Hotfix Rhinestones and DTG Printers: A Perfect Pair!

By | March 11, 2013

Looking to add value to direct to garment printed apparel? Hotfix Rhinestones are the perfect answer!

With the right amount of finesse, you can instantly add more profits to your DTG printer shop, just use Brilliant Hotfix Rhinestones and your heat press!

Hotfix rhinestones on direct to garment printed garments is an easy way to add to the selling price of a T-shirt, hoodie, polo or any other product. A little bling will also add to the amount you can charge, making rhinestone and DTG printing the best, high-profit combination.

Mixed Media Hotfix Rhinestones

Your heat press: the indispensable tool for adding hotfix rhinestones to garments

The essential tool for attaching Brilliant Hotfix Rhinestone transfers to a substrate is the heat press. The constant heat and pressure of the heat press activates the glue on the back of a hotfix rhinestone and permanently sets the crystal on the fabric.

One main reason that hotfix rhinestones and DTG printers work perfectly together is water-based Genuine DTG Inks. Plastisol inks, primarily used in the screen printing process, can vary slightly when put under a heat press when adding hotfix rhinestones. Water based inks are resistant to the heat, and stones adhere better to genuine DTG Inks, compared to Plastisol inks.

When it comes to adding hotfix rhinestones to a direct to garment printed material, the temperature settings and pressure will affect the features of the finished product.

5 common heat pressing problems

The five most common problems using a heat press to apply hotfix rhinestones (or heat transfers, for that matter):

  • Using not enough pressure.
  • Improper temperature settings.
  • Improperly using the heat press—through inexperience or other user error.
  • Failing to use accessories, like the Nomex Heat Pad, resulting in uneven pressure. This is mainly when heat pressing garments with seams, zippers and other bulky parts.
  • Not using the right combination of substrate and decorative items.

Adding hotfix rhinestones to nylons and other performance wear

On the last problem, adding hotfix rhinestones to vinyl and ultra-stretchy performance wear can be tricky, but not impossible. Some shops have had success with rhinestones on nylon by reducing the temperature of the heat press to about 225° F, and pressing it with an increased dwell time.

Heat Press Hotfix Rhinestones

Using a Nomex Heat Pad under the design will raise it up, stretching the fabric just a bit. This way, when the customer puts it on, the design will not look stretched out. Reducing the heat to a little less than the average temp for pressing hotfix rhinestones could avoid scorch marks on the garment. Always check first! Nylon will scorch remarkably easily, so it is necessary to dial in the correct temperature on your heat press.

Adding rhinestones to direct to garment printer designs with your heat press is easy, as long as you practice and use a little finesse. Some of the ways to avoid heat-press-related issues:

  • Use a Nomex Heat Pad to avoid uneven pressure, especially when buttons, zippers and seams.
  • Make sure heat press settings are appropriate for the hotfix rhinestones and substrate you are using.
  • Know your machine! Familiarity with the heat press, and how to adjust temperature and time settings, will allow you to alter the numbers when necessary. Between online videos and support from your distributor, you should be able to know the ins-and-outs of your particular model.

The size and number of stones are essential to a direct to garment printer garment with a hotfix rhinestone design added. Too many (or too large) stones on a lightweight fabric (like a low-grade T-shirt) will weigh down the garment.

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Hotfix Rhinestones and burnout T-shirts

Burnout T-shirts are an extremely popular fashion trend. The burnout garment requires a process using sulfuric acid or other strong acid to “burn-out” sections of the fabric knit, usually a cotton or polyester/cotton blend. The result is an ultra-sheer, almost transparent effect. This method also lessens the weight of the fabric, making hotfix rhinestone designs more likely to weigh down the T-shirt, causing it to sag over time.

Custom Hotfix Rhinestone Designs

Placement of hotfix rhinestones can also be an issue, particularly with apparel for women. Always plan on the fit and how a design will hang on the client. If working with an individual customer, have then try on the piece prior to adding a monogram or design.

DTG printing and hotfix rhinestones are a perfect moneymaking pair!

Shops that want to add bling (and profitability) to a direct to garment printer product with hotfix rhinestones have to be careful to get them right. After all, the flash is designed to catch the eye, and having them less than perfect will only attract unwanted attention to the garment.

When done right, hotfix rhinestones on direct to garment merchandise is a fantastic way to add excitement, flash and value!

Do you have tips for the best hotfix rhinestone designs on direct to garment printed T-shirts? Let us know in the comments below.

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