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Fabric Glue Vs Sewing: When to Use Each Method (2023)

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fabric glue vs sewingYou’re working on your latest craft project and hit a snag. The fabric pieces just won’t stay together. You eye your sewing kit and wonder if there’s an easier way. Fabric glue to the rescue! Grab that bottle and let’s walk through using glue or thread.

We’ve all been in situations where our crafting skills don’t quite match our vision. No need to stress. You have options like fabric glue to make your project come together with way less frustration. Keep reading to get handy tips on when to glue versus sew so you can finish your masterpiece.

Key Takeaways

  • Fabric glue works best for temporary bonds and small projects, while sewing is better for permanent, structural bonds.
  • Let fabric glue cure fully (24+ hours) before washing to ensure a strong bond. Sewing withstands washing immediately.
  • Combining sewing and fabric glue provides extra strength and creativity in your projects.
  • Supervise children when using fabric glue. Follow safety tips like ventilation and avoiding skin contact.

When to Use Fabric Glue

When to Use Fabric Glue
You’d use fabric glue for quick fixes like hemming pants or attaching an applique. When you need a fast bond without stitching, grab the glue. It creates flexible seals on fabric tears in minutes. Just spread a thin layer along the edge to prevent fraying. The key is pressing firmly as the glue dries for maximum adherence.

Fabric glue excels at small jobs like patching holes, securing badges, and tacking down trimmed edges before finishing. It sticks well to natural and synthetic materials without heat or complications.

You can glue a simple hem on leather pants or a cotton blouse quickly with good results. However, skip the glue for permanent stitches on seams or construction. The bonded seal can deteriorate over time, especially if washed frequently.

Test glued areas to ensure a tight bond before wearing the garment. Look for fabric glues specially formulated to flex with movement and washing without cracking. When you need durable seams, opt for hand or machine sewing instead. But fabric glues offer quick bonding when time is short and projects small.

They help you fix tears or finish details in a hurry minus the needle and thread.

When to Use Sewing

When to Use Sewing
Stitch quickly for permanent seams, or risk later separation. Only your needle and thread can truly secure two fabric pieces edge-to-edge. Though tempting for speed, fabric glues simply can’t replace sewing’s durability.

Let your thread do the tough work of holding embroidered patches and intricate seams over the long run. Unlike glue’s seal, every pass of the needle further fuses the fabrics with a flex that survives wear.

Sewing remains the way to construct durable hems, perfectly spaced pleats, and reinforce stress points prone to tearing. Select fine needles and threads that suit the fabric weight for smooth stitching.

Consult your pattern’s instructions to neatly assemble pieces before decorative touches. And take care to correctly size and place pockets, linings, zippers, buttonholes using straight pins.

Fabric glues have limits. Check the label to ensure it permanently bonds your fabrics, or the glue may let go too soon. Reserve sewing for the foundational construction that transforms flat yardage into fitted garments and home decor able to serve you for years.

With the right needles, thread, and care, your stitched seams will outlast any shortcut glue.

Combining Glue and Sewing

Combining Glue and Sewing
You’ve mastered sewing’s basics. Now cleverly combine your needle with fabric glue for extra strength and creativity.

First, add accents like buttons or patches with instant glue. Its quick grab keeps pieces perfectly placed as you sew around them. Choose permanent glue for areas needing extra reinforcement against daily wear, like pocket corners or strap attachments.

Get creative with fabric glues to easily add trendy embellishments without struggle. Simply spread glitter across glue strips rather than spending hours stitching each piece. Craft custom fabrics by fusing lace layers using fusible webbing ironed between them.

Let glue take over tedious tasks like hemming curtains, so you can reserve your skill for decorative details. It quickly tacks down edges to sew straight lines without pinning. Discover timesaving ways to incorporate adhesive as extra hands so you can focus on the fun parts.

With the right glue-sew combo, you’ll breeze through projects creatively and confidently.

How Fabric Glue Works

How Fabric Glue Works
As an experienced crafter, you know that understanding fabric glue’s drying time and bond strength is crucial when deciding whether to use it instead of sewing. Test out a dab first so you know if the tackiness wears off quickly or needs extended curing to fully set.

Check the strength by gently tugging – some glues grip tightly on contact while others take time to develop their holding power.

Consider when you’ll need the finished results and what stresses your project will undergo. Waiting for glue to properly cure will reward you with the adhesion you need to hold embellishments in place through wearing and washing.

With knowledge of these key working properties, you can confidently swap your sewing needle for fabric glue when the situation calls for it.

Drying Time

The adhesive must fully cure before moving ahead so your project’s integrity isn’t compromised.

When using permanent fabric glues, allow ample drying time for full glue adherence. These types require a long time, sometimes over 24 hours, to form a permanent bond that withstands a project’s demands.

Rushing ahead too soon risks the glue still being tacky, causing pieces to shift or edges to lift later. Be patient and let the permanent version fully cure first for durability. Resist the urge to speed things along.

A little waiting now prevents disappointment down the road when corners peel or threads unravel from an incomplete permanent bond.

Bond Strength

You’d feel mighty proud when your glue forms an unbreakable bond between fabrics. As your trusted guide, I recommend applying thicker fabric glue for heavier materials like denim or leather. Thin glues struggle with weighty fabrics. Hot glue risks creating a mess on delicate materials too.

For any sew project, test spot glue on scraps first. Then add enough to fully saturate both pieces, coating every fiber. Apply firm pressure as it dries. This ensures maximum adhesion by sealing fabrics together.

With patience, the glue crystallizes into an incredibly robust bond, fusing your fabrics as one. Crafting becomes so gratifying knowing your work withstands wear from enjoyment by generations.

Choosing the Right Fabric Glue

Choosing the Right Fabric Glue
When choosing the right fabric glue, flexibility and water resistance are two key factors to consider. Knowing how pliable you need the bond and how well it can withstand washing will help narrow your options.

Test samples to see which glues retain some give after drying and which become hard and brittle. Check for changes after a gentle soak – permanent adhesives should hold steady while temporary ones release.

With firsthand experience, you’ll gain expertise in selecting the best glue for your fabric and project needs.


Don’tcha love how fabric glue stays flexible after it dries, unlike some glues that get rigid and crack over time? When you’re deciding whether to sew or glue your fabrics, remember that flexibility matters.

With fabric glue’s bendable bond, your embellished scarf will drape naturally. Sewing may create stiff, bulky seams that don’t move with the fabric.

For quick crafts and temporary bonds, opt for fabric glue so your materials retain their supple feel. As you gain experience, you’ll learn when flexibility calls for swapping needles for glue. With the right technique, fabric glue creates durable yet movable bonds on your favorite fabrics.

Water Resistance

You’ll wanna make sure that fabric glue can stand up to spills and laundering if water resistance is a must for your project.

When tackling temporary glue-ups with types of fabric that demand strength against water, steer clear of school glues.

Fabric glues specially formulated for washable bonds on synthetics, cottons or linens will hold fast through laundering, rain and more.

Test swatches first and let dry fully before submerging your handiwork.

If soaked seams fail the test, stitch up those water-weakened bonds or try a stronger, water-resistant glue instead.

With the right water-tough glue for your kinds of fabric, you can machine wash and even use steam on your crafts and clothing repairs without delaminating drenched glued seams.

Applying Fabric Glue

Applying Fabric Glue
Gluing’s a snap with a steady hand and quick dry time. Start by cleaning and drying your fabric so the glue adheres well. Test a dab on a hidden spot first since some fabrics may stain or discolor. Adjust the nozzle for thick, thin, or medium glue flow.

Hold the nozzle close to the fabric and apply in a thin, even layer. Avoid squeezing out too much or you’ll end up with drips. Use a craft stick or toothpick to spread the glue smoothly if needed. Apply firm pressure for 10-30 seconds once glued to properly set the bond.

Allow the recommended drying time before moving or resuming your project. Most fabric glues reach full strength in 24 hours, so resist machine washing right away. For faster drying, you can use a blow dryer on a cool setting. With the right glue and care in application, your mends and embellishments will stay fixed as if sewn.

Glue Vs Pins for Sewing

Glue Vs Pins for Sewing
Got a tear that needs quick fixin’? Fabric glue’ll stick stuff down in a flash without reachin’ for the needle ‘n’ thread. When ya just gotta patch things up for now, temporary fabric glues’ll do the trick in a jiffy.

They hold tight as a hug but let go when ya give ’em a good soakin’. No need to pin stuff in place neither – the glue’ll keep things stuck where they oughta be. Just squeeze out a thin line along the hem or wherever you’re makin’ repairs. Press everything together nice and tight for a minute or two till it grabs hold.

For temporary holdin’, glues a handy shortcut from pins and sewin’. Just dab it on, press it down and you’re finished in the time it’d take to thread a needle. So for quick patch jobs and temporary hems, glue beats out pinning hands down. Ya get reliable hold lickety-split, minus the pokes and holes.

Making Glued Projects Last

Making Glued Projects Last
Listen here, avoid washin’ them glued-up duds if ya want ’em to keep on stickin’!

Let that glue cure proper before gettin’ ’em wet – read the label for dry times. If it’s gotta withstand laundering, choose a permanent fabric glue. Iron-on bonding web leaves a long-lasting seam without stitchin’. For temporary hold, stick with short-term fabric adhesives.

Ya can’t beat fabric glue for time-savin’ repairs and alterations. But for maximum hold, give it enough time to fully set before tossin’ it in the wash. Choosin’ the right adhesive for the job’ll help your glued goods stand the test of time.

With smart glue selection and proper curing, you’ll keep your fabric creations stickin’ together wash after wash.

Glue for Clothing Repairs

Glue for Clothing Repairs
You can mend what’s torn without breakin’ out the needle and thread. Fabric glue is your fast fix for minor clothing repairs. Just dab on the right glue version for your fabric. There’re fabric glues specially formulated for synthetics, natural fibers, leather, and more.

Temporary hem and seam adhesives let ya make quick alterations that’ll hold up fine through wearing but wash away clean. Spray-on glue covers large areas fast. Squeeze tubes give you control for smaller tears and holes.

Touch up fraying seams and loose buttons in a snap without sewing skills. For bigger rips or sections unraveling, go for a permanent fabric glue built to last. Repair jeans, jackets, accessories and shoes to get more wear without more work.

So grab that fabric glue and start mending. Your closet will thank you later!

Glue for Crafts and Decor

Glue for Crafts and Decor
Try picking up a needle and thread for crafts and decor if you’re looking for long-lasting creations, ’cause glue would be an ironic shortcut that might not hold up.

  • Your handmade heart will crack when the bond breaks.
  • That cute decoupaged dresser will peel, making memories fade.
  • The edges of your fabric collage will curl from dried-out adhesive.

When making crafts, take time to stitch, embroider, and sew pieces together. Though it takes more effort upfront, the results will stay stitched in time. For stabilizing layers or adding embellishments, fabric glue can work wonders. But for any structural joints or weight-bearing bonds, opt for a needle and durable thread.

Test different glues on your material scraps first and let cure fully. Consider water resistance if washing’s required and avoid irritation from fumes. By selecting the proper permanent or temporary adhesives for each purpose, crafters can avoid heartbreak when connections come unglued.

For decor that withstands admiration over the years, take care to choose lasting methods over quick shortcuts. Crafts created with love hold memories forever when materials are joined to remain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I remove fabric glue if I make a mistake?

When you goof, grab a damp cloth quick to wipe away the sticky substance. Act fast before it sets or you’ll have no choice but to use a seam ripper and redo.

What are some good projects for beginners to try with fabric glue?

Design bags and clutches by gluing fabrics and embellishments. Make clothing patches or embroideries by fusing materials to fabric. Fasten hems quickly minus sewing. Glue fabric to shoes for unique accents. Personalize t-shirts, hats and jackets with iron-on designs.

Hand-make greeting cards using fabric scraps. The possibilities are endless once you open your creativity and start gluing.

Is fabric glue safe to use around children?

Like a nurturing mom, you’ll want to keep fabric glue away from little hands. Though it likely won’t poison them, the chemicals could irritate sensitive skin. For safe crafting, have them focus on cutting and arranging while you handle the gluing.

Can I wash and dry projects after using fabric glue?

You can wash and dry fabric glue projects once the adhesive has fully cured. Let the glue set as directed, then gently launder and tumble dry on low. The bonded fabric should hold up just fine if you applied the adhesive properly.

Where can I buy fabric glue locally?

You can find fabric glue at craft stores like Michaels, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby. Check the sewing or fabric sections for brands like Beacon, Aleene’s, and Fabri-Tac. Locally owned quilting shops may also sell specialty fabric glues. Ask an employee if you need help finding it.


So there you have it – when comparing fabric glue vs. sewing, each has its place in creative projects. Whether you’re mending clothes, crafting decorations, or embellishing accessories, consider when glue or needlework is the wiser choice.

With the right adhesive and some practice in application, fabric glue can quickly and easily bond fabrics for beautiful finished results. Just take care to test compatibility, permit full curing, and wash gently for long-lasting glue work.

Combined thoughtfully with strategic sewing, gluing opens up a world of possibilities to both novice crafters and seasoned seamstresses alike.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.