Rhinestone Machines vs. Spangles
In October of 2008 the Consumer Product Safety Commission established standards for lead content in “Children’s Products”. The CPSIA, or Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was ratified in order to protect us from poor manufacturing practices, largely from overseas.
The idea of lead content in children’s products came to the forefront when it was discovered that some toys coming out of China for sale in the US used lead based paint or components. This practice has been outlawed in the US for at least a generation!
Unfortunately, because rhinestones are typically made of glass, and glass is made of lead, rhinestone clothing for kids got grouped in under CPSIA. This is even though glass cannot be digested, so there is no possibility of the lead in rhinestones to have any ill effects, even if a child was able to swallow enough to rise to dangerous levels. (This is a common sense, not scientifically proven)
If you own an automatic rhinestone machine or are in the market for one, you CAN just ask for a certificate from your rhinestone vendor as to lead content in the stones they sell. Keep in mind that lead content can change dramatically by color and by manufacturer! For example, it’s easy to find a lead free crystal or clear colored Hotfix rhinestone, but much harder to find a red or purple hued stone.
If you have not purchased or gotten into the bling machine business yet, and children’s clothing is going to be a focus for you, you should consider a “spangle” or hotifx sequin machine. Whereas a rhinestone machine uses crystal/glass material to create the bling, a spangle machine uses a kind of Hotfix sequin.
Sequins are discs or plastic (usually) that have a beautiful color, reflectivity, shine and even holographic effects. Originally sequins were sewn on, and many still are, but you don’t get that same rhinestone bling look because of the thread and the hole in the middle.
A Spangle is a sequin with NO HOLE, and that presses onto a kids garment just like a rhinestone transfer. But it has 3 huge advantages over rhinestone machine output:
- ZERO lead content, 100%, all the time, no exceptions.
- Soft to the touch. A garment with spangles on them are perfect for kids because there’s no scratching, no hard surfaces, just a nice soft shiny feel to it.
- It’s Cheaper – the spangle material itself is very inexpensive when compared to rhinestones. According to the manufacturers once you have the machine your costs are well under 50% or better than the price of rhinestones. (if you’re buying the transfers instead of making them, the cost to you will be about the same as rhinestone transfers on the open market.)
The machine that has brought real Spangles and Hotfix Spangle Transfers to the market in the US is called the ProSpangle. You can see a video demonstration here. There is ROI (return on investment) information as well. So if you’re looking into the Best Bling Machine for Kids Clothing, take a look a spangles.