Fabric glue: Here’s what you need to know
Bye-bye rips, tears, and holes. Hello simplicity: Fix fabrics and other materials easily with fabric glue.
Slipping on those trusty pair of jeans and discovering a nasty rip in the seams? Unfolding your favorite beach umbrella only to find an unsightly tear? Fear not, as these materials can be easily fixed without breaking out the needle and thread. Just use fabric glue.
Fabric glue is a liquid adhesive specifically formulated for repairing and mending flexible materials such as vinyl seats, cushions, clothing, tarps, and outdoor gear. Since it is flexible, it is ideal for use on those materials that are constantly bending, stretching, and changing positions.
This adhesive is not limited to just those types of materials. You can also use the same glue to repair glass, metal, ceramic, leather, wood, and more. If your pool or beach accessories are ripped, this will fix them. Ditto for your raincoat and camping gear. It will not go brittle with age or exposure to sunlight either. Once it’s done, it’s done.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before gluing your fabrics:
- Make sure your area is well ventilated.
- Wear rubber gloves or similar to protect your hands.
- Make sure your cleaning surface is spotless. No grease, oil, wax, or paint.
- The drying time for most repairs is about 10 minutes.
- Wait 24 hours before exposure to water.
If your clothes are ripped, there are simple ways to fix or hem the material. Just follow these steps:
- First, prewash the garment; it’s best to avoid fabric softener in this case.
- Then apply a thin line of glue or adhesive to the fabric or embellishment. Press onto the garment. If needed, hold in place with tape, clasps, or pins until glue is set.
- Let dry for a minimum of 2 to 4 hours. The garment will be washable after 48 hours.
For jeans the method of gluing is slightly different due to the relative density of the material. Here are the instructions for making old jeans as good as new:
- Turn the garment inside out and slide a piece of cardboard behind the tear. If you are working with delicate materials that are prone to moving around, use some masking tape to hold the rigid backer in place.
- Use tailor’s chalk and outline the area where you plan to apply the fabric glue or adhesive.
- Use a small brush and coat the outer edges of the two areas you are going to glue together. We recommend a fan brush as it looks and feels like a giant cotton swab, but without the mess of leftover fibers.
- If you are using a patch of denim material, you can now place it over the glued area and leave alone to dry and bond.
For most simple repair projects, on small objects or toys, you can use very similar methods and follow the same steps:
- Squeeze small amounts of fabric glue onto the surface of the object in need of repair (if attaching two pieces) before taking the second piece and attaching it to the first.
- Make sure to have aids to help seal or keep the two pieces in place (rubber bands, clamps, tape, etc.).
- Leave any excess glue on the table or working surface to dry and remove later with a sharp edge.
For any spills or drops, use acetone if the adhesive is still liquid and the fabric is not too sensitive. If the adhesive has started to cure, put the garment into cold water and let it soak overnight. Then use a flat-bladed knife to scrape off excess glue. Repeat these two steps until all residue has come off.