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What’s the Difference Between Hotfix & Non Hotfix Flatback Crystals?

May 02, 2023 4 min read

What is the difference between Hotfix and Non Hotfix

What’s the Difference Between Hotfix & Non Hotfix Flatback Crystals? 

When it comes to adding a touch of glamour and sparkle to your life, flatback crystals have you covered. From clothing and accessories to home decor and craft projects, these shimmering embellishments can instantly elevate any item to new heights of style and sophistication. 

But with two main types of flatback crystals available – hotfix and non hotfix – it can be a bit confusing to know which one is right for your particular project. In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to delve into the world of flatback crystals, discussing the key differences between hotfix and non hotfix crystals, as well as providing practical advice on where to apply them for dazzling results. So, let's get started!


What are hotfix flat back crystals?

Hotfix flat back crystals are crystals that are pre-coated with a heat-activated glue on their flat side, allowing them to be easily attached to various surfaces using heat. This glue is designed to melt when exposed to a specific temperature, typically around 120-170°C, depending on the type of glue and crystal used. Once the glue has melted, it bonds with the material it's being applied to, creating a strong and durable attachment.


What are non hotfix flat back crystals?

Non Hotfix flat back crystals, also known as simply flatbacks, do not come pre-coated with glue. Instead, they have a flat, uncoated surface on the back that must be adhered using a separate adhesive. This type of crystal is popular for projects where heat application is not suitable or for those who prefer a more hands-on approach to applying embellishments.


Hotfix vs. non Hotfix: when to use which?

So, when it comes to Hotfix vs. non Hotfix rhinestones, when should you use each one? Here’s what works best:

For heat-sensitive materials 

Non hotfix flatback crystals are the ideal choice when working with materials that are sensitive to heat or could be damaged by the application of heat. Since they don't require a heat source for application, you can safely use them on delicate fabrics, paper, foam, or thin plastic without the risk of causing any damage.

Intricate designs and precise placement 

If your project involves intricate designs or requires precise crystal placement, non hotfix crystals are an excellent option. Their application method allows for greater control and precision, making it easier to create complex patterns or work on small, detailed areas. The use of tweezers or a jewel setter can further enhance your accuracy when applying non hotfix crystals.

Versatility in adhesive choice 

Non hotfix crystals offer greater flexibility when it comes to choosing an adhesive, as you can select a glue that best suits your specific project's needs. This is particularly helpful when working with materials that may require a more specialised adhesive, such as certain plastics or metals.

Smaller scale projects 

For smaller scale projects or those with fewer crystals, non hotfix flatback crystals can be a more practical and cost-effective choice; as they don't require a specialised applicator tool, there is no additional investment needed for the application process.


When to use hotfix flatback crystals

Heat-resistant materials 

Hotfix flatback crystals are best suited for materials that can withstand the heat required for their application. This includes fabrics, leather, and some types of plastic. When working with heat-resistant materials, hotfix crystals provide a strong and durable bond that is less likely to come undone over time.

Large-scale projects and efficiency 

If you have a large-scale project or need to apply a significant number of crystals, hotfix crystals can save you time and effort. The hotfix applicator tool allows for a quicker and more efficient application process, making it easier to cover large areas or attach multiple crystals in a short amount of time. 

Enhanced durability

Projects that require a high level of durability, such as clothing or accessories that will be worn and washed frequently, can benefit from the use of hotfix flatback crystals. The heat-activated glue creates a strong bond with the material, ensuring that the crystals remain securely in place even through regular wear and tear.

Minimal adhesive mess 

Since hotfix crystals come pre-coated with a heat-activated glue, there is less of a risk of adhesive mess or seepage when applying them to your project. This can result in a cleaner, more professional-looking finish, particularly for those who may be new to working with flatback crystals. 


Watch Our Video

An explanation and visual examples of the different types of flatback crystals can also be found across our social media platforms, a link to the video on Bluestreak Crystals TikTok channel can be found below:


@bluestreakcrystals What’s the difference between #hotfix and non hotfix? #Preciosa edition 💎🔥🤓 #bluestreakcrystals #fyp #crystals #tutorial #comparison #embellishment #bling #craft #rhinestones #fashion #ballroom #tips #closeup #fypシ #information #glue #tipsandtricks ♬ Low Down - venbee & Dan Fable


The bottom line

Ultimately, by considering the specific needs and requirements of your project, as well as the unique benefits of both hotfix and non hotfix flatback crystals, you can make an informed decision and select the perfect crystal type to bring your creative vision to life.


Check out our most popular Swarovski Hotfix Flatback Crystals


Swarovski Hotfix Flatback Crystals