You’ve been thinking about adding a bit of shine and glamour to your clothes using rhinestones, but as you scour the internet for ones to buy, you realize there are several types for you to choose from. Two of the most common types you come across are flatback and hotfix. But what’s the difference between flatback and hotfix rhinestones, and does it matter which one you use for your project? Find out if hotfix or flatback rhinestones are better for clothes here.

What Are Flatback Rhinestones?

Flatback rhinestones have two sides—a multi-faceted front and a gray, flat back. You need to use a specialty glue like E6000 or Gem-Tac to apply these rhinestones to your clothes. Fill a syringe with your adhesive of choice, squeeze a small dot onto the fabric or the back of the stone, then grab the rhinestone with a pair of tweezers, position, and press onto your garment.

What Are Hotfix Rhinestones?

Visually, hotfix rhinestones look identical to flatback rhinestones. But if you look closely at the foiled back of hotfix rhinestones, you’ll notice a thin layer of dried glue already pre-applied. You apply these rhinestones by using a heat source, like an iron or specialty applicator, to melt the adhesive until it’s sticky enough to adhere securely to your clothing.

Which Is Best for Clothes?

Now that you know the difference between flatback and hotfix rhinestones, you’re probably wondering, “which one should I use?” Both rhinestones are suitable for use on clothes. Ultimately, the answer comes down to what attachment method you prefer.

Flatback rhinestones are typically recommended for beginners because they’re cheaper, and while they take longer to apply, flatback rhinestones are easier to apply to clothes overall. But for people who plan to rhinestone multiple garments and don’t mind spending a little extra money, purchasing hotfix rhinestones plus a hotfix applicator will allow you to bedazzle your clothes quickly and with great precision.

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