Attaching rivets to fabric is a quick and easy way of decorating with rhinestones, and they have the advantage of being extremely durable. Rivets are a great way to apply rhinestones to fabric if you have the correct tools – you would need a fly press or manual rivet applicator. This method is mainly used in the fashion industry as they produce clothing in bulk, but rivets are also popular for embellishing pet collars, dog leads, accessories and jewellery. Rivets are ideal for use with thick strong materials such as canvas, leather, vinyl, denim, thin metals, suede, thick cottons. Ideally your fabric needs to be approximately 2 - 4mm thick, if your fabric is thinner than 2mm we would recommend you look to use flatback hotfix or non hotfix rhinestones to embellish your garments.

Rivet Styles

Rhinestone rivets are available in the Maxima cut (pictured below) or spike shape and can be purchased in different colours and sizes to suit your project.


You need to ensure you have the correct size die set for the rivets you are using, otherwise they will not work together in the machine. The long screw in die is the upper die, which attaches to the top part of the press, and the flat disc shaped die is the lower die, which attaches to the bottom part.

Attaching rivets using a mechanical fly press

Using a fly press the attach rivets to clothing is a great tool for frequent applications as it can be bolted down to the surface, giving you more stability and ease to work with.

First, ensure you have the correct size die for the rivets you’re using and screw the upper die tightly into place. Then place the lower die into the press and make sure it is sitting flat.

Next, tighten the lower die with the bolt screw. Attach the rivet to the upper die and place the back side of the rivet on the lower die.

When the front and back of the rivet are secure, place your fabric in between the two dies and press firmly. You should see the rhinestone facing upwards on the front of your fabric, and the metal backing on the other side.

Attaching rivets using a manual rivet applicator

The manual rivet applicator is a great alternative to a fly press, it is a handy portable tool, lightweight and can also be used to attach pins when used with the correct dies.

Like with the fly press, first place your upper and lower dies in position, then tighten the lower die.

Next, attach the rivet to the upper die and place the back side of the rivet on the lower die.

Once your material is in between and you are happy with the positioning, press firmly and release. Both sides of the rivet will be attached to the material. Here’s an example of a design using rivets, and rivets placed on a leather band. This is a very popular way of embellishing belts, leather jewellery, pet collars and dog leads.Top Tips for attaching rivets to fabric

Ensure the rivets are properly aligned with the dies to avoid any problems with the application when using the press.

During the application process, the rivet is fully surrounded by the upper die, so it is important that you leave a small gap in between each rivet, otherwise you may damage them during the press.

For information on safety instructions, care instructions and an accurate rivet size guide, please read the Preciosa Application Manual.

Clothing embellishment