As a clothing designer and costumer and just plain fashion aficionado, I’m constantly looking for the easiest, fastest and least expensive way to add bling-age to different designs or costumes. I was turned on to Hotfix when I had to take my machine into a sewing machine repair/sewing work shop in Portland Oregon many years ago. Of course because I am a gadget girl, I had to have it, when I saw what it did. Ooooo!!! and Aaaahhh!!! didn’t cover my excitement for a new tool. I had been using a glue called E6000 for several years when I was introduced to it while working on a theater production of Antigone in Anchorage Alaska of which I was the costume designer.
It is difficult to decide which is better between the two techniques. I like the option of not getting my fingers covered in glue but I don’t like getting burned either. Even though the new wand on the Hotfix tool has a bigger guard than the old one, if you don’t watch it, you will still burn some part of your hand or hands. And that thing is seriously hot. I think for the stability and the overall completion of projects I prefer E6000. It is like welding, only with crystals and fabric rather than metal. I don’t have to worry about my crystals coming off in the wash, and when you spend a fortune on Swarovski flat backed crystals every one of them counts.
For the best application of the glue and crystals I have found that it is wise to start with a drop of glue about the size of a quarter on a piece of clean paper that I plan on throwing away later. E6000 dries in about fifteen minutes and sets at an hour or two, so you have to work quickly but carefully. I find a steady pace will utilize my glue up fast. I use a set of tiny tipped tweezers that are angled on the end to pick up my crystals after I have laid them flat back down, shiny side up. I then scoop a tiny bit of glue onto the back of the crystal and place it where I want it on my garment. I push it in place with a finger nail or finger tip and hold it for a second or two and then repeat the process, over and over, and over, and over, well…you get the idea.
Twenty minutes after the last crystal is placed I can either put my garment in the closet or wear it out and not worry about my crystals coming off. Hotfix doesn’t allow for this. You have to wait for twenty four hours and then check to make sure all of your crystals are secured and possibly redo at least 30% of them and then wait another twenty four hours and check again. Not only that but you have to pick up the crystal with the tool and then wait about twenty seconds per crystal and watch the glue to make sure that it is heating up properly. If it isn’t hot enough it won’t stick to your garment. If it is too hot it will burn through it depending on what your fabric is.
I hope this helps with your endeavors to bling up your wardrobe, if you run across a better way, let me know. I’m always looking.