rino4578

Attaching Rhinestones to leather using bonding agent

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Hello,

My wife runs a small business crafting custom pet supplies and the majority of her business is rhinestone collars. She almost daily gets requests to make a design on real leather. The problem with that is I've done (very Little) leatherwork in the past and 1 thing I remember from my experience is in general you cant glue things like rhinestones or conchos and such and expect them to stay. I know you can attach rhinestones by riveting or using the prong type but I'm talking about ALOT of rhinestones. Her customers want ALOT of rhinestones! Lol. I've attached and image of one of her collars in FAUX leather to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Any way to duplicate this on leather without riveting/using prongs. The one i've attached is one of her simpler designs. She has some that have hundreds of tiny rhinestones that run down the sides.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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I've done it using a heat press with good quality stones designed for that method.

Hibby Lobby or Michael's my have some, bit never bought from them. 

You can dye, but dont apply balms, waxes or creams before pressing

 

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I think a lot will depend on the leather. A prefinished chrome tanned leather would be best suited to this purpose, though exactly what finish would depend on how you decide to attach the stones. I've never glued stones like this but would want to test some samples extensively before going into production.

Rivet backed stones would definitely be my preferred option. You can get die sets for an eyelet press that suit rivet back stones. However punching that number of holes accurately enough will be a challenge. A template made from heavy card or thin plastic would be a cheap option. For quantity production a clicker die would be best but that would be a fairly expensive die.

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Rhinestones ( even the Swarovskis ) are available with heat setting glue on the flat ( back side ) you'll need a heated setting "pen like" tool to set / stick them..( it holds the "stone" in various shaped "heads" depending on the "stone" shape with the glue side facing down ) they'll stay on* , if the leather is degreased ( wiped with acetone ) first in all the areas that the stones are supposed to stick..

Like Matt S says..Chrome tan is likely to be more successful than veg tan..

*some will always come off eventually with wear and use..you pay more for the more sparkly ones, and the ones with better adhesive..you can buy the stones in strips and shapes and sheets for applying with larger heated tools and heated presses.

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I have no experience with this so should stay mum, but sorry, it sounds like a disaster in the making.  I do sell adhesives and know of their limitations and frankly this doesn't sound like it will end well.

I'm happy to be wrong about this.

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Thanks to everyone for the advise. Tugadude I feel like you're right, I think I'll design a test collar and put it on my livestock dog for a few months and see how it holds up. In the meantime I think we'll go with the more traditional approach for those who want the leather collars (riveted and tone down the design a bit)

Off topic but I've noticed since looking in to this that there is a TON of stuff on the internet that specifies genuine leather but is clearly not. Especially when it comes to dog collars and leather jackets (not sure why leather jackets kept popping up in my searches.lol)

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3 minutes ago, rino4578 said:

Thanks to everyone for the advise. Tugadude I feel like you're right, I think I'll design a test collar and put it on my livestock dog for a few months and see how it holds up. In the meantime I think we'll go with the more traditional approach for those who want the leather collars (riveted and tone down the design a bit)

Off topic but I've noticed since looking in to this that there is a TON of stuff on the internet that specifies genuine leather but is clearly not. Especially when it comes to dog collars and leather jackets (not sure why leather jackets kept popping up in my searches.lol)

Genuine leather is the second-lowest grade of leather next to bonded leather with is leather bits glued together and molded into sheets.  Genuine leather is typically a split and represents a weaker grade as compared to top grain.  The outer layer is the strongest and most desirable.  Genuine leather can be sanded smooth and can be finished or not, but it is lesser quality and will likely not hold up to the rigors of usage anywhere near as long as top grain, corrected top grain or other premium leathers.  Genuine does indicate the leather is real, but in some instances it is real bad.

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Thanks again Tugadude - I did not know that. Fortunately the leather I purchased was a strip of veg tan 8/9oz not genuine leather. Wonder how many people see Genuine leather and asume its the best because of it. I know until recently (a few minutes ago) I assumed it meant it was good leather.

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6 hours ago, heydox said:

There is a lot of misinformation about the term genuine leather. 

North Star Leather did a nice article about it.  

 

Thanks for posting a very interesting article, it certainly got me up to speed on how terms have changed.

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