There are lots of different ways to deal with fabric adhesion, whether you have a garment in immediate need of repair, some patches to add to a bag or jacket, or some other textile project. Sewing is great if you have the time, skill, and equipment for the job. But, it isn’t for everyone. Fabric glue is an alternative that you will either love the idea of or hate. If you think that this could be what you need for a reliable result, you need to be sure to find the best fabric glue possible for your needs.
In this guide, I have selected a few different products – some from some well-known brands – that are suitable for use on fabric. These options should provide good adhesion and clean result without being too much of a hassle to use. Before we look at those, less talk more about the potential benefits of fabric glue and what to look out for.
Why choose fabric glue over other methods of adhering fabric together?
I recently wrote about how to attach patches without sewing and covered a range of different options. Each solution has its pros and cons depending on what you want to do and the look you are trying to achieve. In many cases, fabric glue can be a great solution. Fabric glue can allow for a flatter surface than hook-and-loop tape, so patches aren’t so visible. Fabric glue can also provide a stronger bond for hems and other alterations than fabric webbing. So, this could be the right choice if you need a permanent fix that isn’t too noticeable.
However, you also have to remember that there are downsides to choosing glue. This can be a messy job and you need to be careful not to let excess glue seep out onto the garment. A strong-smelling glue isn’t going to be that fun to work with either. Finally, don’t forget that this is a permanent solution. So, once you have stuck the fabric together there is no going back.
What should you look for when choosing the best fabric glue?
1) Will it stick the fabric together properly?
This might sound like an obvious expectation from a bottle of fabric glue. But, some companies will try and sell an inferior glue product as something suitable for fabric. This can lead to some very disappointed users that can lift a patch off their jacket after waiting for hours for something to happen. Take a look at user reviews for a better idea of the efficiency of the product.
2) How much do you get in a bottle?
If you only have one fix or project in mind, it doesn’t matter too much if you only get a small amount in a bottle. 4 fluid ounces is a good average for a little bottle of glue. If this doesn’t sound like it will be enough, look out for larger versions or for multipacks.
3) Does it have a secure cap so that you can store the remaining glue for future use?
A potential downside of going for a larger bottle for multiple projects is that some may not have secure closures once opened. If the bottle isn’t airtight when left in a cupboard for the next month, the glue could dry out or lose some of its potency. This is an unnecessary waste of glue.
4) Is it easy to apply nice and neatly?
The best bottles and tubes of fabric glue should have a good nozzle on there where you can create a neat line of adhesive rather than a big messy pool. But, some can be too narrow leading to a bit of an eruption if you squeeze the tube too hard. On that note, a softer tub is easier to manipulate than a harder bottle if you want to get to the last drops with greater easer.
7 of the best fabric glue products to choose from.
1) Gorilla Waterproof Fabric Glue 2.5 Ounce
Let’s start with a name that is familiar to many of us. When we think of Gorilla Glue, we tend to think of super-strong adhesives for home improvements and heavy-duty jobs. But, the brand also has its own fabric glue. This fast-acting, “crystal clear, and waterproof glue comes in a 2.5 fluid ounce tube with a taped nozzle and a helpful cap for repeated use. While 2.5 fluid ounces is smaller than other options, there is the choice to get a 3-pack for better value. As you would expect from the brand, there are promises of rapid speed and a strong hold.
2) Dritz Original Liquid Stitch
Next, we have an option that is a best-seller on Amazon, which gives the impression that happy users keep coming back to this reliable solution for multiple projects. The aptly named Liquid Stitch glue comes in a 4 fluid ounce tube, although there are also much smaller versions available if needed. What I don’t like here is that it seems to be one of those products where you cut off the tip of the nozzle and don’t get a cap for it. So, it is best to pick the size most appropriate for your project. Still, it provides a good bond that can take the strain of machine washing and works well for appliques and other decorative features.
3) Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Glue
Another popular choice is this glue from Aleene’s. Again, there are different sizes on offer. I chose this pack of three because I feel that it is more convenient to have the three smaller 0.66 fluid ounce bottles to use over different projects. This is especially true here as the company promises that a little goes a long way. So, you don’t want to run the risk of a larger bottle going bad. There is another nice tapered nozzle here for easy application and a cap that you can use to protect the glue between applications. It should also be smooth and clear for a better result.
4) iCraft Fabric Fuse Liquid Adhesive
Next, we have an option from iCraft that appears to tick all the necessary boxes for the best fabric glue. The bottle contains 2.1 fluid ounces, making it a nice portable and effective solution without being too small. It has the same quick-drying formula with a clear finish and is completely non-toxic. There is also the promise that this will stay flexible enough not to be too noticeable when the garment is finished. This is another bottle with a nice thin nozzle for precise application. I also like the cap on this one as it seems more secure and less likely to go missing among the scraps of fabric.
5) Elmer’s E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue
This one stood out to me because of the term Craft Glue rather than something specifically for fabric. It is nice to have something that is more multifunctional but still effective for fabric adhesion. It is also listed as a bookbinding glue if you are interested in trying that skill. You get 4 fluid ounces here, which is fine with these additional purposes. As with the others, it dries nice and clear and is strong enough to handle time in the washing machine.
6) Visbella 1 Min Quick Bonding Fast Dry Sew Fabric Glue
Next, we have something a little different as this little bottle of fabric glue comes with some additional tools. The glue itself is very similar to others here with the fast-action, clear results, and strong bond. Some find it a little runnier than they expected, but this does mean that you can move it into position with ease. There is a little plastic ruler-like tool that can offer a straighter line and a plastic stick for spreading the glue nice and thin.
7) Sewline Fabric Glue Pen
Finally, there is this interesting alternative product that you might find helpful. If you struggle with applying glue from a normal bottle or tube, you might prefer a pen like this. Pens with liquid substances aren’t always the most reliable. But, you could get a nice neat line in a handheld solution that is comfortable to hold. It is light and has a standard pen cap to protect the contents. You also get some refills if you choose the right option.
Finding the best fabric glue for your needs.
As you can see, while many of these products look very similar, it does pay to take a closer look at what you get for your money and the promises made by the companies. You should be able to find a brand here that will give you the result that you need easily enough. But, if you choose something and you decide you don’t like the application method, the smell, or something else about it, you can always go for an alternative next time. Fabric glue doesn’t have to be a messy second-best alternative to webbing or hook-and-loop tape. Just be sure to use it carefully and responsibly for the best results. We also have a guide for best miniature glues and best glue to use for paper mache.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.