Best Permanent Fabric Glues For 2020 – Reviews By An Expert
Last Halloween, one of our readers sent an email asking for suggestions on how he could make some really nice (in a scary way though) costumes quickly.
Here is an extract from the original email –
Hey there! I’m Jake from Houston, and I just wanted to know if you have any ideas on how I can make some Halloween costumes fast. I hate sewing so I was wondering what I could do because my wife challenged me to create something original.”
Buying seemed like a good option, but based on the message, it was out of the question. So, what else? That’s when we decided to venture into a new area – alternatives to sewing.
We learned there were two main options – fabric adhesive tapes and gluing. And when we told Jake about them, he was overjoyed and particularly liked gluing.
Today, we’re going to share with you what we know about fabric glues.
We’ll also help you find the best fabric glue, so, if you’re like Jake and you hate sewing or just aren’t in a position to sew for whatever reasons, this article is for you.
Let’s jump right in.
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What Is Fabric Glue and What Are the Benefits of Using It?
Fabric glue is an adhesive product used as an alternative to sewing garments. It allows you to laminate fabrics together without having to use a thread and needle with the option of creating temporary or permanent bonds.
If you’re using a good permanent fabric adhesive, then you’ll enjoy the wonderful benefits it has to offer, including the durability and the washability.
Fabric glue is largely seen as having been created for those who aren’t very good at sewing, but that’s not true. It was actually meant for making DIY as well as professional designing and repair of clothes more convenient.
If you have a tight schedule and you want to complete a sewing task quickly, or the dress you’re wearing to the interview needs quick fixing but there isn’t enough time for stitching it up, using the best glue for fabric will certainly be a great option.
Here are a few other areas where you’d find a permanent fabric glue very helpful:
Our Top 10 Best Permanent Fabric Glues Reviews For 2020
1. Tear Mender TG06H Fabric and Leather Adhesive
Manufactured by one of the most respected brands in the industry, the Tear Mender TG06H offers you all the qualities that define the perfect fabric adhesive.
This glue is entirely natural and non-toxic, yet it’s able to form a permanent bond to ensure your designs remain as you set them.
The adhesive is waterproof, denoting you can wash the garment without fearing that the bonds will get ruined.
Thus, you can keep machine-washing the garment, and if you like, you can also dry-clean it.
Some fabric adhesives are such that after use and upon drying, they become hard, making the area of application rigid and flaky. If you want to avoid such poor qualities, get the TG06H, as it is designed to create a strong bond without making the fabric rigid or hard.
We’ve come across glues for fabrics that have to be set with heat, so after applying the glue, you have to use an iron to heat-set the glue. But what if you don’t have an iron and you need to mend your garment?
This possibility is what makes the TG06H so useful. The glue cures shortly after application without having to apply a solvent or heat.
If you need multipurpose fabric glue, you will find this brand very appropriate. You can use it for leather, vinyl, and of course, fabrics, and you can use for both outdoor and indoor applications.
2. Beacon FT4D Fabri-Tac Adhesive
The Beacon FT4D is a little tricky to use for beginners as it quickly turns into a web-like substance but other than that, it’s really handy stuff for any DIYer out there.
Again, if you follow the instructions displayed on the bottle, the product should actually be easy to use.
This adhesive is formulated to dry quickly, and thus the trick lies in pre-aligning the garment and sticking the pieces soon after applying the glue. The fast-drying attribute can also be seen as an attribute because you can wear the garment almost immediately after fixing it.
Flexibility is another awesome quality of this substance. Once you apply it, the glue doesn’t stiffen and leave the garment feeling uncomfortable to wear. Instead, the bond remains flexible, almost as though you didn’t change it in any way.
Some adhesives soak into fabrics, staining them, sometimes permanently. The Beacon FT4D is of high quality, and it won’t soak into or stain your fabrics. As such, you can use it for your delicate fabrics and home décor.
Talk of versatile permanent fabric glue. You can use the adhesive for a wide range of applications, from adding patches to clothes to attaching lace to garments and fixing leather shoes.
The product does not contain acids or any dangerous chemicals you need not fear for your health while using it as long as you don’t swallow it or sniff it actively.
As a waterproof adhesive, it makes it possible to wash the items made or repaired using it.
3. Odif USA 505 Spray
We know this article is supposed to focus on permanent glues, but we thought we’d throw in a temporary glue for a good reason.
Perhaps you’re only getting started with DIY clothe repair or design, and you want to be able to reposition your bonds. In that case, the Odif USA 505 Spray will be most helpful.
This product is also very useful if your basting in preparation for a long stitch like when creating a hem on a skirt or any other clothing. It’s also very useful for quilting to position the layers of fabrics in the correct alignment in preparation for stitching.
If you’ve used a temporary glue before that you hated because it stuck to the needles making stitching difficult, then you got to try the Odif Spray; it doesn’t gum needles.
Worried about the effects on health?
The good news is that this product is non-toxic. It contains no odors, and unlike some glues, it doesn’t release a mist. It’s, therefore, an excellent choice with health safety in mind.
Most fabric adhesives come in the form of a container with a little pour spout. While that may seem convenient, you’ve got to experience the ease of use that comes with spray glues. This is one of the qualities we liked the most; it makes the Odif USA 505 so easy to use.
4. Permatex Fabric Repair Kit 25247
Has your garment or upholstery suffered little burns, holes, tears or rips? No need to replace it; just repair it.
With the Permatex Fabric Repair Kit, the repair process takes just about 20 minutes, and it restores the item so beautifully that it will be impossible for anyone to note the area has been repaired.
The kit comes with seven fabric repair compound cups with different colors to ensure you’re able to achieve the exact color combination that matches your upholstery.
Apart from the compound cups, you also get an application spatula, a screen applicator, and a mixing bottle. And of course, you also get some fabric adhesive that air dries.
As you can see, this product is the complete package.
There are many items included in this package, and you might be wondering if you’ll be able to use them correctly. Well, guess what? There are easily understandable instructions included in there as well as a color matching chart to make things as easy as possible for you.
You can use this versatile fabric glue kit for a wide assortment of repairs, including fixing carpets, clothes, furniture, and car seats.
The Permatex Fabric Repair Kit currently goes for 10 bucks, and hence you can see it’s not as expensive as you’d think – all those items for just about 10 dollars! Thus, rather than wasting hundreds of dollars replacing an expensive piece of furniture, just fix it with this inexpensive but handy kit.
5. Aleene's Permanent Fabric Adhesive
There are too many reasons why the Aleene's Permanent Fabric Adhesive would be a great pick for someone looking for the best fabric glue for clothes.
First off, this product is resistant to water. Because of that, you can wash the garment you’ve repaired with it by hand or with a washing machine without worrying about the bonds getting dismantled.
Because of the water resistance, as well as the high-quality ingredients used, the product is able to create a permanent stick together embellishments and fabrics.
Next, the glue is nontoxic. As long as you don’t ingest it or sniff it directly, you don’t have to worry about your health while using this product.
The liquid is very easy to use, as all you got to do is squeeze the bottle to apply it to your garment with a high level of precision due to the good design of the pour spout.
Once you’ve applied it, the glue will dry clear, and it won’t stiffen or make the garment feel rigid. Again, the product doesn’t string when applied.
Some adhesives stiffen once the fabric is washed, but the Aleene's Permanent Fabric Adhesive’s fusion remains flexible, upholding the comfortable feel of your garment.
Lastly, the glue is versatile, allowing you to fuse a broad array of fabrics from leather to flannel and cotton. It also works well for different sorts of embellishments including sequins, beads, and trims.
6. Aleene's Platinum Bond Adhesive
If you’re looking for a quick way to create a super strong but super flexible bond on fabrics, you will love Aleene's Platinum Bond Adhesive’s ultra flexible and industrial strength qualities.
This fabric glue is definitely a great choice if you want to avoid the yellowing effect that comes with the poor quality glues. Being of excellent quality the glue dries clear without any yellowing or staining on your garments.
Thus, this is the kind of adhesive you want to use when repairing your favorite clothes or any light-colored garment.
When you apply some fabric adhesives on garments, you’re worried about washing the garments because you don’t know if the adhesive will come off. But you won’t have any such worries when you use this product from Aleene’s.
The glue is waterproof, and therefore, the fusion will remain strong as ever even after washing the garment. It is, however, advisable that you wait for at least 72 hours before washing the fabric to give the glue enough time to cure completely.
Regarding the ease of use, the product is great because you only have to squeeze the tube and release the liquid through the spout. Moreover, there are instructions for use.
This fabric adhesive can be used for a wide range of fabrics including felt, denim, satin, leather, poly blends, and cotton.
7. Dritz 401 Fabric Glue
Introducing the Dritz 401 Fabric Glue – this is yet another temporary stick glue that helps a lot in sewing and sticking crafts. Being water soluble, it washes out of the fabric quite easily.
If you’re doing a long stitch, like when making the long ends of a pair of pants, it might be very difficult to position the folds correctly to ensure the pants are well aligned when completed.
In such a scenario, you might want to do basting, that is, to place a temporary stitch or pins that will help hold the fold in position. But these methods are not only time-consuming but also tiresome.
A better way would be to use the Dritz 401. With this temporary fabric adhesive, sticking the fold in preparation for sewing never got easier.
The product is most helpful also when you want to position trims, appliques, ribbons, and zippers.
Some glues are health hazards, and using them at home is never a good idea, but not this Dritz glue. It doesn’t contain acids or other chemicals that can cause harm through a mist. So as long as you don’t drink it or place the can at your nose to sniff it, you should be totally safe.
Ever used a fabric glue and noticed that the liquid grew thicker after each use and seemed to dry out with time? These problems mainly arise from heat and exposure to air.
Luckily, the Dritz 401 Glue can be refrigerated to keep from thickening or drying out.
8. Unique Stitch Fabric Glue by Dritz
The Unique Stitch Fabric Glue is another great product from Dritz, but this one is not a temporary glue; it’s a permanent fabric adhesive.
For anyone who hates sewing or who just doesn’t have the time to stitch a garment, this product will certainly come in handy.
The glue is water soluble, cleaning up with water prior to drying. And when dry, the bonds become permanent and cannot be removed even with water.
As the dry adhesive is resistant to water, you can wash the garment by hand or by machine, and even dry it in the air or in a drier. The manufacturer, however, advises that you shouldn’t dry clean garments that are repaired or made with this product.
The adhesive isn’t just for repairing garments; it’s a pretty versatile product that can be used for a range of purposes. For instance, you can use it for hook and loop tapes or decorative trims to window treatments.
In fact, if you have a home or office décor project that needs you to permanently bind items together, this product will be very helpful provided the items are not heavy.
Using the Unique Stitch Fabric Glue is straightforward, and with the instructions provided by the manufacturer, it’s a piece of cake even to a beginner.
You just have to squeeze the liquid out of the tube and spread it on the garment with your finger. Yep, that easy!
9. Aleene's Clear Gel Glue 4oz
If you’re looking for a perfect yet inexpensive fabric glue, you might want to try Aleene's Clear Gel Glue.
This product is great for adhering fabrics together, but it is especially ideal when you want to decorate your garments with beads, glitter, and other items.
Rather than applying your appliques with needles and threads, use this adhesive, and you’ll get the same great results with far less hassle.
Before drying up, the gel is water-soluble and thus washable with water, so you don’t have to worry about wrong applications provided you wash them off with water promptly.
Therefore, as you can see, the product gives you some allowance for errors and supports your learning process.
Once the gel dries up, it creates a super sturdy bond, making your fabrics or decorations adhere permanently. You can even wash the garment with water without worrying that the connection will break.
The gel is still crystal-clear even after drying, so there’s no fussing about the fabric getting stained.
Some fabric glues are splendid in that they work pretty well, but due to their hard bottles, you might find them quite inconvenient to use. If you want to avoid such and go for a product that has all-round goodness, go for Aleene's Clear Gel Glue.
This great adhesive is contained in a super soft squeezable bottle that makes using it so easy. So, no more hurting fingers.
10. Amazing GOOP 150011 Glue
We have observed many cases where someone bought a permanent fabric glue to use for sticking a badge to garment then complained about the badge falling off.
Also, we observed cases where someone used permanent fabric glue for mending leather shoes, but the results weren’t very impressive as the connection grew lose with time.
Now, if you have had such experiences, we would like to tell you about the Amazing GOOP 150011.
This product is meant for plumbing applications, but we studied it and noted that it might be very helpful in certain cases where an exceedingly strong fabric glue would be needed.
One of the features of this product is that it cures to a super tough bond that is very difficult to break. Therefore, if you have placed badges on your child’s school vest only for them to fall off, it’s time to put the glue you’re using aside and try the Plumbing Goop 150011.
Once dry, the glue is flexible and rubbery, and hence it won’t make the garment feel very uncomfortable.
The product is also very useful when repairing shoes, especially those made of and leather.
As you can see from its name, the product is meant for plumbing, but since it’s also useful as a fabric adhesive, we can call it a multipurpose glue.
The conventional use is that of a sealant in plumbing applications. If, for instance, you have a hairline crack in the condensate tank of your propane furnace, the adhesive will do great at sealing the crack.
Unlike the other products we have discussed, the Amazing GOOP 150011 is not very safe health-wise, so we recommend you put on a respirator and rubber gloves while using it.
Best Fabric Adhesive Buying Guide for Beginners
Thinking of just walking to a nearby store and telling them to hand you whatever fabric glue they have?
That’s not the way to go if you want to avoid disappointment. Below, we will discuss some of the aspects you should bear in mind when looking for a good fabric glue that suits your needs.
This is obviously the foremost factor to take into consideration. Does the glue stick or will the connection go lose and break some time later? A permanent adhesive is one that sticks rigidly and keeps the connection going for the life of the garment.
Temporary or permanent?
There are mainly two types of fabric glues – permanent and temporary. If you want to do some basting before making a long stitch, you need temporary glue as this one washes out easily with water.
On the other hand, if you want the bond to remain, like when attaching embellishments to garments or when using the glue in the place of a permanent stitch, then you got to use a permanent glue.
Some fabric glues become hard and rigid upon drying, making the garment sort of scratchy and uncomfortable to wear. Good fabric glue is one that doesn’t grow hard once it dries up. It remains very flexible and soft, allowing you to wear the apparel comfortably.
Resistance to water
If water soaks into the glue, the outcome is certain – the glue will lose its adhesiveness. Keeping in mind that you’ll have to wash the apparel after some time, it’ll help if the glue resists water so that the connection remains.
Good fabric adhesive should be machine-washable. Some products are rated just machine-washable and not dry cleanable so keep that in mind.
The kind of safety we’re talking about here relates to the presence of toxic ingredients. While some fabric glues release toxic fumes, other varieties are odorless and don’t release any harmful gases.
Most brands display a list of warnings at the back of the bottle to help keep you safe.
All in all, it’s always good to wear a pair of gloves when using fabric adhesives to avoid having sticky residues on your hands or irritate your skin.
How to Use It?
Sewing can take many hours, especially where you have many decorations like beads and flowers to attach to fabrics. But with a reliable glue, the process can be cut to a couple minutes or just a few hours.
Below are step-by-step instructions for using a fabric adhesive.
Clean the Garment
Ever tried sticking an adhesive tape onto a dirty surface? Didn’t hold onto the surface very well, did it? The same case applies with fabric glue.
The first thing you want to do is run your fabric through the washer and dry it because adhesives also don’t stick very well to wet surfaces.
Try to avoid using softening chemicals as they might leave oily residues that will reduce the glue’s adhesiveness.
Take safety precautions
Some glues are labelled as non-toxic and non-fuming, and with these, there’s no need to wear a respirator. It’s however, advisable that you use them in a well-ventilated area. If your gas lets off fumes, it’d be a good idea to use a respirator.
Whether or not the product is non-toxic, it’s still an adhesive and will leave sticky residues on your skin, so it’s always good to put on some gloves.
Be sure to read the manufacturer’s safety precautions before using the glue.
Even if the manufacturer says the product won’t stain the fabric, it makes sense to test it on an inconspicuous spot if you’re using a sensitive fabric like silk or linen.
Applying a thin layer of glue is the way to go if you want to avoid ripples and stains.
Depending on the nature of the product, you might spray or squeeze the bottle to release the adhesive.
Apply evenly on the area you want to stick.
Level it out
Use a piece of cardboard to smooth out the trail of glue before joining the fabrics together. This way, you will avoid having excess blobs of glue on some spots, thereby warding off the rippling effect.
After joining the fabrics together, level out the area once more.
One last tip
When joining 2 fabric pieces, ensure that you don’t stretch any of them, or else the results will look messy with one swatch looking more stretched than the other. Stretching also makes the bond poor.
What Are the Best Fabric Glue Brands on The Market?
Shopping by brand has its advantages, like an assurance about the quality of both the item and the customer service. If you love buying from the most trustworthy brands, then consider buying your fabric adhesive from the following top brands.
Founded in 1909, Permatex is one of the best manufacturers and suppliers of fabric adhesives. This company is huge, specializing in not only fabric glue but a range of other products, in the home and automotive maintenance.
They make and sell hand cleaners, sealants, lubricants, gasket makers, and different types of adhesives.
Permatex is a leader in innovation and a respected brand in the adhesives sector and buying from them, you’re very likely to be a happy customer.
The Tear Mender
The Tear Mender is a well-known adhesive brand that was formulated by Val Cismoski (called The Bish) back in the 1930s.
The original product targeted the farm sector, and it grew into a recognized every-day adhesive back in the day, being used in canvas drive belt repair.
The modern-day Tear Mender adhesives are diversified, being used for applications ranging from hand crafts to garment care.
The Lighthouse for the Blind, a non-profit organization, acquired the Tear Mender in 2015, as part of their purpose to provide jobs for the disabled.
Beacon has been in the industry for almost a hundred years, meaning they have the experience it takes to create truly amazing product.
This New York-based company focuses on adhesives for creative design purposes, and thus if you’re a professional or hobbyist in the sector, you’ll love partnering with them.
Beacon’s product line traverses various sectors from construction and crafting to aerospace tech, and due to the brand’s innovativeness, the products have to be associated with superior quality.
ODIF SA, which is based in France, is the manufacturer of the Odif line of adhesives, which are marketed in the US through their branch here, dubbed Odif USA.
This brand has been in the market for more than 35 years, and they’ve managed to build a reputation of a reliable supplier. They’re particularly known for fast shipment and good customer support.
The Odif brand has its market covering areas like fine art supplies, embroidery appliqués, dressmaking, and quilting. Their products include spray varnish, spray glitter, and of course the Odif adhesives.
Aleene Jackson was a creative innovator who purposed to create an exceptional adhesive for arts and craft professionals and hobbyists.
She got into the floral supply business at a tender age and longed to showcase her prowess as a florist and make a name for herself, and that’s when she invented the Original Tacky Glue.
That’s how Aleene’s line of adhesives began. Through the years, the original glue was diversified and enhanced, and with over 60 different variations today, it is still offering crafters the same great value.
Dritz definitely deserves a spot in the list of the top fabric glue brands.
This company was founded in New York around 100 years ago, initially focusing on handbags. It later ventured into innovative sewing implements and invented useful products like electric scissors, zippers, and seam rippers.
Though company’s ownership has changed several times over the past 100 years it’s been around, the quality hasn’t dwindled; it’s in fact only gotten better.
If you’re a DIYer, you definitely want to try Dritz’s awesome fabric adhesives.
Different Types of Glue for Fabric
Glue can be categorized in various ways, for instance, its permanency, the method of application, and so forth. Let’s see the main types of fabric glues available.
This is the glue we’ve given the most attention in this post. Permanent glue is the glue that is meant to create a lasting bond. It’s the kind of adhesive you use in place of a stitch, meaning it should be water-resistant and effective.
Some permanent glues are water-soluble before drying, meaning they can be washed off quickly if applied incorrectly.
Temporary glue is the adhesive you apply on the garment to create a connection only for a little while. Supposing you’re making a long stitch on a dress to create the hem at the bottom.
Rather than using pins and wasting all that time and effort, you could apply temporary fabric glue to maintain the fold as you sew.
Heat-set glue is the kind of glue that once applied, the garment has to be ironed or pressed in a heat printing machine to make it stick.
If you’re looking for the easiest solution, you shouldn’t go for this kind of glue, because as you can see, it involves an extra step, and what if you don’t have an iron or a heat transfer machine?
This is the opposite of the heat-set glue, and it’s definitely the more convenient type in terms of both speed and ease of application. With this glue, there’s no heat required. After applying it, the glue automatically dries and sticks the surfaces together.
The curing might range from a few minutes to several hours depending on the brand you’re using.
These are fabric glues that are contained in an aerosol spray can. Spray fabric glues are super easy to use, but you need to apply them in a well-ventilated room and perhaps use a respirator to protect yourself from the mist.
Non-spray adhesives are more common, and they’re contained in soft plastic bottles often with a pour spout at the top. To use them, you only need to press the bottle, so the glue is squeezed out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Should I use permanent or temporary fabric glue?
It depends on the kind of applications you want to make. If you’re looking to create a lasting bond like when creating a hem without sewing, then you need to use a permanent adhesive.
But if you only need something that will hold the garments in position while sewing, then you can go on ahead and use temporary fabric glue.
2. Is it possible to use glue rather than threads and needles?
Yes, totally. If you’re in a hurry and want to repair a garment quickly or you just don’t know how to sew, a permanent fabric adhesive will be very helpful.
3. Can I wash off fabric adhesive?
That depends on the sort of fabric adhesive you’re talking about. Temporary fabric glues are generally soluble in water and will come off when you put the garment in water.
Good permanent glues are insoluble when dry and won’t come off even if you wash the apparel in a washing machine.
Some permanent glues are water-soluble before drying and only become insoluble when they dry.
4. How much drying time does fabric glue require?
The drying time will depend on the specific adhesive brand in question but generally, drying time ranges from a few minutes to around two hours.
5. After how long should I wash the fabric?
The glue can dry within minutes or a few hours, but being dry doesn’t mean the glue has cured. It’s always advisable to wait for at least 72 hours before washing the fabric.
6. Do fabric glues stain clothes?
Poor-quality fabric glues might stain clothes, leaving yellowish spots but high-quality brands don’t. Good-quality glues dry into a clear, flexible bond that doesn’t change the appearance of the fabric.
7. Can I use superglue as fabric adhesive?
That wouldn’t be a very good idea. Why? Because the glue will come off when you wash the fabric in hot water and again, as superglue is not flexible, the bond will become flaky and uncomfortable for the person wearing the garment.
8. What are some of the features I should look for when buying permanent fabric glue?
You want to look for something that is waterproof, so the bond doesn’t get dismantled by moisture. So, you want to buy something that is rated ‘machine-washable’.
Apart from that, you need an adhesive that dries clear and remains flexible when dry so that clothes don’t become uncomfortable to wear.
You might also want to consider the toxicity of the product – an odorless glue that doesn’t form a mist would be a great option.
Fabric glues are extremely helpful in two main scenarios – when you’re not in a position to sew for whatever reasons and when you want to hold the fabric you’re sewing into position (instead of using pins).
We hope that we’ve helped you find the best permanent fabric glue for your needs. Perhaps you’re even thinking of a specific brand from the review section.
The items listed in our review have been scrutinized by our research team, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to our friends and family (which you’re a part of).