Swarovski FAQ – Part 2

In the previous article, Swarovski FAQ — Part 1, we discussed the application and use of Swarovski HotFix, Non HotFix, Ceralun and Crystal Mesh. In this part, we will focus on the most popular Swarovski crystals, as well as their application with the use of glue and self-adhesive films. However, further techniques and issues will be discussed in the next part.
 Swarovski crystals

What are the most popular Swarovski Crystals?

The most popular Swarovski Crystals are:

1. Round Stones, or chatons – round crystals with a pointed underside, considered to be the most innovative rhinestones on the market. Their one-of-a-kind, multi-faceted cut makes them exceptionally radiate and guarantee a unique glow. Round Stones crystals are appreciated by designers all over the world, thanks to which we can admire them on the catwalks, large film productions, as well as dance and music events, in the form of costumes, jewelry, accessories and even décor creations. Examples include some of the most famous international designers like Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, who regularly used Swarovski crystals in their designs. Crystals are produced in many sizes and with a total of over 100 intensely vibrant colors and effects. The most popular of them is Xirius Chaton 1088 – considered to be the closest to a diamond, Xilion Channel 1128, Xero Chaton 1100 – considered the smallest crystal in the world, often used in tiny decorations on glasses, dials in watches and advertising projects like logos. Very popular are Rivoli 1122, Flat Chaton 1201 and Brilliant Cut 1357 are also very popular. Currently, some Swarovski crystals may not be available on the market, due to the recent transformation of the Swarovski brand business model. Referring to the above and realizing that many of our clients have been making jewelry collections based on silver settings dedicated to specific crystals for years, as an alternative we have introduced new stones to our offer. Swarovski Rivoli 12 mm crystals can be perfectly replaced with GAVBARI RIVOLI semi-precious stones, which have the same shape and are available in a wide range of colors. In our collection you will find a large selection of findings dedicated to these stones, thanks to which you will create phenomenal earrings, pendants, necklaces, rings, bracelets and cufflinks.

Application of Round Stones: gluing, stone setting and embedding in Ceralun.

Swarovski create your style
ab crystals
Swarovski online store
Swarovski crystals loose
Swarovski crystals wholesale
 

2. Fancy Stones come in a huge assortment of different shapes, sizes and colors, from classic cuts inspired by gemstones, geometric shapes, to cosmic symbols and other innovative cuts. The large range of Swarovski Fancy Stones offers over 70 models that guarantee endless design possibilities.

Application of Fancy Stones: gluing, stone settings and embedding in Swarovski Ceralun.

Swarovski cosmic ring
Swarovski hamsa hand
Swarovski crystal jewelry making supplies
Swarovski star
Swarovski crystals for crafts

3. Pendants conceal timeless elegance and are available in a wide range of classic and avant-garde cuts and shapes, as well as in many colors with a variety of effects. Crystal pendants are available with eyelets or tunnels, and they are all characterized by rounded and smooth edges, thanks to which they guarantee thread protection. With a diversity of shapes and symbols such as the meteorite 6673, the infinity pendant 6792 and the shell pendant 6723, they offer a whole range of jewelry designs
in the form of spectacular earrings, elegant necklaces, eye-catching chokers and stylish bracelets, as well as accessories like bags, hats, garments and
footwear.

Pendants application: sewing and hand application.

Swarovski crystal pendant
Swarovski angel wings
 Swarovski snowflake
Sswarovski starfish
heart pendant

4. Swarovski Beads offer the highest standard available on the market. High-quality precision cutting and a transparent hole with rounded and smooth edges ensure high gloss and transparency, reduce the wear on thread and increase the durability of products. An impressive palette of colors, shapes, sizes, effects and styles offers endless combination possibilities. Regardless of whether you use threads, cords, ribbons, knitting needles or jewelry wires, whether you sew, crochet, weave or knit — beads will add enchanting charm to your creations. They are popular in beading and wire working. The wide range of beads in addition to the classic round, oval, square and oblong shapes, also includes more innovative shapes, like skull, scarabaeus, fish, butterfly or cross.

Application of beadssewing and hand application.

Swarovski skull
Swarovski scarabaeus
 Swarovski fish
Swarovski butterfly
Swarovski cross

5. Swarovski sew-on crystals are captivating products in a large selection of shapes, sizes, hole options, cuts, colors and effects, designed to be applied manually or mechanically on any type of textiles or accessories. Smooth and rounded edges protect the thread against wear, so your creations will be solid and will last for many years. Apart from thread, you can also use jewelry wire and various types of tapes, ribbons and other strings. Aside from mechanical sewing you can apply them by using various techniques like hand sewing, knitting, weaving, crocheting, knotting, beading, threading or wire working. Choose from Swarovski crystal buttons with four holes 3008, classic round single hole buttons, Rivoli with two holes 3200 or triangles with three holes 3270. With Swarovski sew on crystals, you can add sparkling accents to jewelry and all kinds of textiles in the form of bags, hats, scarves, shoes, clothes and interior decorations, such as pillows or curtains. Sew on crystals are also very popular in wedding fashion, because their unique cut and exceptional refraction of light make the bride look even more beautiful and dreamlike on this big day. The tiny Swarovski crystals are also used to create sensational dance and sports costumes, used in such areas as: ballet, ballroom dancing, modern dances, ice-skating and acrobatics.

Sewing crystal application: mechanical sewing and hand sewing.

Swarovski buttons
jewelry making supplies
Swarovski sew-on crystals
beads for jewelry making
Swarovski sew on stones
6. Synthetic crystals are versatile products, ideal for use in jewelry and other accessories segments, as well as in the textile and interior décor creations. Swarovski crystal elements are available in three forms, all of which are constructed very similarly, and the main difference is the type of adhesive used on the back of the product:
a) Swarovski IT crystals were developed to use on solid surfaces suitable for gluing — for this purpose, use a test pen to check the surface tension. This process has been described in the article: Swarovski FAQ — Part 1;

b) ColdFix crystals are an ideal solution for use with heat-sensitive (min. 140 °C) and pressure-sensitive materials, that are not suitable for HotFix applications. Examples of heat-sensitive materials are natural leather, artificial leather, silk and cashmere, example of pressure-sensitive material is wool, and examples of low-absorbency textiles include technical fabrics. Although ColdFix crystals have been developed as an alternative to difficult materials, it is worth bearing in mind, that they are not
a substitute for HotFix, as the bond strength achieved with HotFix is higher than with ColdFix. We therefore recommend the use of HotFix where possible;
c) HotFix Crystals: they are discussed in the article: Swarovski FAQ — Part 1.

Synthetic application: gluing (IT and ColdFix) and hotfix application (HotFix).

How to apply Swarovski crystals?

1. Swarovski crystals for gluing.
Gluing is the most popular and future-proof solution, that not only creates a strong bond between the crystals and the materials, which ensures long-term adhesion, but also protects the stones from mechanical stress. The application with the use of glue is perfect for the creation of jewelry, accessories, clothing, as well as interior design products. Some crystals, such as cabochons, can be glued directly to the material, but some, for example, with a conical bottom, such as Xirius Chatons 1088, require the creation of a cavity for easy positioning of the crystal. Cavities and settings dedicated to specific crystals not only guarantee easy and stylish application, but also provide greater protection of the crystal against mechanical and chemical stress. When making cavities, it is important to take into account the height of the crystal bottom and the thickness of the base material. In the event that it is not possible to create a made-to-measure cavity and it is ultimately e.g. deeper than the height of the crystal,
a plasticine ball can be used to raise the crystal. However, when choosing an adhesive, you should consider: the type of crystals, the type of base material, the way of using the final product and the size of the glue gap, i.e. matching the cavity to the crystal contours. When it comes to the glue itself, it is worth analyzing such parameters as: pot life, density, color, curing time, ease of dosing and shrinkage.
uv glue
silicone glue
 epoxy glue
gluing crystals
Swarovski stones
In the case of applying bottom-foiled crystals in cavities with a large glue gap, it is recommended to use soft adhesives, such as silicone glue with a low degree of shrinkage.
Hard adhesives are usually characterized by high shrinkage, so when curing, there is a risk of damaging the foil covering the bottom of the crystal, which can affect not only the appearance, but also its detachment.
If there is a need for a stronger bond, two-component adhesives based on epoxy resin are recommended, which provide greater strength. However, their disadvantage may be too long hardening time.
Another option is UV glue, which can be used when connecting crystals with silver elements, for example half-hole Twisted Drop Pendant 6540 with bails. However,
in the case of UV adhesives, it is a condition, that at least one of the components must transmit light. For example, metal surfaces can only be combined with non-foiled crystals, and foiled crystals can only be combined with transparent materials, because the foil stops the UV light. It is also worth remembering, that some colors absorb UV light and therefore are not suitable for the use of light-curing adhesives. It is recommended to wear glasses with a UV filter, while curing.
 
Authentic Swarovski crystals can be glued in many ways, but it is important to know which glue to choose, consider the strength of the base material, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the right order. Besides, it is always recommended performing application tests before starting the main project. In the case of solid materials, before starting the gluing, carry out a test of tension with a test pen, which is discussed in detail in part 1. During application, be careful not to stain the crystals with glue, and if this happens, immediately remove it with a cotton cloth soaked in solvent or isopropyl alcohol, because the dried glue cannot be completely cleaned and our crystal will lose its shine.
 
Swarovski company offers a wide range of crystals for gluing, the most popular of which are Flat Backs No HotFix, which can be applied directly to the material or in made-to-measure cavities. See the exemplary bases for Xilion Rose Enchanted 2058 and jewelry bails dedicated to Pendants. Another example is the star-shaped Rivoli Star crystal, which we can glue into custom-made settings for this crystal 4745. Crystals with a conical bottom Xilion Chaton 1028 also have their settings for gluing, while Half Hole Crystal Pearl 5818 can be beautifully fulfilled with silver findings in the form of stud earrings, ear wires, as well as pendants for necklaces and bracelets.
gold plated anchor pendant
fashion earrings
Swarovski chains
Swarovski necklace pendant
Swarovski pendants
The most common causes of crystal falling off are:
  • inappropriate areas of application,
  • poorly made cavities, bases, forms, settings,
  • use of unsuitable glue,
  • use of unsuitable amount of glue,
  • failure to follow the recommendations of the glue manufacturer;
2. Self-adhesive crystals.

Self-adhesive crystals are ready-to-use, innovative elements. Their back side is covered with a pressure-sensitive glue, that allows quick and easy application.
The crystals can be pressed by hand, with the use of a rubber roller, or with a thermal press.
They come in two forms:

a) ColdFix is used on textiles sensitive to pressure and heat, such as: leather, wool, Lycra, polyester, technical materials and those, that are not suitable for the HotFix application. ColdFix motifs are delivered in the form of a sheet, so if necessary, cut them off with scissors, and then press the crystals against the transparent foil, in order to avoid their accidental displacement or detachment.

Depending on the material and area of application, there are 2 application methods:

  • Hand application at room temperature of about 23 °C.Before application, tear off the yellow protective film at an acute angle, then place motif on the base material and press down firmly with your fingers or a rubber roller for about 10 seconds. After this time, carefully and at an acute angle, remove the transparent foil and finally press the motif in order to bind it better with the material. Final adhesive strength is reached after 72 hours.
  • In order to increase the bond strength and speed up reaching the final strength, it is recommended to use a heat press at a temperature of 90 °C, and heat the bottom part of the crystals. In this case, however, it should be borne in mind, that the material must not be sensitive to the above temperature. Before application, peel off the yellow protective film at an acute angle, then place the motif facing down on the application area on the heat press. Additionally, it is recommended to use a Teflon foil to protect the press against possible spill of the glue. Then close the press, set the heat to 90 °C and press for 5 seconds using medium pressure. After the heating is finished, it is worth pressing the motif with a clean cloth or a rubber roller, and then remove the transparent foil at an acute angle. In this case, the product obtains its final adhesive strength after 12 hours.
Swarovski crystals bulk
Swarovski crystals flat back
black Swarovski crystals
 Swarovski application
small Swarovski crystals
ColdFix products are available in the form of:
Crystal Fabric Coldfix
Crystal Fine Rocks Coldfix
Crystal Ultrafine Rocks
Coldfix Crystal Rocks Coldfix
Crystal Galuchat Coldfix
Crystal Medley Coldfix
Crystal Fine Medley
Coldfix Graphic Fabric
Coldfix Graphic Ultrafine Rocks
Coldfix Graphic Fine Rocks

Coldfix Graphic Rocks Coldfix

b) Swarovski IT has been designed to be applied on solid surfaces such as paper, metal or glass, but before application, it is recommended to check the surface tension by performing a pen test, which was discussed in detail in part 1.

IT film consists of a flat bottom containing an adhesive, that is activated by pressure. Before application, make sure that the application area is not dirty or greasy and if it does, clean it with isopropyl alcohol. First, press the crystals against the transparent foil facing up, then peel off the white foil at an acute angle, and place the motif on the application site, pressing down firmly for about 10 seconds. Finally, at an acute angle, carefully remove the transparent foil and press the motif again with your fingers. The complete hardening time is 72 hours.

IT products are available in the form of:

Crystal-it Infinity
Crystal Fabric-it
Crystaltex-it
Crystaltex Chaton-it
Crystal Rocks-it
Crystal Fine Rocks-it
Crystal Ultrafine Rocks-it

Both ColdFix and IT Crystals are offered in numerous shapes, sizes, heights and colors. Both options have a similar structure, the only difference is the type of glue used on the underside of the product. Before starting the application of self-adhesive crystals, it is recommended to perform tests, because sometimes some types of plastic admixtures are used during the processing of textiles, which may have a negative effect or even prevent the application. In both cases, the product should not be exposed to mechanical or chemical effects until full adhesive strength is achieved. The time of complete curing, depending on the application method, is 12 hours (manual application) or 72 hours (thermal application of ColdFix).

Self-adhesive crystals care:
  • hand wash inside out, at a maximum temperature of 30 °C, in a mild washing detergent,
  • do not use bleach containing chlorine and solvents,
  • do not tumble dry — delicate towel drying is recommended,
  • do not iron.

The most common causes of crystal detaching are:

  • wrong application areas,
  • unsuitable base material,
  • application area was dirty or greasy,
  • removing the foil at the wrong angle,
  • before removing the protective foil, the crystals were not pressed against the transparent carrier foil,
  • too light or short pressure during application,
  • damage to the glue by too strong cleaning agents,
  • stressing the base material before reaching its final strength.

To be continued …

Swarovski pendant 6106, 22,0 mm

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Do You want to find out more?
Read about HotFix, No HotFix and Swarovski Ceralun: Swarovski FAQ – Part 1
Find out about Swarovski history

Learn how to check If Swarovski Crystals are original

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