If you’re a crafter, then you know that Tacky glue is a must-have tool in your arsenal. But should you use Tacky glue when crafting with fabric?
Does Tacky glue work on fabric? While the adhesive works fine when you want to glue two pieces of fabric together, you should worry about the bond’s durability. Tacky glue will dissolve in water, so the bond will dissolve when the fabric is washed.
In this blog post, let’s find out the pros and cons of using tacky glue on the fabric. Stay tuned to find out whether or not tacky glue is the best option for your next craft project.
What Is Tacky Glue?
Tacky glue is a type of PVA glue made from polyvinyl acetate. It is white in color and has a thicker consistency than other types of glue, which allows it to grab onto surfaces more quickly. Once it dries, it becomes clear and invisible.
Tacky glue is most commonly used for bonding paper, wood, fabric, and other porous materials. It can also be used on non-porous surfaces like plastic and metal, but the bond will not be as strong.
Tacky glue is available in both permanent and workable formulas. The permanent formula sets quickly and cannot be pulled apart once it dries, while the workable formula allows you to adjust your project for a few minutes before it sets.
This versatility allows Tacky glue to be useful in almost every craft project. This PVA glue is also water-based and non-toxic, which means it also works well in classroom projects and is suitable for even children.
Tacky glue is actually not a type of glue but the name of a product. Aleene is the maker of the Original Tacky Glue, which has been a popular craft adhesive for over 60 years. Nowadays, you can also find similar Tacky glue formulas sold by other brands as well.
The Original Tacky Glue is formulated with a resin that gives it an impressive initial tack and strong bonding power. The glue will instantly ‘grab’ the material upon contact, so there is a smaller chance of the bond coming apart as it dries.
Since this is a water-based glue, it is also easy to use and clean up, making it a versatile tool for both novice and experienced crafters.
Does Tacky Glue Work On Fabric?
Tacky glue can create a strong bond instantly and for almost every type of material, which is why you may wonder whether it is suitable for gluing fabric.
Yes, Tacky glue works well on fabric. The glue will dry clear to form a strong bond that’s flexible enough to work with a porous, flexible material like fabric.
However, since Tacky glue is a water-based glue, the adhesive will likely dissolve when it meets water. If you need to wash your fabric, then the bond will weaken after each trip through the washing machine, and it will ultimately fall apart.
So, to answer the question, yes, Tacky glue does work on fabric, but you should only use it if you don’t plan on washing the fabric. Projects like small toys and accessories are suitable, but if you are using them for clothing, bags, and dolls, then the bond won’t last in the wash.
That said, Tacky glue is still quite useful in a lot of fabric craft projects, especially if you want to glue another material to fabric. If you want to glue gemstones, toy eyes, nose, or other embellishments to the fabric, then Tacky glue will do a wonderful job.
Tacky Glue Vs. Fabric Glue
If you want to use an adhesive on fabric, you should opt for fabric glue instead of tacky glue. There are a few factors that make an adhesive suitable for gluing fabric.
The glue should be viscous enough not to spread around the fabric; it should create a strong bond while remaining flexible because the fabric is a flexible material.
Most importantly, the adhesive will need to be waterproof so that it can hold tight when you want to wash the fabric. Fabric glue is the ideal candidate for this job since it is specially formulated to satisfy all of these requirements.
Fabric glue is acrylic-based, which means that it is more water-resistant than PVA glue, making it ideal for projects that will be exposed to water and moisture. The glue will also hold up better through washings, remaining flexible and less likely to crack or break.
In addition, fabric glue dries clear, making it a good choice for projects where a seamless finish is desired.
In comparison, Tacky glue is resin-based, which means it is water-soluble. While the initial bond is strong, it can weaken over time when it is exposed to water and moisture.
Tips For Using Tacky Glue On Fabric
Here are a few tips to help you get the best result when using Tacky glue with fabric.
Wash the fabric before gluing!
When you first bring a piece of fabric home from the store, it can still have dirt, grease, and chemical residue on the surface. Washing your fabric before using it will help the adhesive adhere better to the surface.
When washing the fabric, make sure to skip the fabric softener. Fabric softener contains chemicals that make the fabric more slippery, which can also make it more difficult to glue.
Hold The Bottle Upside Down
Since the glue is very viscous, it doesn’t move around the bottle freely. When it’s time to glue your material, it can take a while for the glue to travel to the tip and be ready to be applied.
That’s why we suggest that before starting your project, place the glue bottle upside down in a container and let gravity do its job. By the time you want to use it, the glue will have traveled to the tip of the bottle, which means it is ready to go when you are.
A Little Goes A Long Way
Tacky glue is a highly viscous glue that is quite easy to apply. It’s also super tacky – as the name suggests – so it can grab two pieces of fabric instantly.
You really don’t need to apply a lot of glue to the fabric; a little bit will go a long way. Since the fabric is a flexible, thin material, using a little bit of glue at a time will also make the bond less obvious and more seamless.
Let The Glue Set Before Pressing The Layers Together
Tacky glue can take a few minutes to set, and this can be a long time to wait if you are applying a lot of details and embellishments to a project.
That’s why crafters suggest applying the glue on one layer first, then waiting a few minutes for the glue to start setting before pressing the other layer to it. This step will shorten the setting time for the bond.
Let The Glue Cure Before Moving On
Although Tacky glue can bond the material instantly and set within 5 minutes, it can actually take up to an hour to cure completely.
Curing is the process where the material hardens, and the bond becomes permanent. It is absolutely necessary to let the glue cure completely before you add more details to your project or if you want to use it. Without this step, the bond will not be permanent.
If the bond feels stiff enough, but you can still smell the chemicals, that means the glue is not cured completely. You should wait until the smell of chemicals has evaporated completely before moving forward.
What Is Tacky Glue Best For?
Tacky glue is a wonderful craft glue that is best for lightweight and porous materials like paper, wood, cardboard, and styrofoam. For nonporous materials, Tacky glue may not work as well.
Since Tacky glue is not waterproof, you should avoid using it on projects that need to be washed or things that are regularly exposed to water. However, for jewelry, toys, and smaller decor items, it is the most durable type of glue to use.
Can You Wash Tacky Glue?
Tacky glue is not water resistant and will wash out easily in water. This can be a disadvantage and an advantage.
On the one hand, you won’t be able to use Tacky glue on projects and materials that need to be washed, like children’s toys and clothes.
On the other hand, it is very easy to clean up if you accidentally get it on your clothes. Simply soak it in warm water and detergent for about 30 minutes, and then gently rub the fabric together. The glue will dissolve in the water without much trouble.
What Is The Best Adhesive For Fabric?
When gluing two pieces of fabric together, you can’t go wrong with fabric glue. Fabric glue will dry clear and form a durable, waterproof, and permanent bond for the fabric, which means the bond will survive the washing machine.
If you are hemming clothes, you can also use fusible tape, which can adhere to fabric using the heat of an iron. The width of the tape will help guide the width of the hem, which makes this application even more convenient.