fabric for a better bond.This is especially important when using the stones that have the grey or grey/green adhesive.
- Upon examination - the glue should slightly ooze out from the edges of the rhinestone once it's placed on the fabric. This creates a "setting" for the rhinestone.
- While you are decorating your fabric, handle the garment with care as you may loosen or remove rhinestones that have not totally bonded with the fabric (permanent bond takes 24 hours).
- PATIENCE is your best friend when using hot fix rhinestones.