As you’ve looked through your options for screen printing, you’ve likely wondered: what exactly is the difference between rhinestones and spangle? And where do sequins fit in? Spangle is a newer product that offers many of the benefits of rhinestones, but with some unique advantages.

Let’s dig a little deeper to give you a better idea of the specific differences between these two options.

What are sequins?

Sequins are small, colorful, plastic discs that have holes in the middle. They’re attached to a shirt or piece of clothing by a thread using a special embroidery machine. The end product is colorful, shiny, and exciting. However, since they’re attached directly to the garment via thread, they generally begin breaking off as time goes on.

There are also hotfix sequins, which look a lot like sequins but they aren’t attached to the garment in the same way. Instead, they’re attached via transfer paper or transfer tape and are then applied directly to the garment.

What are rhinestones?

Rhinestones are tiny pieces of glass that are made either via a mold or by cutting the glass. The resulting rhinestones are 3D pieces of bling that catch light – and the eye – for optimal sparkle. They can be made in a few different ways. The cheapest option is generally via manual hand-setters or template/plotter systems, and they are generally attached to T-shirts via automatic rhinestone transfer systems.

The main advantage of using a rhinestone over a sequin is that they’re much more affordable. They are also very well known to consumers which makes many of them feel more comfortable turning to this product.

What are spangles?

Spangles are actually very similar to the hotfix sequins mentioned above. The main difference is that they don’t have a hole in the middle. In fact, they look so much like sequins that people often confuse the two. They’re also very lightweight and are soft when you touch them.

Sometimes spangles are referred to as “threadless sequins.” One of the biggest benefits of using them is that they’re very affordable. In fact, you’ll generally pay about 1/7th of what you’d pay to use rhinestone transfers when you use spangles. Why? Because spangle transfers are manufactured on unique machinery that can make more than a thousand spangles every minute.


If you’re looking for T-shirt spangle or screen printing services, TeamLine is your go-to resource. Spangles offer you a lower-priced way to get the dazzle and pizzazz your shirts need. Contact Teamline today to see what our spangles can do for you!