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The 10 Best Fabric Glues

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By Debbie Lee

Whether you’re looking to hem a skirt in a hurry or make a fabric collage, fabric glue is an indispensable crafting supply to have handy. The best fabric glues are water-resistant, create a strong bond, and dry to a flexible consistency.

Before purchasing fabric glue, you’ll want to decide whether you need a permanent or temporary adhesive. Permanent glues are ideal for projects that require durability, like repairing garments and upholstery. Finished products bound with this type of adhesive will hold up to machine washing and regular wear, but won’t be as easy to take apart if you make a mistake.

On the other hand, temporary glues can be repositioned and are easily washed out with soap and water. These eliminate the need for pins during the initial stages of a sewing project, like quilt layouts or hem adjustments. It’s also useful for positioning appliqués and patches before sewing them into place.

Fabric glues come in many forms, and they all have their benefits. Most permanent glues are liquid, while temporary glues often come in spray or stick form. Each has its own curing time, too. Some glues set in as little as three minutes, while others need a minimum of 24 hours to reach their full strength. To eliminate any guessing games as to when a bond has set, some glues go on solid and dry clear. There are also glue alternatives, like iron-on tape and adhesive repair patches, that do the job quickly and with less mess.

Choosing the right glue also depends on the fabric you’re using. If you’re working with leather, look for glues that are specifically designed for this particular material. Costume makers who use embellishments like beads and sequins will want an adhesive that comes with a fine-tip applicator. Some fabric glues are designed for textiles only, but others are formulated to adhere fabric to less porous materials like wood, plastic, and metal, making them a more versatile addition to your craft box

From a simple glue stick to industrial-strength formulas, these are the best fabric glues for any textile project.

1

The Most Popular Fabric Glue

With more than 7,600 five-star ratings on Amazon, Tear Mender is one of the most popular fabric glues on the shopping site. Fabrics that are treated with this glue can be worn or used within three minutes and washed within 15 minutes of application, making it great for anyone who needs to quickly repair a garment. It’s also strong enough to handle rugged textiles like denim, canvas, and leather. Note that the formula dries to an off-white color described as “tea,” making it better-suited for hidden seams or inconspicuous areas. However, the flexible, waterproof, and UV-resistant finish makes it a wonderful choice for projects that you know will need to stand up to wear and tear.

One reviewer raved: “This stuff is amazing, you'll never find an adhesive for fabric better or stronger. Its workable to where it doesn't cure in few minutes like some do, so you do have a little time to manipulate your fabric if you need to. Highly recommended for patching torn clothing, jackets, blankets, furniture upholstery, Leather, i have used it on just about every fabric except I haven't used it on carpet yet.”

2

The Best Budget Fabric Glue

This fabric and paper glue by Elmer’s is not only the most affordable option on this list, but Amazon reviewers have raved about its versatility. They’ve used it to glue Girl Scout patches to sashes, hem curtains, repair fabric bindings on books, and so much more. The permanent formula dries clear, and its bonding strength isn’t affected by machine washing or exposure to water. Multiple reviewers recommend a curing time of 24 hours for the glue to set to a strong but flexible consistency.

One reviewer raved: “I found out about fabric glue by watching Project Runway. Being that I am certainly no seamstress, I was fascinated by the thought of fabric glue. I can certainly sew on a button, or sew a tear, but that's about it [...] This product is wonderful!!! For hemming clothes, repairing tears, or attaching patches and the like, I have found this glue to be a godsend! I am so happy I finally became aware of it. It has really helped me with these types of tasks!”

3

The Best For Costume Making

Aleene’s Fabric Fusion is the ideal glue for making costumes and other specialty garments, since the liquid adhesive is designed to work on a number of textiles including cotton, denim, and flannel. It can also be used to glue patches, trims, and embellishments like beads, rhinestones, and sequins to fabric. A notched cap allows for precise application — for detailed work, cut it to a fine point; for gluing larger surfaces, snip the tip farther down. The formula dries clear and creates a flexible, permanent bond after 48 hours of curing. However, if you want to reposition an item or clean up any excess glue, it’s washable with soap and water while it’s still wet.

One reviewer raved: “Wow. I did not have high expectations for this. I used this for my Halloween costume...some of the material used was felt. It said on the back that felt wasn’t great to use with this product, but it did the trick! No wardrobe malfunctions! I even washed the garment and everything stayed together. Amazing product! 10/10!”

4

The Best For Upholstery

Liquid Stitch by Dritz is designed for a stitch-free look on hems, appliqués, trims, patches, and zippers, but based on multiple Amazon reviews, it’s also a great solution for mending torn sofas and reupholstering seat cushions. The liquid adhesive goes on white and dries to a permanent, clear, and flexible finish in 24 hours. Projects that are treated with this glue can be either washed or dry-cleaned without the adhesive losing its grip.

One reviewer raved: “Bought this to fix a huge tear (6-8 inches) in a couch cushion. I applied it in two-inch increments and used straight pins to hold the fabric together while it dried. I made several applications to ensure that it would stay. After it dried, you'd never know that I used a glue. It's been several weeks and it's shown no signs of coming unglued-- even with my dog digging and sleeping on it.”

5

The Best For Outdoor Fabrics

Fabrics that are exposed to the elements require a durable adhesive, like this waterproof glue by Gorilla. Although it’s not suitable for loose weave fabrics like tulle and jersey, the glue is compatible with heavy-duty textiles like canvas, denim, and tight-weave polyester. The formula creates a permanent bond and dries clear after 24 hours, and it can also be used to secure nonporous embellishments like sequins and beads onto fabric. The finish is 100% waterproof, and multiple reviewers have successfully used this glue on items that are subject to wear and tear, such as outdoor chairs and boat covers.

One reviewer raved: “Where have I been all of these years??? I had NO IDEA that you could glue fabric so easily!! WE used it to repair some canvas on our boat where a seam was coming loose. It would've been such a hassle to remove the canvas to take it to get repaired and would've cost us $200-300 to have it done. [...] Not only did it work, it was EASY and NO ONE will EVER know!”

6

The Best For Minor Repairs

Beacon’s Fabri-Tac provides a quick option for minor repairs like loose hems and frayed yarn ends. It's designed to work on most fabrics, including open weaves like lace, and bonds to various surfaces including wood and glass. The formula dries flexible and clear within five minutes and achieves full strength after 24 hours. Dry-cleaning is not recommended, but the permanent bond stands up to machine- and hand-washing.

One reviewer raved: “I am a cosplayer who recently has started making all of my own costumes so I've been trying all different kinds of products to help me on my journey. I gave this one a shot when attempting to glue some ribbon onto a shirt and was having issues with E9000 bleeding through and staining the ribbon. [...] The best part is that this stuff STICKS! I could not get that ribbon off if my life depended on it. It's perfect for my needs, where I need to be able to be in big crowds with all kinds of [...] outfits and accessories and not have any parts fall off!”

7

The Best Temporary Glue Sticks

Whether you’re working on a costume or tailoring garments, these temporary glue sticks are perfect for the initial stages of any sewing project. The adhesive goes on clear and is great for holding seams in place or adjusting the layout of different trims. Once you’ve committed to a design, the glue washes out and leaves no residue, so you can easily sew over it.

One reviewer raved: “Great product for holding seams in place. Keep one by my sewing machine always.”

8

The Best For Decoupage

Mod Podge’s three-in-one sealer, glue, and finish is ideal for decoupage projects. Use it with fabric scraps and cutouts to customize accessories like shoes and tote bags or homewares like lampshades and pillows. The glue goes on white, so you can see where you put it, and dries to a clear, glossy finish. Some reviewers mentioned that it takes up to two days to dry, but your patience will be rewarded with a finished product that’s durable and machine washable.

One reviewer raved: “I do a lot of crafting, and this has been a must in my arsenal of craft supplies. I use it a lot for journal and notebook covers. It's easy to work with, has generous sized bottles that don't dry out once you open them, and is very reasonably priced. I also use it for altering fabric with beautiful results. Every crafter needs this.”

9

The Best For Quilting

This spray adhesive is a must-have during the layout phase of quilt making. It creates a temporary bond between fabric and batting, eliminating the need for pins. To make adjustments, simply peel the fabric up and reposition it as desired. Reviewers noted that the glue washes out easily and does not leave unwanted build-up on your sewing machine needles.

One reviewer raved: “Got this basting spray to be able to free motion quilt lap size quilts. It's very easy to use (Spray and lay), washes out of the fabric well, and is easy to reposition if you need to. [...] This spray has saved LOTS of time from pinning, and my pieces come out without bunching up anywhere. BONUS: NO GETTING STUCK WITH PINS!!! I'm on my 6th can with no issues so I highly recommend it.”

10

The Best For Appliqués And Notions

This Sewline glue pen offers complete precision when positioning appliqués and notions, like buttons and zippers. The quarter-inch tip provides a clean and narrow application, eliminating the risk of oozing or unwanted buildup. The glue goes on blue and dries clear within minutes. To reconfigure a design, simply peel back the item and reposition it on your fabric. The glue washes out easily once a design is set and sewn in place.

One reviewer raved: “Wish I had known about this product ... a long time ago. My sewing and crafting would have been soooooo much easier! You can't go wrong with this. I don't care how many refills I have to order... it's worth every penny.”

11

Also Great: A Glue Alternative For Quick Projects

Stitch Witchery is a glue alternative that fuses fabric using a heat-activated webbed tape. It's a convenient solution for hemming garments and window treatments, adding trims, and creating pockets. A steam iron creates a permanent bond that's machine washable and dry cleanable. Even those with sewing skills sometimes prefer bonding tape for projects with a clean, stitch-free finish.

One reviewer raved: “Oh my goodness, this tape is amazing! No more needle-and-thread hemming for me! The instructions are simple and easy to follow. I have used this tape to hem shirts and pants, never taking more than a few minutes. [...] I have washed and dried the hemmed garments many times and have never had one come undone. You will love this stuff!”

12

Also Great: A Fabric Repair Kit That Works Like A Band-Aid

The Tear-Aid repair patch is like a first-aid essential when you don’t have time for fabric glue to cure. Made from a puncture and tear-resistant polymer, it works as a band-aid over torn materials including canvas, rubber, neoprene, nylon, non-oiled leather, and Gore-Tex. Adhesion is instant and the patch is see-through to blend with any fabric color or pattern. Multiple reviewers have mentioned that the patches are rugged enough to rescue big-ticket outdoor items like tents, patio umbrellas, and car convertible tops.

One reviewer raved: “This stuff works so well! I bought it to fix a tear in the canvas of our popup camper. Our first trip out, it POURED on us for over a day and it held strong without a single leak. I then used the left over to patch [a] water toy. I thought for sure it wouldn't last long, especially since it was constantly saturated, but it not only held through multiple kids jumping on it. I plan to keep a stash of this stuff around the house.”