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Fabric Glue vs. Sewing: When To Use Each One

If you enjoy designing your own clothing or making crafts, then you can use a variety of methods for attaching the fabrics. Today, there are high-quality fabric glues available at fabric and hobby stores. To make items that won’t fall apart, it is important to choose the right types of fabric glues along with using the adhesives properly. If fabric glue isn’t appropriate for a project, then you can stitch the materials with a machine or by hand.

1: Making Durable Everyday Garments

You shouldn’t use fabric glue when you are making garments because you will want to wash and dry the clothing numerous times. While some fabric glues are washable, the adhesives are not suitable for holding a garment together all of the time. It would be embarrassing to have the seams of a dress or slacks come apart while you are out in public 🙂

2: Adding Embellishments to Clothing

If you are adding an embellishment to a garment, then in many cases, fabric glue is suitable. Fabric glue is perfect for attaching a metallic stud, button or badge to a garment that you only plan to wear occasionally because you will seldom need to wash it. Make sure to select washable glue, and also, follow the directions on the package carefully.

3: Craft Projects With Children

When you are doing craft projects with children, using fabric glue is a fantastic option to avoid injuries. If you are working one-on-one with a child, then it is easy to monitor him while using a sewing machine. However, working with several children at one time makes it more difficult to prevent a cut from a sharp sewing needle. Always choose nontoxic fabric glues while working with children, and make sure that they keep the adhesive away from their skin or eyes.  If you are sewing, make sure you get a machine that is appropriate for kids like one of these.

4: Holding Fabrics or Embellishments In Place Temporarily

Spray fabric glues are perfect for holding embellishments such as rickrack in place while you are stitching it with a sewing machine. Using hundreds of sewing pins to hold a long section of rickrack in place requires a lot of time, and in addition, you can prick your fingers while sewing on the embellishment.

5: Fast Repairs During Emergency Situations

If you are walking out the door and notice that your skirt’s hem is ripping, then you can make a fast repair with spray fabric glue. This type of repair will last for a few hours, but it isn’t a permanent solution for the problem. Spray glues are temporary, and the adhesive in the skirt’s hem will wash away during the laundering process.

6: Designing a Quilting Project With Appliques

When you are working on a quilting project with appliques, you can use a spray fabric glue to hold the embellishments in place while you create a design. Choose an adhesive that doesn’t leave any marks on the fabric so that you can move around the appliques several times. After finalizing your design, you can add another layer of fabric glue to hold the appliques in place while you are stitching the quilt with thread.

7: Using Unusual Materials For a Project

If you are using unusual materials for a project, then fabric glue is better than sewing the leather, vinyl or plastic. Stitching through thick materials is difficult, and it may break a sewing machine’s needle during the process. Also, making numerous holes in plastic, vinyl or leather can damage the material, but the right type of glue won’t harm the fabric.

17 thoughts on “Fabric Glue vs. Sewing: When To Use Each One”

  1. Maria, great post! I’m with you…I use glue when it makes my life easier. But you are right, it isn’t appropriate all of the time and which glue to use is pretty important. It’s great to see the tips you provided for people to think before they apply. Nothing would be worse than having a hard, inflexible, permanent glob of glue on something. lol. Not that it’s EVER happened to me. Well, ok. Maybe once. or twice. 🙂 There really are so many glues available now. It is always a good idea to read what the manufacturer has to say about them. However, keeping some standards on hand, such as a water soluble glue along with a fine tip applicator or a temporary fusible spray adhesive, or some fusible web is a good idea. Kudos for having the courage to bring this up. Here’s to all of us with fingers sticking together!

  2. The Sewline fabric glue or Roxannes basting glue are both brilliant glues for using instead of pins and they don’t gum up the needle either.

  3. I’m making a lifting sling for a large crippled dog to hoist her into and out of a wheel chair I made for her. I’m going to use some sort of stretchy knit-like fabric with heavy canvas attached to the edges that will take the strain, with D-rings attached to the canvas. I’ll want to wash it occasionally. Should I glue it to assemble it, & then take it to somewhere to get long straight machine sewn seams? What glue should I use? Thanks for reading.

  4. I am upcycling some blouses and store bought panties. I would like to embellish bras and panties so they match. I have a beautiful piece of lavender non stretch lace that is 7″ wide. I tried to just sew it to the waist of the panties. When I tried them on the stitches were ripped out. I’m not sure what will happen if I use fabric glue. Can I use glue and sewing?
    If anyone has any ideas I will happily try them.

  5. I bought a wheeled bag from Harbor Freight to use for sewing retreats. I would like to decorate the outside pockets with fabric but it can’t be sewn on – any suggestions for attaching permanently.

  6. I bought very thin crop tops that I can’t easily wear a bra with (strapless doesn’t stay up on me) but clearly show through. I then bought the bra cups meant for inside sports bras or swim tops but don’t know how to attach them since sewing would show through and I’m afraid fabric glue will also show through but it’s all I’m left with. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Laura – I would try the fabric glue. I’ve had good success with it in situations similar to what you are describing 🙂

  7. Hi my prom is coming up and I have a dress with a halter top but I really want to wear my push up bra with it. I was wondering if it’s possible to sew or glue a bra into my dress? Also which would be best, sewing or glueing it?

  8. zoltan baisden

    hi, I have no idea how can I do my wedding project I would like to cut our some fine lace out and stick on silk organza but…I am looking for some textile spray what is clear and no stain no hard dry out and washable? or maybe just I thing this kind of glue exist 🙂 lol

  9. Lucinda Gregson

    Hi i wont to make this dress but dont wont to sew it so i thought ide glue it but whats the best glue anybody no please thanks .

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