Sewing is a skill that takes time, patience, and dedication to master. When you’re in a pinch and a thread and needle are not an option, fabric glue can solve your problems.
Fabric glue is an adhesive alternative to sewing that laminates fabrics together by creating a temporary or permanent bond. It’s a great option if shoppers don’t like sewing or if they need to fix something quickly. This guide rounds up shopping advice and recommendations for some of the best fabric glue options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Tear Mender Instant Fabric and Leather Adhesive
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Allstar Innovations Secure Stitch Liquid Sewing Kit
- BEST PERMANENT: Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive
- BEST TEMPORARY: Roxanne Glue-Baste-It Temporary Fabric Glue
- BEST SPRAY: Odif USA 505 Temporary Fabric Adhesive
- BEST WATERPROOF: Aleene’s Platinum Bond Super Fabric Adhesive
- BEST FOR VELVET: Beacon Adhesives Gem-Tac Permanent Adhesive
- BEST FOR SILK: Bundled Brands E6000 Adhesive With Precision Tips
- BEST FOR TULLE: Gorilla Waterproof Fabric Glue
- BEST FOR LEATHER: Fiebing’s Leathercraft Cement
Types of Fabric Glue
Not all fabric glues are created equal. There are multiple types of adhesive to browse through, and each offers specific benefits that work for some kinds of projects but perhaps not others. Read on to learn more about these adhesives and discover which fabric glue type best suits your crafting and repairing needs.
Before shoppers start looking for products to glue fabric, the first thing they need to decide is if they want one that’s permanent or temporary.
Permanent adhesives offer stronger bonds meant to last a long time because they’re insoluble after they dry. These glues won’t even come off the fabric after it is washed. This type of fabric glue is great for garment repairs and other projects that need to remain durable.
Temporary adhesives are water-soluble, which means the fabric glue will come off the fabric when it comes into contact with water. Fabrics that are treated with these glues are not machine washable because washing them will cause the bond to come apart. Users can pull apart the bond of temporary glue more easily before it dries.
This kind of fabric glue is great for projects that require a lot of fabric repositioning, like quilting.
Heat-set adhesives are glues that bond in certain warmer temperatures and not in others. The adhesive chemicals activate at a specific temperature and form a strong bond that crystallizes when the heat is removed, which increases its strength.
One of the benefits of heat-set fabric glues is that they’re not tacky, and the adhesive will not stick to itself, making it easier to work with. The downside is that it doesn’t dry on its own.
Cool-set fabric glue is becoming more popular than heat-set glue because it’s more convenient to use. There’s no heat required. Simply apply it and allow it to dry on its own.
The downside is that the amount of time it takes to dry can be considerable, depending on the product. Some take a few minutes, and others can take up to 24 hours. Heat-set glue, on the other hand, dries pretty quickly once heat is applied.
Fabric glue that comes in an aerosol spray can is referred to as a spray adhesive. While it’s the easiest kind of glue to use, it can be harder to control the amount of adhesive that’s released. This kind of glue is best suited to larger fabric projects rather than smaller, more detailed ones. Spray adhesive should be used in a well-ventilated room to protect people and pets from inhaling it.
Nonspray adhesives are the most common types of fabric glues. Instead of an aerosol can, they are typically packaged in tiny tubes or plastic bottles that allow users to control the amount of clothing glue that’s released. Some products even come with a customizable tip to achieve the desired amount of glue flow.
Using nonspray adhesives is easy: Just squeeze the glue out of the designated spout.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fabric Glue
In addition to choosing the right type of glue for the project, there are other factors shoppers will want to consider before making a purchase. Drying time, water resistance, and strength are other things to think about as shoppers determine the best fabric glue for their projects. Read on to learn what else should be considered before buying a new fabric glue.
Fabric glues can vary in drying time, depending on the type of glue and the material being glued. Drying time can take anywhere from 3 minutes to 24 hours.
A quick-drying adhesive can be used almost instantly, which is great for spur-of-the-moment garment repairs and fixes on the go. Though quick-drying adhesives tend to be more flexible, they’re not as durable as other glues. If shoppers want a strong, long-lasting bond and they’re not pressed for time, they should select an adhesive that takes more time to set.
Finally, bear in mind that users must usually wait at least 24 hours before washing a fabric that glue has been applied to. This is true even if the glue is permanent and water-resistant. Be sure to read the product’s instructions carefully before washing a glued fabric or getting it wet.
Every fabric glue has a different level of stickiness that affects its overall bond strength. Products with the label “super” or “industrial” usually provide a superior amount of strength, which can be great for projects that are frequently used, washed regularly, and exposed to a lot of wear and tear. Stronger adhesives are also good for materials such as leather, tulle, or silk.
Whether or not their strength is indicated on the packaging, most fabric glues will be durable enough for projects like home decor, costumes, and other projects that see infrequent use.
If buyers are going to use an adhesive on a garment that is washed frequently, they should be sure to choose a fabric glue that is water-resistant. This type of glue will last despite frequent contact with water.
Water-resistant glues are usually permanent glues with strong bonds. Buyers should not choose a water-resistant glue if they’re bonding something temporarily and will eventually want it to wash off. A better option for a “wash-off” project is temporary glue, which is water-soluble, meaning it can be removed with a little soap and water.
A fabric glue that is labeled “water-resistant” is usually also machine washable, but it’s always best to check the glue’s label before washing a glued fabric.
Chemically resistant fabric glues are great because they don’t react to chemicals such as petroleum and diesel that can weaken the adhesive’s bond. Users should consult the glue’s label if they’re repairing a garment or working on a project that will be exposed to these chemicals.
Flexible fabric glues do not stiffen after they are applied to fabric. This is a great quality for projects that users will be wearing because the more flexible they are, the more comfortable the garments will be.
When a fabric glue isn’t flexible, it will dry hard and rigid and feel scratchy to wear. Inflexible adhesives are more likely to damage and stain fabric and set into hard lumps and messy strings of glue. Flexible fabric glues look much cleaner.
Most of today’s fabric glues are labeled as flexible, but confirm this on the label before purchasing. Flexibility may not be necessary for every project, but this quality is especially important in any adhesive used on a wearable project.
High-quality adhesives work on a wide variety of fabrics and for a range of purposes. For example, some of the products on our list can work on everything from wood to leather to vinyl.
The more versatile a fabric glue is, the more convenient and cost-effective it will be. Two good types of glue to have in any craft closet are water-resistant and fast-drying adhesives.
Most fabric glues come in a single bottle; however, some bigger kits come with additional accessories that can make applying adhesive even easier. Those accessories include customizable tips, multiple precision tips, application sticks, and applicator tubes.
Sets of multiple bottles of glue can save shoppers money in the long run if fabric glue is something they regularly use for their work or hobbies. Buyers can keep the extra glue on hand for future use, or keep one bottle in the craft closet and another in the workshop.
Our Top Picks
Once you have identified the type of fabric glue you need and any features that would be beneficial, it’s time to start shopping. Keep reading for our picks for some of the best fabric glues available online.
The Tear Mender Instant Fabric and Leather Adhesive has been around for over 80 years. Its nontoxic, acid-free, and water-based formula of natural latex forms a durable, flexible, and permanent bond in 3 minutes. It’s so durable, in fact, that the newly glued fabric can be washed in just 15 minutes.
This product is waterproof and UV-resistant, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor fabrics including upholstery, clothing, sporting gear, leather, and home decor. It’s affordably priced and comes in a variety of sizes and packaging options to suit anyone’s needs.
- Size: 2 ounces
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: 3 minutes (wearable) and 15 minutes (washable)
- Comes in an easy-to-use squeeze bottle
- Quick drying for fast fixes
- Waterproof and UV-resistant formula
- Flexible bond ideal for frequent use
Get the Tear Mender fabric glue on Amazon or at Ace Hardware.
The seven-piece Allstar Innovations Secure Stitch Liquid Sewing Kit equips users to tackle many kinds of fabric repair. It includes two quick-drying, permanent fabric bonding solutions that won’t string or stick to skin. Each works on different kinds of material: The all-fabric solution is great for denim, cotton, and leather, while the synthetic formula works well on nylon, polyester, and acrylic. Both formulas are washable and flexible.
In addition, the kit comes with a silicone applicator to help users apply the solution, two custom hem-measuring clips, and two applicator bottles. Plus, this is a completely clear fabric glue for ample versatility.
- Size: 4-ounce bottle and 2-ounce bottle
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: 15 minutes (set ), 24 hours (cure)
- Dries clear, which is great for visible areas
- Includes 2 handy applicator bottles
- Not a quick fix; takes 24 hours to fully dry
Get the Allstar Innovations fabric glue on Amazon.
Beacon’s Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive is a professional-grade product that’s popular among fashion designers and costume creators. We like that it doesn’t require heat to create a crystal-clear, durable bond that’s acid-free and washable. Plus, this heavy-duty fabric glue is light enough not to soak or stain material, which is why it’s a great option for those working with lace or leather. It also works on wood, glass, and trims.
Fabri-Tac’s small, 4-ounce application bottle makes it handy to use on hems and last-minute fixes as well as crafting projects with small pieces. It’s reasonably priced, so it makes sense to buy a few at a time and keep one in the tool box and another in the craft room.
- Size: 4 ounces
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: 10 minutes (set), 24 hours (cure)
- Creates a durable and clear bond
- Great for lace and leather
- Bottle dries out quickly after first use
Get the Beacon Fabri-Tac fabric glue on Amazon or Etsy.
Not every project is meant to last forever, and Roxanne Glue-Baste-It formula is the perfect temporary adhesive for temporary fabric bonds. Constructed with a 100 percent water-soluble solution, this glue dries in minutes without feeling stiff and has a firm yet flexible hold.
What’s cool about this product is its unique syringe-style applicator, which allows users to place a drop or two precisely where they want it to go. Glue-Baste-It is great for quilting and appliqué projects because crafters can easily pull apart and reposition fabrics before the glue fully dries. When they want to remove the glue, they need only throw the garment in the washing machine.
- Size: 2 ounces
- Type: Temporary
- Drying time: Exact time not specified (dries in “minutes”)
- Great for precision work
- Easily dissolved with water
- Provides a flexible hold
- A little pricier than other options
Get the Roxanne fabric glue on Amazon.
When crafters are working on a delicate quilting project or hemming a dress, they’ll want to leave room for a few do-overs—and that’s exactly what the Odif 505 Temporary Fabric Adhesive allows them to do. If users know they’ll be repositioning materials, then this temporary adhesive is just what they may need. And, if they’re using it with a sewing machine, they won’t have to worry about it gumming up the needles.
Nontoxic, acid-free, and odorless, this spray is easily removed with dish soap and water and is environmentally friendly as it doesn’t contain chlorofluorocarbons.
- Size: 12.4 ounces
- Type: Temporary
- Drying time: Adheres immediately, but not permanent (evaporates after handling)
- Great price point for a large quantity
- Odorless and colorless formula
- Ideal for making quick adjustments without basting
- Nozzle can clog if not cleaned after use
Get the Odif USA fabric glue on Amazon.
For crafters who decorate fabric with rhinestones, patches, pom-poms, and other embellishments, Aleene’s Platinum Bond Super Fabric Adhesive may make the perfect crafting companion. This industrial-strength glue can be used to make permanent, machine-washable bonds on leather, vinyl, polyester blends, felt, denim, satin, canvas, and more. It dries clear and quickly and can be washed 72 hours after it is applied.
This adhesive comes with a customizable tip that allows users to control how much glue is applied to a specific project. Just cut the tip at the desired ridge level for minimum to maximum glue flow: Cut toward the top to allow just a thin stripe of glue to come out, or cut toward the bottom of the tip for a thicker glue flow. This super adhesive comes in a 2-ounce tube.
- Size: 2 ounces
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: 27 to 37 minutes (dry), 2 to 6 hours (set), 72 hours (cure)
- Impressive flexibility
- Adjustable tip size
- Works with a wide range of fabrics
Get the Aleene’s fabric glue on Amazon.
If shoppers work with velvet frequently, they might want to stock an adhesive that dries clean and clear, such as Beacon Adhesives Gem-Tac Permanent Adhesive. This glue works wonders at bonding velvet fabric as well as gems, laces, trims, pearls, studs, rhinestones, glitter, and even leather, vinyl, and wood.
Gem-Tac takes about 1 hour to dry and 24 hours to cure, but once it does, this quality adhesive will last and last. Not only is its unique formula machine washable, but it gets stronger when exposed to the heat from a clothes dryer. It is sold in 2-ounce bottles.
- Size: 2 ounces
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: 1 hour (dry), 24 hours (cure)
- Dries clear
- No unpleasant odor
- Does not become brittle over time
- Can seep through some fabrics
Get the Beacon Gem-Tac fabric glue on Amazon.
Silk can be a tough fabric to bond, but it’s no match for the industrial strength of this E6000 adhesive. This permanent, waterproof bond is machine washable, paintable, and flexible, making it perfect for costume design and garment repair. Plus, it dries clear and is temperature-resistant.
This fabric glue comes with three precision tips and a cap to help with projects that require a lot of detail. In addition to silk, this adhesive also works for leather, brick, polymer clay, fiberglass, vinyl, plastic, tin, metal, ceramic, acrylic, polycarbonate, PVC, cement, rubber, and more.
- Size: Various
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: 10 minutes (set), 24 to 72 hours (cure)
- Precision tips included
- Different nozzle sizes for projects
- Long-lasting bond
Get the Bundled Brands fabric glue at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.
A lighter fabric like tulle holds up pretty well to most fabric glues on the market, but a firmer-strength adhesive is needed to keep embellishments on tulle in place. The Gorilla Waterproof Fabric Glue is a high-strength glue that dries clear and is formulated specifically to bond fabric with hard-to-hold gems and rhinestones, which is just what costume designers who are working with tulle need.
What’s more, this 100 percent waterproof Gorilla fabric glue can be used on felt, denim, canvas, buttons, ribbon, and other fabrics. It’s safe to use in the washer and dryer and remains flexible even after washing.
- Size: 2.5 ounces
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: 1 to 5 minutes (dry), 24 hours (cure)
- Fast drying time
- Fully waterproof
- Glue dries clear
- Stays flexible even after washing
- Short working time for readjustment
Get the Gorilla fabric glue on Amazon.
Leather is one of those materials that requires a specific kind of glue. While most fabric adhesives claim to work well on leather, Fiebing’s Leathercraft Cement can help give buyers the ultimate peace of mind.
Crafted with a water-based solution that’s strong and long lasting, this fabric glue creates a permanent bond that dries quickly. It can also be used for cloth, paper, and chipboard projects. The downside of Fiebing’s is that it is not machine washable, but if it’s being used on leather, this isn’t a deal breaker. It’s available in a 4-ounce bottle.
- Size: 4 ounces
- Type: Permanent
- Drying time: Unspecified
- Great price for a larger bottle
- Creates a strong bond, even on leather
- Flexible once dried
- Not machine washable
- May struggle to repair large tears
Get the Fiebing’s fabric glue on Amazon or Etsy.
For a fast-drying fabric glue that provides a flexible, waterproof, and UV-resistant seal, consider our top pick, Tear Mender fabric glue, which comes in an easy-to-use squeeze bottle.
Shoppers looking for a great all-around solution at an affordable price point could pick up the Allstar Innovations fabric glue, which features multiple accessories and options for a variety of fabrics.
How We Chose the Best Fabric Glues
When curating our top picks for fabric glues, we looked at a variety of popular brands to offer shoppers our suggestions across a range of characteristics. Our list of recommendations provides options for specific fabric types according to shoppers’ needs, as well as both permanent and temporary glue types depending on the required use.
We also looked at drying and curing times as an important factor for our top picks. We included several fast-drying options for those looking for a quick-fix solution, while we also included other fabric adhesives that provide a flexible permanent bond, but which may take longer to dry fully. Most of our suggested options are suitable for a variety of fabric types, but we also looked into which glues were best for certain applications and included them in their respective categories.
Tips for Using Fabric Glue
In addition to having great fabric scissors and fabric paint, high-quality fabric glue should be a staple in any crafting toolbox. Whether users are seasoned pros or using adhesive for the first time, below are some tips for using fabric glue:
- Make sure the fabric is clean and fully dry before applying adhesive to it.
- Allow the glue to sit on the fabric for a few seconds before attaching anything to it.
- Use a little bit of acetone to remove too much glue.
- Try a paint scraper to remove dried glue.
- One of the disadvantages of using fabric glues is that users can expose themselves to harmful chemicals. Therefore, always use adhesive in a well-ventilated room and clean up immediately after use.
Now that you’ve seen what it takes to choose and properly use the best fabric glue, it’s time to answer any remaining questions you might have about how to choose the best adhesive. Below is more valuable information about liquid sewing and how to choose the most high-quality fabric glue for your next project.
Q. Should I use permanent or temporary fabric glue?
It depends on the project. Permanent fabric glue is more durable and water insoluble, so glued materials can be washed later. Temporary fabric glue will dissolve in contact with water, but it’s easier to work with for temporary projects or fabric that won’t go through the wash.
Q. Is it possible to use glue rather than thread and needle?
It is. Fabric glue can be used as an alternative to sewing.
Q. Can I use super glue as fabric adhesive?
No. Super glue will come off when it comes into contact with hot water and will not provide a lasting hold.
Q. Can I wash off fabric adhesive?
Yes, but only if it’s a water-soluble temporary fabric glue.
Q. How much drying time does fabric glue require?
It depends on the brand of glue, but usually between 3 minutes and 24 hours.
Q. Do fabric glues stain clothes?
A high-quality fabric glue that dries clear will not stain clothes.