Basic Hotfix Principles
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 via ultrasound), 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.
Before beginning the application process, you should always check whether the carrier material is suitable for Hotfix application.
- 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.
Unsuitable carrier materials and finishes
- 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.
Swarovski Hotfix adhesive is activated within a temperature range of 120 °C to 170 °C (250 °F to 340 °F). A suitable application temperature can be selected from this range according to the carrier material and its sensitivity to heat. With heat presses, the temperature selected on the display does not always reflect the actual temperature on the surface
Application Using an Iron
In general, an iron can be used for the application of all Hotfix elements. However, as pressure and temperature can only be controlled to a limited extent, the use of a heat press is recommended. 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.