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Fabric glue: Here’s what you need to know

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Bye-bye rips, tears, and holes. Hello simplicity: The right fabric glue is all you need to fix fabrics and other materials.

What is fabric glue?

Have you slipped into your trusty pair of jeans and discovered a nasty rip in the seams? Or unfolded 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 adhesive.

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 materials that are constantly bending, stretching, and changing positions.

A hand applies glue to an orange patch of fabric over a pair of jeans with a hole.
Gluing instead of sewing: Mending those comfy old jeans with fabric glue

This adhesive is not limited to just those types of materials. You can also use fabric glue to repair glass, metal, ceramic, leather, wood, and more. If your pool or beach accessories are ripped, fabric adhesive will fix them. The same is true for your raincoat and camping gear. Fabric glue will not go brittle with age or exposure to sunlight, either. Once you’ve applied it, it will hold for a long time.

How to fix ripped clothes with clothing glue

If your clothes are ripped, a simple cloth glue will have you patched up in no time. Just follow these steps:

  1. First, prewash the garment. It’s best to avoid fabric softener when doing so.
  2. Apply a thin line of clothing glue to the fabric or embellishment. Squeeze it onto the garment. If needed, hold the pieces of the garment in place with tape, clasps, or pins until the fabric glue has set.
  3. Let dry for a minimum of 2 to 4 hours. Fabric glue is washable after 48 hours.

Fabric glue for jeans

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 with fabric glue:

  1. Turn the garment inside out and slide a piece of cardboard behind the tear. If you find the material tends to move around, use some masking tape to hold the cardboard backer in place.
  2. Use tailor’s chalk to outline the area where you plan to apply the fabric adhesive.
  3. Use a small brush to coat the outer edges of the two areas you are going to glue together. We recommend a fan brush as it can evenly apply a thin layer of fabric glue to a relatively large surface without leaving fibers behind.
  4. If you are using a patch of denim material, you can now place it over the glued area and leave it to dry and bond.
Two hands press an orange fabric patch onto a pair of blue jeans.
Individual and sustainable clothing recycling is easy with textile glue

Crafts and fabric glue

For crafting projects, we recommend trying Loctite Craft Spray. This versatile fabric glue spray is an ideal clothing glue because it dries clear, is repositionable and won’t bleed through materials. Here’s how to use it:

  • Shake the can 10-12 times before using.
  • Hold the can in a vertical position and spray from a distance of 8-10 inches, constantly moving the can to create an even coat.
  • For a repositionable bond, spray only one surface. For an immediate bond, apply a medium coat to both surfaces.
  • Join the fabric pieces.
  • Dry time is 1-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the application.

How to remove fabric glue

For any spills or drops, use acetone if the cloth glue 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.

Products used

  • loctite super glue gel control 4g tube
    Loctite Super Glue Gel Control

    Porous surfaces and vertical applications. No-drip Gel formula in pin-point Control™ applicator.

Expert Tip

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