Accessorising with Swarovski crystals or pearls is a very simple and cost-effective way of adding some glitz and glamour to your wedding veil. It’s not difficult to turn a cheaper veil into something that looks a lot more expensive and unique in your own style. This can be achieved by incorporating some element of your colour theme into the veil, designing your own pattern into a plain veil or simply enhancing a veils existing intricate pattern.
This post was created by Crystal and Glass Beads and isn’t intended to show you how to create a pattern or the process of adding crystals but to highlight the three different types of crystals that can be added to a veil.
1 … NON-HOTFIX FLAT BACK CRYSTALS
The first is non-hotfix flatbacks or rhinestones as they are often referred to, these are multi-faceted crystals that usually come with a flat foiled backing. To apply them to a wedding veil you would simply add a tiny dot of adhesive to the veil then press the crystal onto the adhesive. No expensive tools are needed for this method however if your applying a large amount of crystals, a cheap wax applicator tool can make the job a lot quicker and easier. If your using the Swarovski brand then the backing of these crystals is a platinum / light silver-grey colour which can be seen through the fabric. Although this may be the case the way veils sit and the fact that nobody scrutinises the fabric from close up, it really isn’t an issue and not something that would be noticed.
Clear crystal non-hotfix :: These are a clear colour Swarovski crystal with a platinum foil backing. This is by far the most popular colour flatback crystal used for white wedding veils.
Clear crystal flatbacks :: This is what clear crystal flatbacks look like on a white wedding veil. The cut of the various models of hotfix and non-hotfix differs slightly but the colour remains the same.
Non-hotfix crystal backing :: As you can see when you apply non-hotfix Swarovski crystals to a white veil with a suitable adhesive, the colour you can see through is a pale silvery grey or platinum colour (the colour looks a little darker and more beige due to the lighting used).
OTHER FLAT BACK CRYSTAL COLOURS TO CONSIDER
Swarovski have a huge ever changing selection of colours to choose from when selecting colours for a bridal veil. Below are a few alternative colours which are complimentary to a white veil along with a look at how adding a coating such as AB or shimmer to clear crystal completely changes the colour. While the purpose of adding crystals to a veil is to add some sparkle it’s sometimes better to achieve this subtly and compliment the design rather than to create an over powering effect. .. … You decide.
Crystal AB flat backs :: These are a clear crystal with an iridescent coating that give off a rainbow effect of different colours. Crystal AB are one of Swarovski’s most popular colours and often used on dance costumes because they give the ultimate glitzzy effect, this can be a bit too much colour for a bridal veil however. The iridescent effect as the crystal is rotated gives of the colours, silver, pink, purple, blue and yellow which bear in mind may clash with your bridal colours. (Also available in HotFix)
Crystal AB :: As you can see the crystal AB colours are very vibrant.
Crystal shimmer flat backs :: These are a clear crystal with a shimmer coating that gives off strong orange and blue tones. (Also available in HotFix)
Crystal shimmer :: The vibrancy of colours comes through quite strong as can be seen above.
Silver shade flat backs :: Are a pewter metal colour or pale silvery grey. (The colour is also available in HotFix as well as the bead range)
Silver shade :: The silver colour is quite subtle and being a special colour the crystals are very sparkly
Moonlight flat backs :: These are a sparkly, vintage looking and a slightly milky clear crystal. (Also available in HotFix and the bead range)
Moonlight :: It doesn’t show in the picture but these crystals have a subtle bluey/silvery shimmer colour with very light yellowy/peach undertones to the crystal.
2 … HOTFIX FLAT BACK CRYSTALS
Option two is to use hotfix crystals, these look pretty much the same as non-hotfix but they have a heat sensitive coating on the back of the crystal. To apply them you simply need to place them on the veil, heat the glue on the back of the crystal and it will bond to the veil. There are a number of ways to do this, if you only have a few crystals you can use an iron on a medium heat setting with the steam turned off. If your applying hotfix crystals in an intricate pattern or in large quantities it may be worth investing in a hotfix applicator tool. These look like soldering irons, a long thin plastic wand with a metal rod on the end onto which different size tips can be attached.
To use one, you simply screw the right size tip to match the crystal size being used onto the end then turn the tool on to heat up the tip. If it’s a compatible tool with Swarovski hotfix crystals you can touch the faceted face with the tip to pick up the crystal and press it onto the veil and voila it’s bonded. The benefits of this method is that its quick and eliminates the need for a separate glue, the downside is the cost of purchasing a hotfix applicator tool. For mass producing crystallized items, crystal stencils or motifs a heat press would be used.
Swarovski also manufacture a small range of hotfix pearls which are dome shape one side and have a flat backing. They can be applied with a heat applicator tool, iron or heat press or some people glue them on, if they are incorporating them into a design with non-hotfix crystals.
Clear crystal hotfix :: These are a clear colour Swarovski crystal the same as the non-hotfix above, but with a hotfix backing which for the 2038 and 2078 is a copper colour. (Clear hotfix and non-hotfix crystals are the same colour but due to the use of natural lighting the crystals may look slightly different.). Hotfix crystals are slightly shallower in depth to non-hotfix crystals and have a bigger table (flat part in the centre of the crystal) where as a non-hotfix crystals faceted face comes to more of a point.
Hotfix 2038 / 2078 crystal backing :: Both the 2038 and 2078 have the same copper colour heat sensitive backing which you can see bonded to a white veil.
Clear crystal hotfix (Old Style) :: These are also a clear colour Swarovski crystal but they have a different cut faceted face and a grey colour heat sensitive backing. The 2028 Xilion Rose model as seen above has a similar colour backing to many other crystal brands.
Hotfix 2028 crystal backing :: The older style 2028 backing shows through as quite a strong colour as can be seen bonded to a white veil.
Hotfix clear crystal HFT unfoiled :: Swarovski produce an unfoiled version in clear crystal hotfix, the hotfix coating unlike the rest of the hotfix range is also clear. They can be applied to the wedding veil with an applicator tool, iron or heat press just like regular hotfix.
Hotfix clear crystal HFT unfoiled :: In theory these may seem the perfect solution but what you gain with a clear backing you lose with the lack of sparkle the crystal gives when you take away the foil backing. The facets will still give a little shimmer when the light catches them, but looking at a crystal face on and they look decidedly unimpressive.
Hotfix clear crystal HFT unfoiled crystal backing :: This is what the back of the unfoiled crystals looks like when applied to a white wedding veil.
Transmission hotfix :: Have a light iridescent coating with shades of silver purple/pink yellow and green. The rainbow of colours aren’t as strong/vibrant as Crystal AB.
Transmission :: You can see how subtle the iridescent effect is in comparison to Crystal AB. For bridal companies applying hotfix crystals to veils these are also a very popular choice.(These aren’t available in non-hotfix but can be applied with adhesive)
Transmission backing :: The hotfix glue backing is clear in colour and all you can see through the crystal is a very subtle hint of colours from the faceted face iridescent coating.
Hotfix pearls cabochons 2080/4 :: These are a flatback hotfix pearl with a white/cream heat sensitive backing that are available in a choice of 3 sizes ss10 (3mm), ss16 (4mm) and ss34 (7.5mm). The three colours shown above are the most popular for bridal veils from left to right: cream, white and nacre. Nacre is a white colour, cream is as the name suggests a cream colour while white is an off white colour, a little warmer than nacre.
Hotfix pearls :: Above you can see the selection of colours on a white wedding veil. White is the most popular choice for veils as it looks like a natural white pearl’s colour.
3 … SEW ON BEADS, PEARLS & FLAT BACKS
Option three is to stitch the crystals into the veil, to do this you can use a clear nylon thread or the same colour cotton as the veil. Swarovski crystal beads or pearls can often be found stitched into the bodice of designer dresses to create a beautiful but subtle effect. For adding some sparkle 5328 bicone beads are the most popular choice which are tiny diamond shaped beads with a hole through their centre. Swarovski 5810 round pearls are also very popular and come in a wide range of colours to compliment your colour theme. They look just like real pearls are hard wearing and can be stitched into the veil like bicone beads.
There are also sew on flatback crystals available that depending on the size either have a hole through the centre of the crystal or a tiny hole to either side of the faceted face.
5328 Clear crystal bicone beads :: These are a multi faceted clear crystal colour bead with a hole through the centre.
Clear crystal bicones :: These clear crystal bicones have been individually stitched into the veil design using white cotton, but a clear thread can also be used.
5328 Crystal AB bicone beads :: These crystals have an iridescent coating on one half of the diamond shape, the other half is just plain crystal. This is why you will see multi coloured blue, purple, pink, yellow and silver tones quite strongly from half of the crystal but very subtle fragmentation colours from the other side of the bead. Swarovski also make a colour called Crystal AB 2x but it’s not as popular as clear or AB for wedding veils (large quantities of AB 2x together and the crystals can look Christmasy/frosted ).
Crystal AB bicones :: Again the bicone beads have been individually stitched into the design. Using a combination of clear crystal and Crystal AB bicones in a bridal veil design works well. However if only one colour is going to be used, I would be inclined to opt for Crystal AB.
3288 Xirius sew on stones :: These are very similar to the non-hotfix flatback crystals with the exception that these have a hole through the centre. These can be attached to the veil using clear thread and a stitch from the centre to the side. The alternative is to thread through the veil fabric centre hole, then through a seed bead and back through the hole.
3188 Xirius lochrose sew on stones :: Again these are similar to the standard flatback crystal but with a hole to either side of the crystal.