Sunday, July 15, 2007

Working with rhinestones?

Submitted to the Burlesque Forum Mail:

Here's a question for the costume mavens out there... What is the best method for applying or working with Swarovski flatbacks? How about specifically to lingerie pieces like bras and thongs that go through a lot more wear and tear? I haven't quite got the knack yet and find that my sparkly embellishments start to fall off after a wearing or two or three. Any tips?


Zeugma said...

I buy flatback swarovski and hotfix them to clothing, using a small sautering iron. Mine is this one:

Basically, you buy crystals with glue on the back and then put them in the head of this little tool which melts the glue and allows you to place the crystals very accurately on a garment. It's easy, and mine stick really well. Please note, I don't make pasties... I just stick stuff to gloves, bras, panties, etc. I talked to Delirium Tremens the other day about hotfixing swarovski to pasties, and she said it's more difficult to do because the gems have to be cloesr together. I think she does that by hand when she makes them. (I usually just buy my pasties and hotfx everything else).

There is no smell, no mess, and very little danger of burning yourself and your things. I'm all about it, and it takes virtually no skill to get going with it.

My two cents-


Paris Green said...

Does anyone have a place online they like for hotfix? I mostly get my flatbacks from Astral Beads but they don't sell hotfix, just the regular kind and beads.

Mariel said...

Have you tried E6000? It definitely will hold them on! You'll need tweezers to apply them with and something (wax paper works well) to squeeze it out on ...and A LOT of ventilation though! I'd use a mask as well!
I've also had good luck with Fabri-tac (same tweezers and wax paper method) when I couldn't handle the E6000 fumes.

Zeugma said...

Hey Paris-

I use ebay seller plm37-sweetpeas for hotfix rhinestones, and I've had great luck.

They're not Swarovski, but they're still the kind that the light hits nicely (sometimes non-Swarovski rhinestones can appear really dull and coated, but I find hers nice). The amounts, colours and sizes are always clearly and accurately marked, and their shipping is cheap and they combine orders in one envelope. They're also very email responsive and sensitive to performers' needs (when I emailed before Exotic World and stressed that I needed my order ASAP, the woman who runs it had her husband run the package to the post-office on a Saturday morning, even though they weren't shipping the rest of the order until Monday afternoon).

In any case, I have about fifteen gross of their rhinestones on various costumes (all hotfixed by moi) and I've always been happy with them.

As an aside, I don't order Swarovski online, because I like to see that they're actually Swarovski before I plunk down the extra money, and I'm paranoid about people sticking that brand on it and jacking the price. My seller doesn't claim to have swarovski, and she prices them like the rhinestones they are.

Also, if you're just starting to hotfix, I would definitely get cheaper rhinestones anyway. It's not at all difficult, but it takes a bit to get used to, and you'll be pissed if you run through $50 worth of Swarovski and don't get the look you want because you're not used to using the tool yet. You're better off buying a ton of cheap but still decent quality rhinestones and using them to glitz the hell out of something inexpensive (I did a g-string first, and then a hairbow, and then a pair of gloves with the cheaper rhinestones. By then I was comfortable enough to do a bra and panties in a bunch of Swarovski, and I was happy with the results).

Hope this helps.

Jezebel Express

Tanya Cheex said...

Augusta aka Penny Starr Jr. got me into Mrs. Glue. Now I'm addicted! It dries clear on everything, it's flexible and you can wash it. Also no smell! Highly recommended! said...

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Rhaine Bryt said...

Rhinestones is the excellent fit for an online design tool that lets you blend and meet colorful rhinestones and precious metals.

Rhaine Bryt

Dona Engman said...

Here is one of the best Rhinestones you can choose from.