Learn about Spangles & Sequins
About Sequins and Spangles
Everyone has seen sequins in contemporary fashion. They’re popular on almost every line of women’s clothing and retail outlets including Victoria Secret, Nordstrom’s, Anthropologie, Bebe and Forever21. Sequin cheerleading outfits and dancewear have been a staple of those activities for decades, providing the bling not only on the clothing, but the accessories as well.
Sequins themselves are very simple. A sequin is a small disc, typically made out of some kind of plastic, that has a hole in the middle for a thread to go through. Traditionally, sequins have been applied with a commercial embroidery machine through an add on attachment. That hole in the middle is problematic for many clothing designers because the color of the shirt behind it shows through. Some designers will compensate by overlaying sequins in a kind of fish scale pattern in order to mask the hole and add ot the overall bling of the design.
If you’ve owned a sequin t-shirt or dress before, you know that the other drawback to embroidered sequins is that the designs often become damaged. The single embroidery thread that holds the sequin on is very delicate and easily torn.
Sequins have a long history and you can learn more on Wikipedia here.
Hotfix Sequin Transfers
Some time ago a “Hotfix” sequin was developed. Hotfix sequins, or sequin transfers, are sequin designs that are laid down onto transfer tape and then heat pressed onto the garment. This development eliminated the snagging and thread breaks that plague traditional sequins, and allowed for “wholesale sequin transfers” to be developed. (But still had the large hole in the middle of the sequin). When you produce an embroidered sequin design, you must embroider directly onto the garment, but when you create a sequin transfer, you can store and ship the transfer to a customer. That customer then uses a heat press to apply it to the garment of their choice! This works just like a rhinestone transfer.
Spangles are the same thing as sequins, but were developed specifically for producing spangle transfers that can be heat pressed onto a garment rather than embroidered. That means NO HOLES! Sometimes these are called spangle transfers, sequin transfers or threadless sequin – but keep in mind the spangle difference is the lack of holes.
The absence of holes means that every design that’s created has more impact that either a traditional embroidered sequin design or a Hotfix sequin design does. You automatically gain the extra bling “real estate” that is lost on the holes in sequins and you’ll be surprised at the difference not seeing the embroidery thread makes. The combination of those 2 factors and the availability of holographic spangle material makes a spangle transfer a great choice for adding bling to any garment.
Watch the video below and see the difference between sequins and spangles.
Spangle, Rhinestone and Hotfix Sequin equipment is often referred to as “bling machine”, and they operate completely differently from the tradition embroidery machine sequin options.
A bling machine that produces spangle transfers, like the ProSpangle from ColDesi uses reels of spangle material loaded onto the machine (ProSpangle can use up to 6 reels at a time) and punches out the spangles directly onto transfer paper. Simply create the design with the Hotfix Era for Sequins software, load them onto the ProSpangle machine and it will produce as many copies of the design as will fit on the transfer paper. Then switch paper and continue…perfect for production environments and much faster than embroidering onto a garment.