The most common way to connect fabric to something is with metal fasteners, either staples or tacks. But that only works if you are connecting fabric to a solid frame. If you want to bind fabric to other fabric or cardboard, metal fasteners won’t work.
The obvious solution is to sew fabric, but that is also not always appropriate. Fortunately, there is a rich diversity in adhesives. A common one that most people already have is a glue gun. The question you’ll want answered before you plug it in is whether it’ll work.
That’s where we come in. We researched the topic and put what we found in this article. Hopefully, we hit all the angles you’re looking for and that you’ll find it valuable.
Can you hot glue fabric?
If you already own a glue gun, you’re in luck. Hot glue works well to adhere fabric to things, including other fabrics. The real question is what you should look for when shopping for the right glue sticks.
The trick to gluing fabric is to make sure the hot glue seeps in and around all the fibers where you want to create a bond. A glue that melts at a higher temperature flows more easily than a glue that melts at a lower temperature, which will dry more quickly.
If the fabric you’re gluing has larger fibers with more space around them, you can opt for a glue that melts at a lower temperature. If your fabric has small fibers that are tightly woven, you’ll want a glue that melts at a higher temperature.
One important quality to look for is glue that will dry clear. You want a bond that no one can easily see.
Finally, consider quantity when you purchase. If you have just a little glue work, you don’t need to spend a bunch of money on sticks you’ll never use.
How to glue fabric together
Gluing fabric isn’t complicated and is a handy skill to have for a variety of crafting applications. Whether using a standard glue gun or a specialty fabric glue, you’ll use the same basic techniques.
It starts with a thorough cleaning of the fabric you’re applying the glue to. Dirt and grit not only create unsightly stains but they will reduce the strength of the bond. You’ll want your fabric as clean as possible.
If you are doing a big project, it’s advisable to find a small corner out of view to first test the glue. Sometimes a manufacturer’s promise that glue will dry clear isn’t entirely accurate. Sometimes the glue might stain your fabric.
Stretch out the fabric so there are no wrinkles. Don’t overstretch it, though. Just lay it flat and smooth out the wrinkles.
Finally, when you apply the hot glue, make sure that you use enough to coat the area you want to bond and that it coats all of the fibers. Make sure it penetrates the pores between the fibers.
Allow it to completely dry. If the glue hasn’t completely set, you are likely to pull your glued seam apart.
Can you use hot glue on fabric and wash it?
It is possible to wash fabric that you’ve glued, but you’ll want to take extra care to prevent dissolving the glue and ruining your seam.
Under no circumstances should you wash glued fabric at high temperatures. That’s actually one of the preferred ways to remove glue from fabric. If you go low-temperature, you are more likely to retain the strength of the glued bond.
The degree to which you can wash glue fabric will depend on two things.
First, the strength of the glue will go a long way to determining how much washing your fabric can withstand. A glue that requires a high temperature to apply will dissolve at higher temperatures, and industrial-strength glues will create a stronger bond than regular craft glue.
The other is the strength of the bond. If the glued area is large and the bond a good one, you can get a bit more rugged with it. If the glued area is small or the bond weak, you’ll probably want to wash by hand.
We recommend that when you wash fabric that you’ve glued that you try to wash it by hand to prevent any damage to the bond. If you can’t, a wash at the lowest temperature with the least amount of jostling around might work.
Can you use hot glue instead of sewing?
Sewing two pieces of fabric together is preferable to gluing them, because the bond is stronger. But if you have a lot of fabric to work with, you might not have the time or even energy to sew them. In those cases, glue is a good alternative.
You might even try gluing to pieces of fabric together and then sewing them to ensure seams that are even.
If you decide that gluing is either preferable or just a way to hold a seam together while you sew it, make sure you get the right glue for the fabric you’re working with. That means giving the instructions a careful read.
Natural fibers need glue that is thicker while synthetic fibers will require glue that allows flexibility.
How long will hot glue last on fabric?
It’s impossible to create a definitive timetable for how long your fabric will remain glue together. There are a lot of things at work, any of which could have a big impact on how long that bond will last.
Some of the things that will influence how long a glue bond will last include whether the fabric was clean when you started, how much stress you’ve put the bond through, the quality of fabric you glued, and the quality of the glue.
Even environmental factors will play a role. Warm, humid conditions will cause the bond to break down more quickly than cool, dry conditions. If it’s too cold, however, your glue could turn brittle.
Hot glue is a good alternative to bonding fabric to things where sewing and stapling aren’t workable options. Or it could function as a first step towards holding a seam together while you sew or staple it.
Because the bond is usually not as strong as a physical one, you’ll want to know how to do it right and what materials to use.
We hope you found this article useful. If you did, feel free to leave a comment down below. We love hearing from our readers. You can also share it on your social media networks because you never know who might have the same questions you do.