Fabric glue is a lifesaver —anyone who’s encountered a wardrobe malfunction minutes before an important event knows it too well. Apply it between two separate parts, add a little pressure to create a bond, and voila! The flaw is fixed.
Fabric glue is an adhesive formula specially designed for use with fabric. It offers a stitch-free way of joining fabrics, eliminating the need for sewing tools and even skills. There are tons of uses for fabric glue. That’s besides emergency mending to save you the embarrassment of gracing an occasion with dangling trims and ripped seams.
Fabric glue is ideal for making everyday clothes, costumes, upholstery, and fabric crafts. You can also structurally adjust existing apparel and attach embellishments to a rather plain piece.
So, what are the best fabric glues? The best fabric glues create a flexible yet strong and durable bond. They should also be non-toxic, as they’ll be coming into contact with skin if worn. You may also want to consider whether you’re looking for a permanent bond or a temporary bond that can be washed out.
We understand how super exciting this quick and convenient method of garment construction is. That is why in this post, we’ve rounded up the 9 best fabric glues to help you get started.
Fabric Glues – What To Consider
Before heading to our best picks, let’s quickly go through a fabric glue buying guide. Many types of glue bond fabrics, but not all of them are ideal replacements for stitches.
Any glue may adhere to fabric but rob you of the flexibility, permanence, and transparency you seek. Therefore, when purchasing fabric glue, the most obvious thing to look for is glue that is explicitly labeled as so.
But even these come in a wide variety, which doesn’t make things any easier. The following pointers will guide you in choosing the best fabric glue for your needs.
Fabric glue is used to put together garments and fabric accessories. So, naturally, it comes into contact with the user’s skin. It may also be used for kid’s items such as stuffed animals and even doll clothes.
Therefore, safety is of great significance when it comes to choosing fabric glue. Opt for non-toxic fabric glue that is skin safe and doesn’t give off toxic fumes.
And because the end products will probably be washed, it would be desirable if the fabric glue is eco-friendly. This way, only harmless ingredients will go down the drain.
The strength of fabric glues varies from one brand to another. For areas that will receive lots of tension, such as seams on elbows, you’ll want the strongest fabric glue you can get.
Thick materials also need high-strength fabric glue, while sheer ones will work fine with medium-strength.
However, if you only want to attach lightweight adornments such as lace, ribbons, sequins, or flatback rhinestones, you can get away with low to medium strength glue unless they’ll be facing a lot of friction.
When choosing fabric glues, you have to be careful not to select temporary glue for areas you would like a permanent hold on and vice versa.
Permanent fabric glue creates a perpetual bond. It will often be indicated as machine washable. That means you can wash the fabric periodically without damaging the adhesive.
Temporary or washable fabric glue, on the other hand, has a short-term tack. Its bond will usually weaken when submerged in water or over time. A popular application for temporary fabric glue is in places where you would typically have temporary stitches, such as basting.
There is also tacky glue which is not entirely permanent. It allows you to reposition the fabric or ornaments when you need to without losing the adhesive aspect. The shifty feature, however, makes it unreliable.
4. Drying time
There are multiple uses for fabric glue; some are preplanned, and others are just “oops” moments. Therefore, checking the information on drying time is critical.
If you want to keep it close by just for emergency repairs or other quick fixes, you want a fast-drying formula. Maybe a few seconds, give or take.
Notwithstanding, some types of fabric glues take hours to completely dry and achieve that permanent bond. You can opt for these when you have the luxury of time and don’t mind waiting to get that solid secure attachment.
5. Quality Of The finish
There are two essential aspects of the quality of the finish of fabric glue —the color and the flexibility.
You expect fabric glue to be clear, right? Clear fabric glue neither shows through nor alters the color of the original fabric. Colorless glue stays invisible, which plays a vital role in the aesthetic of your work.
Do not be surprised, however, to come across fabric glue in white or with hints of yellow or brown. Regardless of the color when wet, the most important thing is that the glue dries transparently. Some clear glues will dry white or cloudy, so take note.
The second thing is the flexibility of the fabric glue. Fabric is flowy and takes any shape, and in most cases, it should stay that way even after gluing.
Unfortunately, if the glue dries hard or crusty, it alters the flexibility of the fabric, and it doesn’t sit well as clothing or whatever apparel. Not to mention the discomfort.
This happens particularly when the consistency of the glue is too thick. You must therefore pay attention to the thickness of the glue and ensure that the bond, tough as it may be, is still bendy after drying.
Going overboard with the glue negatively affects both the flexibility and final color of fabric glue.
6. Fabric Compatibility
Lastly, ensure that the fabric glue is compatible with the fabric you intend to use it on. Only a few select fabric glues will work with a wide range of materials. Most are very picky.
Some will only bond cotton, denims, and flannel, while others even bond leather, fleece, wool, acrylic, silk, nylon, and polyester. In addition to fabric-to-fabric fusion, you may also need to fuse the fabric to stone, felt, plastic or wood.
The 9 Best Fabric Glues
While shopping for fabric glue, you’ll run into a crazy amount of brands. They are available in sprays, sticks, pastes, and fluids. To save you the unnecessary hassle and guesswork, we already researched and narrowed them down to the seven best fabric glues in all categories. Take a look below!
|1.||Tear Mende Fabric and Leather Adhesive||Non-toxic, quick drying, industrial-grade|
|2.||E6000 Fabri-Fuse Adhesive||Low odor, permanent, flexible|
|3.||Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive||Permanent, flexible, washable|
|4.||Aleene's Fabric Fusion Adhesive||Low-odor, precision-tip, light bond|
|5.||Dritz Stick Fabric Glue||Temporary, washes out, non-toxic, odorless|
|6.||Odif Usa Spray and Fix Temporary Adhesive||Eco-friendly, temporary, remains tacky|
|7.||Dritz Original Liquid Stitch||Dries clear, permanent|
|8.||Elmer's Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue||Water-based, non-toxic, dries waterproof|
|9.||Permatex Fabric Repair Kit||Repairs holes, mixable pigment|
1. Tear Mende Fabric and Leather Adhesive
Bish’s Original Tear Mender is hands-down the best fabric glue on the planet. It takes the crown on all categories; versatility, permanence, and rapid drying.
It is a non-toxic water-based glue that is skin-friendly and fantastic for your air quality when in use. It is acid-free too, which is excellent for fabric.
Tear mender is the strongest fabric glue you can lay your hands on. The fact that it bonds even the toughest fabrics should tell you that it is seriously an industrial-grade formula.
In addition to all types of traditional fabrics like cottons and polyesters, it works exceptionally well for boat covers, tents, and outdoor umbrellas, among others.
The tear mender bond is flexible, water-resistant, and permanent. It remains stable in wet conditions and can withstand high tension and heat. You can machine-wash and tumble-dry the fabric without fear of anything coming apart.
The fabric cures in less than 3 minutes. There are a couple of other brands that can match up to this time, but they are only washable 24 hours after application. With Bish’s Original Tear Mender, you can throw in the fused fabric for a wash within 15 minutes of application.
Its consistency is slightly thick yet smooth. Combined with the tipped nozzle, the application is easy peasy. Unfortunately, it dries with a tint if applied too heavily, so you want to go easy with the amount squeezed out.
2. E6000 Fabri-Fuse Adhesive
This adhesive is the first runner-up. It is a serious upgrade from their original formula specially designed for fabrics.
The glue, unlike the regular version, contains fewer chemicals in it and is therefore low on odor. It is also packaged in a more convenient bottle with an easy control tip.
Fabri-fuse is as effective as it is a pleasure to use. It offers a secure tough bond that can take all the tagging and pull without separating.
And even though it takes a long while to dry fully, once it does, nothing is going anywhere. You can wash and iron your garment without worry.
It is also very clear and makes an invisible and flexible bond. This adhesive is one of the best fabric glues for versatility. If you want a fabric adhesive for limitless applications, this is it.
It bonds a wider range of materials from canvas to upholstery fabrics. You can also secure fabric to wood, felt, rubber, etc.
Because of its thin consistency, you should use it minimally and spread it with a brush for delicate fabrics.
The downside of the consistency of this glue is that when you apply too much, it tends to soak through. So, you may have to seal the layers below with parchment paper or something.
3. Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive
Beacons Fabri-Tac is another great permanent Adhesive option. It boasts of all the wonderful features you would want in fabric glue.
It creates a permanent fusion between two fabrics and other decorative materials such as felt, rhinestones, pearls, etc. It is even versatile enough for fabric-free bonding too.
The glue is none soaking and crystal clear upon drying, leaving you with a virtually invisible joining. To avoid it staining or soaking through, you want to use a light hand with it.
Fabri-Tac bonds remain bendable, making them perfect for applications where flexibility is paramount. It is also unaffected by washing as long as it is 24 hours after applying.
This is the best fabric glue for speedy drying. It only takes less than a minute to work and comes in handy for emergency repairs.
However, it will hold up better when left alone for 24 hours. It is also moderate-strength fabric glue and will not take heavy tension.
4. Aleene’s Fabric-Fusion Adhesive
Whether working with kids or just mindful of inhaling toxic fumes, you want to prioritize fabric glues that don’t release nauseating smells.
Aleene’s Fabric-Fusion Adhesive is a good choice. It is the best fabric glue for low-odor. You’ll barely notice any smell. The formula makes a permanent bond that is flexible even after drying and holds up well to washing.
The fluid is thin, and if you’re not careful, it could run everywhere, causing a mess. Thankfully, it is bottled in a precision tip cap for controlled dispensing.
A little of it goes a long way. Therefore, place the glue in tiny beads and brush it on thin for the best results. Apply too much, and it won’t bond. You must also apply pressure.
Aleene’s glue is perfect for fabric-to-fabric bonds as well as embellishments. However, it does not work for all fabric types. You’ll achieve better success with cotton, flannel, denim, leather, and other lightweight non-fuzzy fabrics.
The fusion is not the strongest, so this glue would be ideal for applications that require just a light bond and no stress, e.g., hemlines.
It also takes considerably longer to cure and is not ideal for quick mending
5. Dritz Stick Fabric Glue
Sometimes all you want is a temporary bond to keep things down, aligned, or in position before making permanent stitches. Newbies especially find it extremely difficult to keep parts from moving and sliding while sewing.
If you’ve been doing the long and slow process of pin basting, this fabric glue is the game changer you are looking for. You’ll be done basting quick and easy.
Dritz stick fabric glue offers a sufficient tacky hold that keeps fabric surfaces together. Whether it’s patches, appliques, or seams, nothing’s going anywhere.
This fabric glue is non-toxic, odorless, and comes in a convenient thick white stick that you comfortably hold and draw wherever you want.
It has a good setting time, but the best part is that it is clear, non-staining, and doesn’t gum up your needles. It dissolves in water quickly once you wash your garment.
6. Odif Usa Spray and Fix Temporary Adhesive
For an even faster glue-basting experience, you can opt for this temporary spray adhesive by Odif USA.
It is eco-friendly and manufactured with no CFCs, no acid, and minimal odor. If you’ve had to put up with obnoxious smelling fabric spray adhesives before, this is a refreshing relief though you still need to have a mask on.
It sticks fabric to fabric in an instant and remains tacky in case you need to make a few adjustments.
The spray goes on thin, washes out quickly, and is non-staining. It also makes for a much easier application than tube glue, as you can create a nice even coat of fabric glue instead of trying to avoid glue overload, clumps, and uneven lines.
7. Dritz Original Liquid Stitch
Dritz’s Original Liquid Stitch is another fantastic option. Unlike its predecessor, this version delivers an established bond for all your fabric projects.
Whether you’re hemming, patching, mending, or securing, this fabric glue is up for the task. It bonds various woven and non-woven natural and synthetic materials.
Do not let its milky appearance dissuade you from trying it. It goes on white but dries transparent; you won’t notice it on medium to heavy fabrics.
To achieve transparency, however, you must apply it very thinly. And because it is on the thicker side, you only need a tiny amount, then lay it flat with a wooden spatula or popsicle stick.
This glue is permanent and will not wear out after several washes. It is also very flexible after drying. It takes about 30 minutes to dry, and for best results, you need to press the bond for the entire duration. You can use a clip, book, or anything that adds pressure.
If you have some time to spare, then Dritz is a catch. But it is not ideal for the impatient or quick fixes.
8. Elmer’s Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue
If unsure, always go with Elmer’s craft bond fabric glue. It works like magic on a wide variety of fabric crafts.
Elmer’s will bond fabric to cardstocks and wood. It affixes small glass, plastic, and paper embellishments to the material as well.
The glue is water-based and non-toxic, which is great for home use. In addition, it dries clear and is waterproof, so the seal cannot dissolve in water.
We recommend it for static applications and decorative crafts. It dries permanently but is not strong enough to resist excess everyday tension.
9. Permatex Fabric Repair Kit
Last but not least is the Permatex fabric repair kit. This fabric glue is far different from the rest of the options discussed previously.
Instead of forming a bond to join fabric surfaces, it fills in holes left on heavy fabric and upholstery such as carpets, car seats, and sofas.
The kind of damage caused by burning from a cigarette, acid or chemical burns, or being chewed on by rodents, pets, etc.
The kit includes all you need and is very easy to use. Among the contents are the glue with various pigments and detailed mixing instructions.
You have to combine the contents to find the best color match for your item.
The glue dries hard, and although it does not match the fabric in texture, it is still better than nothing. It locks the hole preventing further expansion, and offers a good camouflage that is visually pleasant than a hole.
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