How to apply Hot Fix Transfers Posted on 10 May 07:35

Hot fix iron on rhinestone and rhinestud patch appliqués' are among the most exciting design options available today! Not only do they add some "bling" to your wardrobe, they allow you to replicate a designer look at a fraction of the cost.

While they are not hard to apply, they do require a bit more discipline. Since they are usually more expensive you want to take care in applying them as you are, in effect, applying multiple "patches" at the same time because these patches are made up of multiple components.

Again, if you have never applied one, we urge your to start with a small, inexpensive patch (include one with your order!)  to test it out, especially if you have never applied a hot fix iron on before. My first one was a 6" square patch, and while successful, it took repeated attempts to be sure that every stone was secure. I learned that my iron just doesn't get hot enough before it begins to cool down. I switched irons and they worked immediately.

You have to remember, that each stone, while having glue on the reverse side, is going to heat up at slightly different time's due to the size. What I have learned is that you really can't over iron them (short of scorching your fabric!) so the best approach is to start conservatively, and increase temperature and time.

  1. WARNING: DO NOT move your iron while applying these! Other iron on's are far more forgiving, but with a hot fix, if you push a heated stone or stud with the iron, you are also pushing the glue across your fabric. At best, you will not have enough glue to secure the stone or stud. At the worst, you will leave glue residue on your garment! So use a "press down - lift up - move over, overlapping a bit - press down" motion.  
  2. Set iron to "dry" not steam setting.

  3. Pre-heat to cotton setting (or if unsure of your fabric, one or two settings lower).

  4. Place on a flat, solid surface - not on your ironing board unless you place something flat. I use my Corelle cutting board.

  5. SLOWLY & CAREFULLY peel the white backing sheet from the appliqué. If any of the stones or studs have shifted, carefully reposition using tweezers. I

  6. Identify the appropriate position before applying! If you need to experiment with placement, cut a sheet of paper roughly to size to determine placement.

  7. Place the appliqué sticky side down, onto your fabric. If you have to re-adjust, pick it straight up completely and then place it down again. DO NOT slide it back and forth into place! You will loosen the stones and may have to reposition a number of them.

  8. Cover with a clean, average weight pressing cloth (a piece of muslin, an old piece of sheeting or tea shirt, or even a doubled paper towel works fine). You can also use a Teflon sheet (available at craft stores). If you are applying to stretch velour, you should add a second layer of material (organza or similarly lightweight) between the pressing cloth and the patch.

  9. From the front of the patch, press iron down flat (do not move back/forth/around) for 20 to 40 seconds. Heavier fabrics require more time than lighter fabrics. Again, do NOT slide the iron back and forth! Lift and place down, working from one section to the next with a slight overlap. Repeat once more. (First horizontally, and then vertically).

  10. Turn inside out and using the pressing cloth again, apply heat to each section for at least 30 seconds to draw the glue deep into the fabric.

  11. Turn back right side up or outside in.

  12. Gently remove the clear transfer paper when the design and material have cooled, but while it is still warm to the touch. Then leave everything in place to cool - completely - approximately 20 minutes!

  13. Test an edge of the patch with your fingernail to ensure it is secure. If any or a few are loose you are not giving it enough ironing time to melt the glue. Repeat steps 7 to 11 increasing the time by 10 to 20% depending on how many were loose. If just one or two stones are loose, just focus on them. Remember to give the iron time to reach the proper "cotton" temperature before repeating.

  14. When correct, you should be able to run your hands across the design, up and down, and all pieces should feel secure. 
  15. Gently pick at them with a finger nail 9not to hard, or y ou will remove them.
  17. We've learned that unless y ou've ironed them moving back and forth thereby removing and spreading heated glue you really cant ruin a hot fix applique unless you have used too hot a temperature. Use more time, not more heat.