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When it comes to using glue for fabric, you may be unsure of which glue is best or if it will work with your project. Luckily, fabric or textile adhesive has many benefits over traditional sewing, especially for beginners. Fabric adhesives help in that you are able to attach a wide range of things to your fabric such as appliqués and even smaller-sized buttons. Using fabric glue instead of time-consuming sewing is simple, safe, and convenient! Our guide will explain which fabric glue is best for your needs and teach you everything you need to know about gluing fabrics together correctly.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Use Fabric Glue?
- 2 Textile Adhesives – An Overview
- 3 Selecting the Best Glue for Your Fabric
- 4 How to Use Fabric Adhesives
- 5 Handy Hints for Using Textile Glue
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
Why Use Fabric Glue?
Fabric glue has far more pros than it does cons, making it a well-rounded product. There are many advantages of using a fabric adhesive instead of sewing. For example, when it comes to beginner sewers, one major advantage of cloth glue is that it can help you achieve results with your projects that are beyond your sewing skill set. Fabric adhesive is simple to use and it can be used in tricky spaces as well. What is more, is that it can be used to stick fabric to non-fabric surfaces as it bonds beautifully with high strength. This includes bonding fabric to wood for all those decor DIY projects.
Using a permanent fabric glue means ugly, bulging seams will no longer be an issue. Not only does using glue save you a lot of time, but it saved you time because you do not have to match thread colors or make individual yarn adjustments for every fabric. Fabric adhesive helps you to create unnoticeable seams while still being durable. Another major advantage to fabric glue is the ability to use it when bonding fabric that needs to be waterproof, as you can completely seal it – something unachievable with traditional sewing. Another fantastic plus to using fabric glue is that it also makes sticking decorative items like appliques or tapes easy and quick.
You could also use a textile adhesive when making repairs as oftentimes patching a hole in a pair of trousers can be tricky. Using glue for fabric on your clothes eliminates this pesky problem!
The Advantages of Using a Fabric Adhesive
There are so many advantages to fabric glue that it makes it rather difficult to list them all and there are so many varieties all with different conveniences. All however have these positive characteristics:
- Most fabric glues are resistant to water for outdoor use and washing and some include dry-cleaning as well
- They are heat resistant for both ironing or warmer washing cycles above 60 degrees Celsius
- They help eliminate bulky seams and once cured, the glue becomes transparent.
- They can bond most fabrics together, leather is an exception and requires a specific adhesive
- They are easy to apply especially for beginners and is often much easier to use when attaching appliques or for pockets
Fabric glues are amazing when used on clothing, as mentioned before, they can help you create a highly inconspicuous seam. When the textile adhesive is used in the medical field, they help prevent pressure on patients that would be caused by sewing seams, making them a highly valuable tool within the industry. Fabric adhesives do not have many negative attributions, however rarely they do dissolve after many washes.
When to Use Textile Adhesive Instead of Sewing
Remember that even permanent fabric glue is not supposed to replace sewing. They are a tool used to reinforce your stitching or to help when sewing is tricky or too time-consuming, such as embellishment application. You should not be constructing an entire garment using only fabric glue, sewing will still be needed if you expect it to last. The textile adhesive is most helpful when you need to sew pockets. The glue is fantastic at helping to keep your fabric in the perfect position while you sew. Often, a temporary fabric glue will be your saving grace!
Types of Fabric That Can be Glued
Fabric glue was uniquely created for absorbent materials as they are not simple to glue. Glue often has the problem of seeping into the fabric causing a mess and damaging the fibers. These types of fabrics include denim, linen, and even viscose as well as cotton and jersey fabrics.
If you are a beginner at sewing, jersey-type textiles are difficult to work with as they warp quite quickly when sewn. But, thanks to fabric adhesives, this problem is a thing of the past! Remember to take some care when gluing learners as it has a firmer uniformity. You are able to purchase specially made adhesives for leather.
Textile Adhesives – An Overview
Have a look at the table that follows where we give more insight on various textile adhesives available.
|Adhesive Type||Adhesive Features|
|Liquid Glues||A liquid adhesive for fabric helps achieve extreme accuracy for smaller areas and is very easy to use. Often, the tip allows for a fine and accurate application, making gluing of buttons and the like much easier. The finer dispensing tip does however make their use limited as it would not be suitable to use on very large areas. You can however spread the glue afterward using a spatula. The curing time of liquid adhesive for fabric is longer than many other types of fabric glue, but they are very high in strength and durability|
|Spray Adhesive||A spray adhesive for fabric is easy to apply and simple to use. It is well suited to larger areas but will not work well for smaller applications. Unfortunately, it does not have the highest bonding strength but it dries and hardens quickly. Spray adhesives can lose efficiency after many washes, however, it is simple to reapply should this happen.|
|Adhesive Tape||One of the more simple variants of fabric glue is adhesive tape. It is well suited to narrower and straighter areas that need to be bonded, like seams. You can remove adhesive tape rather easily which is a good advantage, but this type of glue is, unfortunately, less durable when compared to liquid or spray-on glue.|
|Adhesive Stick||Adhesive sticks are a good glue for the fabric of both medium and smaller sizes. They are easy to use but are a quick and temporary fix due to their lack of adhesive strength.|
|Adhesive Powder||A good permanent fabric glue to use is adhesive powder. This is a more modern variant of fabric glue. You can apply the powder to the surface you wish to bond and then cover it with a cloth and iron. Not only are you able to create an invisible seam, but it is also extremely durable and longer-lasting. Unfortunately, it’s tricky to use adhesive powder on very small areas as the powder tends to spread, making working with this type of adhesive a challenge.|
Selecting the Best Glue for Your Fabric
Selecting the most suitable fabric glue will ultimately depend on what you will be applying it to, and what the purpose of the fabric is. To make this choice easier for you, our comprehensive textile adhesive study has enabled us to provide you with an excellent guide to fabric glue and which to use for specific projects, including shoe repair and craft projects.
Best Fabric Adhesive for Minor Repairs: BEACON FabriTac Glue
Even the smallest of fabric repairs are easily mended with this awesome textile adhesive. From cracks in your sofa to a shirt seam that has come loose, this glue has you covered. Available in a very practical tube with a nozzle especially for finer tuning and optimal application. Not only is this glue non-toxic, but it is also very versatile, it leaves no residue or other unsightly marks, and the bond is so secure that it is wash resistant. This fabric glue offers you so much!
The Best Fabric Adhesive for Larger Repairs: 3M Super 77 Spray Glue
This is an excellent glue for large surfaces. It is practicality allows for no leakage from the adhesive seam. This fabric glue is a good choice if you want a clean, streak-free fabric. You can use this glue on a range of different fabrics, as well as other textiles and materials, including glass, wood, plastic, metal, and ceramics. You can switch the adjustable nozzle between three settings, allowing the perfectly catered application for your needs. You can expect very easy bonding, even on uneven surfaces. The glue is also temperature resistant.
The Best Alternative Choice Fabric Adhesive: BO-NASH Fusible Bonding Agent
Bo-Nash has created this powder textile adhesive which allows for outstanding stability and durability. The powder granules are plastic and it is well suited for repairing items such as bags, clothing, sofa covers and for applique application. This fabric adhesive is incredibly stable and highly durable, it can even be boiled so it is suitable for high-temperature washing. The glue granules do not dry out and can be stored for an extended period of time. Once the granules are in place and the second piece of fabric is set, ironing over the adhesive creates a very strong bond. After ironing, the granules become transparent.
How to Use Fabric Adhesives
Once you know how to apply your fabric glue, it is easy as pie! First, prepare all tools and materials you may need and then have a look at our simple instructions where we explore repairing a knee repair on a pair of trousers. Before you get started, gather up the following equipment:
- An iron and an ironing board
- A patch
- A wooden spatula
- Your choice of fabric glue
Step One: Apply the Textile Adhesive
To begin, just smooth the fabric of the trouser leg once flat on your chosen work area. The area that surrounds the repair is where you will apply your textile adhesive. Use your wooden spatula to help spread the fabric glue, without applying it too thickly.
Step Two: Apply the Fabric Adhesive Patch
Smooth the patch down once you have placed it onto the corresponding area on your ironing board. Ensure there are no wrinkles at all. If you do notice any, smooth them outwards towards the edges. You can also use a spatula to quickly remove any fabric glue leakage, followed by a damp cloth. Be careful not to get any fabric glue in the trouser leg, or you will end up gluing the patch to the back of your pants, closing them up.
Step Three: Wait for the Fabric Glue to Dry
It normally takes textile glue around 30 minutes to harden, but check your specific glue’s packaging for drying time. When the fabric glue is transparent, you can continue.
Step Four: Iron Your Fabric Adhesive
By using an iron, you are able to make it more durable and the adhesive seam will become transparent after heating. Putting the pair of trousers on an ironing board, set your iron to “cotton” for non-sensitive fabrics. Iron the area where you have used the fabric glue by holding your iron to the area for a few seconds. If your fabric is more delicate, adjust your iron to the correct setting for that fabric type. You can now also wash your trousers at a higher temperature, should you wish to. By ironing over the fabric glue, you make the bond more durable and it will last much longer.
Handy Hints for Using Textile Glue
If you are a more seasoned sewer but have never tried fabric glue, you may not know which glue to use or how to apply it correctly. This is okay! While fabric adhesives are often used as a temporary measure, they can also be used for many other things. Keep these things in mind before you attempt using a fabric adhesive:
- Double-check your glue’s dry time before it can get wet to avoid issues
- Make sure you wash your fabric first, to avoid any shrinkage after application
- Do not apply on stretched on fabric
- Ensure your fabric is clean and dry with no dirt or dust whatsoever
- Make sure your choice of glue is suitable for the fabric you are using
- Make sure your glue is washable if you know you will be washing your fabric item in the future
With so few cons and so many pros, it would seem that textile adhesive is a good choice! Both application and garment repair are far more simple and easy when you are using the correct fabric glue to help you. While you often may need to stitch and sew eventually, fabric glue is handy when you do not want to use pins to keep the fabric in place, it is fantastic for use in an emergency or as a temporary fix if you are unable to sew right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can be Used to Stick Fabric Together?
An awesome way of applying fabric glue is the handy fusible tape. These adhesive tapes can be used to stick fabric together and comes in a few various widths and weights. Once heated with an iron, the bond is increased between the two pieces of fabric. If you need a quick repair on a hemline or to hold some fabric in place, then, the fusible tape is the answer!
Can You Use Fabric Glue Instead of Sewing?
No, unfortunately not, sewing is far more durable than fabric glue could ever be. You can not replace sewing entirely with fabric glue, but it is still super handy to have available and on hand when you do need it. If you want your garment or project to be long-lasting, you will still need to sew it. Pockets, in place of holding pins and basting, is what fabric glue is best used for.
Which Glue Is Best for Upholstery?
When repairing upholstery it is best to use liquid fabric glue. You can use it to seal seams that are falling apart and to re-attach fabric. Be sure that you are using a high-strength fabric adhesive that is suitable for the job as furniture is often used carelessly.
Does Fabric Glue Hold Like Stitches Hold?
Textile glue may be a better choice if you are using unusual materials for your project. These include plastic, vinyl, and leather. It is very difficult to stitch through such thick materials. While it is often quite durable, it does not mean it is a permanent alternative to sewing.
Is Textile Adhesive Durable?
Yes, it is! Especially when you use permanent fabric glue instead of temporary adhesives. Remember that just because it is labeled as a permanent glue, does not mean it can withstand use forever.
Will the Fabric Glue Wash Out?
You are able to remove many fabric types of glue by taking your garment to the dry cleaners. Most of these fabric adhesives are not dry-cleaner friendly and will not withstand the solution they use when dry-cleaning.