February 22, 2023 3 min read
Whether you’re decorating a piece of clothing or a home furnishing, rhinestones can add some head-turning glamour and sparkle. But with so many different types of flatback rhinestones to choose from, it can be a lengthy process finding ones that combine durability and quality with aesthetic flair. Plus, with so much confusing and contradictory advice on the internet, it can be difficult to even know where to begin!
In the following guide, we’re going to take a look at all the different types of flatback rhinestones: different brands, how they’re used, and which type is best for you. Let’s get started!
Flatback rhinestones are as their name implies; they’re a type of loose crystal that come with a flat back for easy adhesion to clothes, costumes, and other textiles and surfaces. Flatback rhinestones can be used to decorate everything from clothing and jewellery to home furnishings, phone cases, sculptures and more.
Flatback rhinestones are perfect if you’re looking to add some glitz and sparkle to a finished product, and these crystals (when bought from reputable brands) add authentic luxe and charm that simply can’t be replicated with glitter or acrylic-based rhinestones.
Flatback rhinestones are also easy to apply thanks to their flat reverse sides; whether you opt for Hotfix or non-Hotfix crystals, these rhinestones are designed for simple manufacturing purposes.
At Bluestreak Crystals, we offer flatback rhinestones from the following established brands:
Most notable as the original crystal brand, Swarovski offers both Hotfix and non-Hotfix flatback rhinestones. However, do note that recent changes by Swarovski mean that crystals and rhinestones are only available for purchase by those intending to use Swarovski rhinestones to embellish a finished, sellable product.
If this applies to you, Swarovski crystals are world-leading in their glass-cutting methods, quality, and immaculate finish, and are popular when used on clothing, accessories, and jewellery.
Made in Austria, Serinity’s flatback rhinestone crystals are lead-free and - like Swarovski - are produced to the highest possible global standard in crystal-cutting. Available in stunning colours, ranging from Aquamarine to Capri Blue, Serinity’s rhinestones can be bought either with heat-sensitive glue already applied (Hotfix) or non-Hotfix, and are ideal for use on clothing, textiles, and most other surfaces.
Preciosa’s flatback rhinestones are the highest quality Chaton Rose MAXIMA crystals, produced with a multi-layer satin finish that enhances their durability and resistance to long-term wear and tear. Made in the Czech Republic, Preciosa crystals are ideal for clothing, bridal accessories, and costume design. At Bluestreak Crystals, we’re a Preciosa Platinum Partner, and we offer the largest range of Preciosa flatback rhinestones in the world.
Launched in 2021, Estella Crystals are based in the United Kingdom and source their materials sustainably from all over the world. The brand offers both Hotfix and Non-Hotfix flatback rhinestones at an affordable price, and in a range of different colours, perfect for everything from casual phone cases to bridal clothing. Their Non-Hotfix rhinestones can be easily attached to a variety of textiles and hard surfaces using one or two-component glue.
Branded flatback rhinestones - such as those by Swarovski, Preciosa and Serinity - are made with glass, which gives them a highly reflective shine and sparkle. Some manufacturers now use materials such as plastics and acrylics when producing rhinestones, but we’d always recommend sticking to trusted manufacturers - especially if you’re using rhinestones to decorate purchasable goods. Plastic and acrylic rhinestones aren’t as durable and will likely come off when put in the washing machine or worn regularly.
The maindifference between Hotfix and Non-Hotfix Swarovski Flatback Crystals is in how they’re attached to surfaces; Hotfix crystals arrive with a pre-applied adhesive which uses heat to activate, whereas non-Hotfix crystals require the use of one or two component glue.
Whether you opt for Hotfix or non-Hotfix crystals really depends on what you’re using them for; for example, if you’re creating custom gowns or clothing, you could Hotfix crystals for a simpler process and clean precision. On the other hand, if you’re producing harder items (such as phone cases) you’d probably want to opt for non-Hotfix flatback rhinestones.