There are moments when you need to sew up something but lack the skills, time, or energy to thread and run a sewing machine. In such a scenario, the thought of fabric glue as an option will most probably pop up.
Well, with names like fabric fuse, fabric tac, and liquid stitch in the market, it’s not hard to see why that idea is lucrative. Fabric glue slashes a tremendous amount of sewing time and saves your nerves too.
Now, if you just wanted to seal a small unraveled seam, you wouldn’t think twice about using fabric glue. However, you might be a bit skeptical of its capabilities when it’s about constructing an entire article.
How strong is fabric glue? Fabric glue is generally very strong and effective. However, how long it stays depends on the strength by brand, the type of fabric you are gluing, the kind of project, and the conditions the bond will be subjected to.
In this post, we discuss the strength of fabric glue based on the mentioned aspects above and more. Keep reading to find out which is the strongest fabric glue for your project and how to make it work best for you!
Types Of Fabric Glue
We are always searching for the best things, and in the case of fabric glue, the strongest seems best. But when it comes to fabric glue, strong is a broad spectrum.
If fabric glue holds down pockets for an hour so you can sew permanent stitches on it, then for the job, that’s strong. So is that which keeps your Halloween costume held together all night.
Therefore, what defines strong fabric glue is its ability to fuse parts as long as you need it to, whether it lasts 5 hours or 5 weeks. If it doesn’t meet the need, it’s probably not strong enough for that use.
But before thinking of strength, the purpose is more critical when choosing fabric glue. That’s because some applications do not need a strong bond. Based on purpose, fabric glue is categorized into two different groups: temporary and permanent.
Temporary Fabric Glue
Temporary fabric glue is otherwise known as water-soluble fabric glue or wash-off glue. Wash-off in the sense that you can get rid of the bond by washing it off in water.
My favorite temporary glue is Roxanne’s Glue-Baste-It.
This type of glue is helpful in the process of sewing as a temporary hold. It is like pin basting but using glue instead. It attaches two or more fabrics securely together or keeps flat pieces laid down nicely before actual stitching.
Temporary fabric glue is strong once set because it prevents parts from shifting before they go through the sewing machine.
It is used in patchwork, applique, placing collars, pockets and sleeves, hems, embroidery patches, and anything that needs to be positioned accurately first before stitching.
Please note that some but not all temporary fabric glues are repositionable in case you need to make changes. You can just lift the part off and place it somewhere else without ruining the fabric.
As mentioned earlier, this fabric glue usually is water-soluble. That means once you’re done with the item and wash it, the glue will dissolve in the water, and you’ll lose the bond.
But this will not be a problem since you would already have the permanent stitches in place. However, if you do not wash the item, temporary fabric glue is strong enough to hold up for an extended period.
Permanent Fabric Glue
Permanent fabric glue, on the other hand, is washable glue. It is the strongest fabric glue of the two because it is not water-soluble, and the bond cannot be broken by water.
My absolute favorite waterproof fabric glue is Beacon’s Fabri-Fix.
Consequently, permanent fabric glue is a better choice when you expect a firmer and longer-lasting bond. It is ideal for use in place of stitching, such as joining seams on clothing, pillows, costumes and adding embellishments like trims, sequins, rhinestones, etc.
It is also great for gluing belts, bags, canvas shoes, and non-fashion items like tents, outdoor umbrellas, and fabric seats. Although permanent fabric glue is the strongest of the two and water-resistant, it will eventually give in to moisture and separate after repeated washing.
Not after two or three immersions, but ultimately. The bond weakens a little more each time water or solvents are introduced, wearing off in the long run.
From this perspective, it is safe to say that even though permanent fabric glue is strong, it is a temporary solution. It may be ok for a few parts, design modification, maybe repairs, or decorations.
But to construct an entire durable article for everyday wear, you have to revert to sewing. Notwithstanding, strong permanent fabric glue may create a bond that lasts forever for projects that do not involve any washing.
Which Is The Strongest Fabric Glue?
We’ve already established that permanent fabric glue is the strongest of the two types of fabric glues. If you want a product-specific answer, we will get to that shortly.
But before you grab that glue bottle, let’s first quickly go over the things that affect the strength of fabric glue to set your expectations accordingly.
1. Type Of Fabric
The first factor that dictates how strong a fabric glue will be is the fabric you are applying it to. Various fabric glues respond differently to diverse materials.
Typically absorbent woven fabrics like cotton and cotton weaves, including satin, flannel, denim, corduroy, Georgette, muslin, etc, make the strongest bonds. Woven fabrics allow fabric glue to penetrate through the weave and around the fibers to bond effectively.
Cotton is very accepting, receptive, and flexible. Most fabric glues appear strongest when set to work on this type of fabric.
Still, it is always good to check which types of fabrics the glue is specifically designed for and if they can bond fabric to other materials like wood, glass, or cardboard.
Some formulas are made for synthetic fabrics like acrylic, nylon, and polyester only and will not work on cotton. Others are explicitly labeled as fabric glue for natural fibers.
The density of the fabric also determines how strongly the fabric glue will perform. Lighter and thinner materials are less fussy. They may bond with little resistance than heavier fabrics like leather or canvas.
Thick and less flowy fabrics such as these usually need the strongest fabric glue to bear their weight. For the fabrics to bond, the fabric glue must match up to the strength of the fabric. If it is indicated as super or industrial-grade fabric glue, it is sure to be on the stronger end of the spectrum.
There are limitless applications for fabric glue. And the strength fabric glue exhibits varies depending on the type of joining.
If joining fabric to a flat rigid surface like cardboard, stock card, wood, metal, or glass, any fabric glue designed for such materials will hold up nicely regardless of strength.
The large surface area helps a great deal. Most importantly, fabric wrapped decor is likely created to be fixed or stand somewhere.
For flexible joinings, such as fabric-to-fabric fusion in clothing, bedding, or other soft furnishings, the bond undergoes lots of movement. If the glue is not designed to be bendy when dry, it will crack and come apart despite being strong.
Polyurethane-based fabric glues are the best for fabric-to-fabric fusion where stiffness is not an option. You’ll get both strength and flexibility from this glue.
Any weight, tension, and stress a fabric glue bond is subjected to also puts its strength to the test.
Suppose you want to fix seams on articles that will be worn and washed regularly; only the strongest permanent fabric glue can handle all the motion and agitation. This is especially true for seams on elbows, underarms, and knee areas for pants.
However, flat fabric-to-fabric fusion like badges, embroidery patches, and repair patches don’t undergo as much tension as seams. Consequently, they demand less from fabric glue.
The same goes for small decorations. Sequins, rhinestones, flat back pearls, flowers, lace, ribbons, and other popular embellishments are featherweight stuff. Therefore, they do not put much stress on the bond.
Now back to the question, which is the strongest fabric glue? Bish Tear Mender is the strongest permanent fabric glue. It is eco-friendly, incredibly tough fusion, and compatible with a range of fabrics and non-cloth materials.
You could also opt for Beacons Fabri-Tac. It is just as good as Tear mender. If you are looking for the strongest temporary fabric glue, we recommend Roxanne Baste It. But for those of you who prefer a spray adhesive to a liquid adhesive, go with Orif USA.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot about fabric glue and what to expect with it based on your purpose. To quickly recap on the lesson, how strong is fabric glue? There is no definite answer to how strong fabric glue is.
Permanent glue is more robust than temporary glue. But even the different permanent fabric glue brands have varying strengths.
In addition, their performance strength-wise is dependent on the type of application and join, the kind of fabric being glued, the amount of tension it encounters, and how often it comes into contact with water.
Fabric glue bonds will weaken faster for washable, wearable, heavier, and mobile parts than non-washable, non-wearable, lightweight, and rigid parts.
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