I opted for the ‘large’ version, not really knowing what was large or small about them. I knew so little about this product it might as well have come from another planet. Hot Spots describe themselves as ‘thermoplastic adhesive dots for the universal transfer of designs and applications on textiles.’ This includes self-created paintings, photos, transfer foil and glitter powder! Jazzy.
The packet contains 5 A4 sheets of brown paper. It is baking paper style on one side and covered in the adhesive plastic spots on the other.
In order to give this product a good testing, I wanted to experiment with both the transfer of foil applications and also a ‘self-created image’… on both black and white fabrics to see how they would compare.
As its nearly Halloween I went for a simple bat design – I’m not very good at drawing so opted to trace a silhouette! Simply draw your image onto the paper side of the product and cut out whatever image you fancy transferring.
Place the cut out onto the fabric, with the plastic dots facing the fabric. Iron the back of the paper for about 15-20 seconds so the glue melts and adheres to the fabric.
When the paper cools down slightly but is still warm, peel back the paper. The glue dots will all now remain on your fabric in the shape of the design. You can let this cool down, no need for speed with these which is a particularly good feature – the dots reactivate with heat.
In order to make a lovely shiny metallic image, take some transfer foils (you can get sheets of these in loads of different colours) – I went for some gorgeous shades of blue.
If you have never used transfer foils before, beware, you need to apply them with the shiny side facing you and the dull grey backing onto the fabric. They transfer in reverse to other products! Place the transfer foil over the top of the glue dot image. The fab thing about foils is you can also cut them up, create multi-coloured images, and fill in gaps by layering them up so don’t worry if a single sheet doesn’t cover the whole image, just chop it to size.
Place a clean cloth over the top of the foil and iron again for 15-20 seconds. This will reactivate the adhesive and attract the foil.
After leaving it to cool a little, the dots will be fixed in place and the foil transferred onto your image so you can peel away the excess!
I tried this same image on both the black and white fabric – you can see that both fabrics take foils very well and the images stand out as they should. It’s difficult to photograph but the metallic foil really does glisten. As the image is comprised of dots, you can apply these foil transfers to t-shirts and other stretch material as well and they should hold the image and shape! Great for personalized gifts or shirts.
Next up for the testing was the fact you can transfer ‘self-created’ images. This apparently includes drawing and paintings which is rather clever but more interestingly to me (as a non-artistic type) a printed image! Just print anything you want onto regular printer/copy paper and let it dry then cut the same shape from the Vilene Hot Spots paper.You didn’t think we’d get through a whole post without me doing a tortoise, right? What better to test this process than little Crafty Clyde…
This time, after ironing on the hot spots, you apply the printed image face down onto them and give it another iron. This effectively glues the paper to the fabric.
Now here’s where things got weird…You can’t just peel the paper off like you do with the transfer foil as the entire thing is just stuck. The instructions said to ‘spray a little water and gently rub away the paper’.
There was nothing gentle about this. I had to run the fabric under the tap in the end to soak it and rub quite hard to get the excess paper away.
Once complete you get your image in this quite artistic pointillism style. As I said before these were the large dots – the smaller dots will give you a higher resolution image. Personally, I think if I wanted to transfer a printed image to a t-shirt or piece of fabric I would just use t-shirt transfer paper, where you iron the printed image directly onto the material for the full image. However, I appreciate the dots give a lovely effect and would be a great way to transfer your own artwork and paintings onto something like a scarf, especially with the smaller higher resolution dots.
Just so you can see the difference, the printed image worked far better on white! The black was a bit of a disaster….
Another clever feature of this product is that your final image and garment are machine washable at 30 degrees! In the machine it went – it passed the test! I think some fading would occur over time, especially with the printed image however the foils stayed put nicely.
I was impressed by the foil transfer capabilities; the dots are so simple to use in that respect that you can transfer an image in no time at all. The only thing you do need is an imagination for what to make with them!
Thanks for reading!