Fabric glue is a versatile, easy-to-use tool that even a complete novice can master in their first project. If you have a sewing project but you don’t know how to sew, or aren’t comfortable using a sewing machine, fabric glue is the answer.
However, fabric glue comes in a variety of shapes and forms, and it’s not always clear what to buy for your type of project.
For clothing and accessories that you plan on washing regularly, it’s best to choose a washable fabric glue that will maintain its adhesiveness over time.
But what are the best washable fabric glues? The best washable fabric glues are permanent and strong to resist multiple washes. They should also be flexible enough to bend naturally with garments. Slower drying times can also indicate greater strength of a glue.
If you don’t know where to start, below is a complete guide on what to look for when buying a washable fabric glue, as well as our pick of the top three washable fabric glue on the market.
How to Buy the Best Fabric Glue for Your Project
Although adhesiveness is one of the key things to look for when buying a fabric glue, it’s not always the most important.
There are so many different types of fabric glue which vary in application, strength, drying time, water-resistance or water-solubility. You will need to consider these characteristics when buying fabric glue.
Let’s look at these key characteristics:
For washability, you should consider getting a permanent fabric glue that will not wash off when coming in contact with water.
Many types of permanent fabric glue are even machine-washable, but do read the washing instructions carefully before washing your project. Look for “water-resistant” on the label when you buy washable fabric glue.
There are also temporary fabric glues that you can wash off with water. This type of glue works best to hold the fabric in place before you sew them together permanently, if, for example, you need to quilt pieces of fabric together.
For the purpose of this article, we won’t go into great details about temporary fabric glue.
Fabric glue also varies in drying time, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days before the glue is completely held in place and washable. Keep in mind that the shorter the drying time, the less durable it is.
It is generally advised that if you want the bond to be held in place after washing your garment, you should wait a few days for the glue to be completely dry before using or washing it.
The glue’s strength will also be a good predictor of how it will hold up after several washes.
If you plan on wearing and washing the garment regularly, look for glue with industrial strength, since the adhesive will hold up over time. Industrial strength fabric glue will also work best on thicker materials like leather.
Another thing to check when buying permanent fabric glue is the glue’s flexibility.
When the glue is dry, it should be flexible enough to bend and shift around when the garment is used. Stiff glue can feel uncomfortable and scratchy when used, so it is not the best when used on garments that you plan on wearing regularly.
The Three Best Washable Fabric Glues
Now that you know what to look for, below are our recommendations for the three best washable fabric glues on the market.
|Rank||Washable Fabric Glue||Key Features|
|1.||3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive||Multi-surface use, industrial strength, spray|
|2.||Elmer's Craft Bond Fabric & Paper Glue||Permanent, dries clear, liquid|
|3.||Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Adhesive||Easy pen format, dries clear, strong|
Let’s take a closer look at each!
1. 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive
You cannot talk about adhesives without talking about the 3M brand. This spray adhesive is industrial-strength and is super versatile – you can use it for fabric as well as paper, plastic, or wood. The drying time is anywhere between 15 seconds and 30 minutes, so you can take some time to shift the fabric around to get the desired shape.
It is generally advised that you wait at least 48 hours for the bond to dry completely before using or washing the garment. Since the bottle has a spray nozzle, it may take some practice to get a precise application. Beginners will find this application a bit difficult to use.
Because it is industrial strength, this glue also has a strong chemical smell that may be unpleasant, and you should always stay in a well-ventilated area when working with this glue.
The plus side of this type of application is that you can easily get an even amount of glue on your fabric. Fortunately, the glue will dry clear and will become quite flexible when dry, so it’s still quite forgiving in that aspect. After drying, the bond will be quite strong, so you won’t have to worry about your garment becoming undone.
Overall, we recommend this glue thanks to its industrial strength and versatility. This one bottle can be used on a variety of materials, so it will save you some money if you are looking for a versatile glue that can help you with a wide range of projects.
2. Elmer’s Craft Bond Fabric & Paper Glue
Elmer’s Fabric & Paper Glue is another versatile option for crafting with paper and fabric. The glue comes in a clear liquid form, and the bottle has a precision tip, which makes application much easier.
You can use the precision tip as a guide to disperse the glue sparingly and hold the fabric together for 15 seconds to seal the bond. A general rule is to apply glue sparingly – you can always apply more if needed.
Because the glue comes in liquid form, it can bleed through the fabric if you apply too much. If you disperse too much glue, don’t wipe it off right away, because the strong chemicals can burn your hand. Instead, wait for the glue to dry completely and scrape it off, be careful not to damage the fabric.
This glue can form really strong bonds really quickly – you won’t be able to move it around after 15 seconds, so there’s not much room for making mistakes. After applying this glue, you should allow it to dry for at least 48 hours before using or washing your garment to make sure that the adhesive is intact.
Overall, we highly recommend this fabric glue for seasoned crafters, since it will require precision to guide the glue and bond the fabric. Once the glue dries, the bond will be really strong and you don’t have to worry much about maintenance.
3. Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Permanent Adhesive
This fabric glue from Aleene’s comes in a pack of two pens. The pen application makes it really easy to use and guide the glue, and you don’t have to worry about dispersing too much or too little.
The glue will dry clear after a few hours of application, allowing you quite a bit of time to shift your work if you’re not happy with the results. After 48 hours, the glue will be really strong and you can machine-wash your garment without worrying about loosening the bond.
We love how easy it is to use this fabric glue pen – even a complete beginner can use this glue with ease. The glue is also odorless and super flexible when dry, so it would be perfect for clothing or accessories since it won’t irritate your skin.
In addition to fabric, you can use this fabric glue pen on other materials like glass or embellishments, so it’s a versatile tool that can help you create a wide range of craft projects.
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