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How To Choose The Best Fabric Glue For Every Occasion

Fabric glue is a must-have item for your sewing “toolkit.” As a quick and easy alternative to needle and thread, you can use fabric glue for many tasks, including mending garments or attaching embellishments. The key is using the right type of glue for the job. Here are my top recommendations for the best fabric glue for all your sewing projects!

The Best Fabric Glue Choices For Each Fabric

Over the years, I’ve used fabric glue in several different ways. I have found it helpful in repairing ripped garments, especially made from leather or vinyl, temporarily holding hems in place, attaching rhinestones, and everything in between. There’s no doubt that fabric glue is an essential element in my sewing arsenal.

I’ve also learned with experience that there are many types of fabric glue on the market for a reason. As nice as it would be, sadly, no single “all-purpose” adhesive can possibly cover all the tasks you may call on fabric glue to perform. 

So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite options based on how you would need to use them.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself. 

Best Types Of Fabric Glues According To Their Useful Features

Believe it or not, fabric glues are not created alike. The market is flooded with adhesives offering various features that benefit some projects but not others. 
Before diving into my recommendations, I want to point out my all-around favorite fabric glue. I have worked with Beacon Fabri-Tac for years and have found it to be the best general-purpose option.

beacon fabri-tac glue

It works like a champ with many different materials, has a strong and flexible bond, and its gel-like texture dries clear. When you need durable and dependable fabric glue, try Beacon Fabri-Tac.

Now, I want to highlight some other terrific fabric glue options based on the essential qualities you may need.
As a passionate sewist, I am always on the lookout for the best fabric glue to use for my projects.

Some time  ago, I purchased Aleene’s Platinum Bond Super Fabric Adhesive, which had received many positive reviews on Amazon and was even labeled as Amazon’s choice for fabric glues.

aleene platinum bond glue

However, when I received the glue and read the text on the package, I was surprised to find out that it was TOXIC.

aleene platinum bond warning at back label

The glue contained a chemical that was known to cause cancer, and also dizziness, headache or nausea. The package also warned against inhaling the fumes and advised to open all windows and doors to avoid breathing vapor (really!?). 

I was disappointed to learn that I couldn’t even return the glue, even though I had purchased it with Prime, due to its chemical content. This experience made me realize how important it is to be aware of the potential dangers of certain fabric glues.

Some solvent-based fabric glues can contain harmful chemicals, which can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and other health issues if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Some of these fabric glues may also contain carcinogens.

So always check the label of any fabric glue you plan to use and look for any warnings or safety information. Consider using a non-toxic, often water-based fabric glue instead. These types of fabric glues are typically free from harmful chemicals and are safe for use on a wide variety of materials.

Not only are they safer for health and the environment, but they also work just as well as their toxic counterparts. I have found that non-toxic fabric glues, such as Aleene’s No-Sew Fabric Glue or Aleene’s Fabric Fusion, are great alternatives to toxic fabric glues.

So, while there are many great fabric glues on the market, it’s important to be aware of their potential toxicity and to choose non-toxic options whenever possible. 

Permanent And Flexible Bond

There are times when you want fabric glue to simply hold fabric together long enough for you to sew it in place. And then there are those times, like mending a tear, when you want it to stay forever. 

I highly recommend Aleene's Fabric Fusion. It’s a reliable choice for bonding fabrics and embellishments with a permanent bond.

Temporary Bond

Sometimes you may not want to create a permanent bond, but you’d rather use fabric glue to hold something in place until you sew it. Maybe that’s a hem where you want to avoid using pins, or maybe when using batting for your quilt to help save time on basting it.

Temporary fabric adhesive is a great option when you know you’ll be positioning and repositioning materials.

When you want a temporary bond that you can count on, I recommend Odif USA 505 Temporary Fabric Adhesive. This environmentally-friendly glue is spray adhesive and it’s an affordable option that has a lot going for it. I like to use it for holding fabric to stabilizers when doing machine embroidery projects. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Spray adhesives can be difficult to apply evenly, which can lead to uneven bonding and wrinkles in your fabric. This is especially true when working with delicate or lightweight fabrics, as the force of the spray can cause the fabric to shift or move around.

If you do choose to use a spray adhesive, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and take the necessary precautions to protect your work surface and surrounding area.

Best Washable Fabric Glue

Although most permanent fabric glues are washable, that’s not a feature that is present across the board. 

For some sewists and DIYers, washable fabric glue is a must-have product due to its ability to withstand multiple laundering cycles while maintaining a strong bond between fabrics.

Best Waterproof Fabric Glue

At first glance, washable and waterproof may sound like basically the same quality, but they’re different. All waterproof glues are washable, but not all washable glues are waterproof.

Top Fabric Glue For Outdoor Use

The Best Clear Fabric Glue

The Best Fabric Glue Options Based On Type Of Fabric

Since all fabrics have different qualities (texture, weight, etc), most fabric glues are formulated to only work well with a few materials. The best glue for the materials you’re working with is the one that will provide the look and hold you want to achieve.

Here are my recommendations if you’re looking for a fabric glue based on the type of material you’re working with:

Best Fabric Glue For Denim And Cotton

Cotton is a very adaptable and flexible material, and most fabric glues work well with it. Since denim is mostly made from cotton (sometimes with a small percentage of synthetic fibers), many fabric glues work well with denim too

Best Glue For Vinyl Fabric

Best Fabric Glue For Felt

Best Fabric Glue For Leather

Best Options For Adhering Fabric To Other Materials

Crafting isn’t limited to gluing mending tears in fabric. What if you want to make a frame that attaches fabric to plastic piping or a purse that uses a metal frame?

Here are my recommendations for fabric glues that can bond fabric to other materials:

Best Glue For Fabric To Plastic, Wood, or Metal

Best Glue For Fabric To Fabric

If you’re trying to bond one type of fabric with a very different type of fabric (ex: cotton to vinyl, etc.), I recommend either using Gorilla Waterproof Fabric Glue or The Ultimate! because both of these glues work well with many materials.

Fabric glue can be a huge time-saver and deliver professional-looking, effective results! I hope this post helps you find the best fabric glue for your project.

Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to the article later when you need this information on fabric glues , and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration!

The Best Fabric Glue Choices For Each Fabric

Thank you for reading this guide on how to choose the best fabric glue for every occasion. I hope you found it helpful! If you’re interested in learning more about fabric glues, be sure to check out my other post The Best Fabric Glue Options For All Your Sewing Projects.

The Best Fabric Glue Options For All Your Sewing Projects

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Wednesday 18th of October 2023

Hi Olga, thanks for the informative post! I was wondering which glues you would recommend for repairing a stretchy, seam-free material? I have some underwear that has been washed at a high temperature and I am hoping to glue down the seams that have loosened, and would love your thoughts on which type to use. Thank you in advance!

Olga Balasa

Thursday 19th of October 2023

I doubt any glue will be flexible enough for a stretchy material. Glues, even if some are a little flexible, will crack when they are dry if stretched. I do not really understand the issue though, usually stretchy material washed in hot water loses its stretch property (becomes permanently stretched), which happens also if you expose it repeatedly to UV rays or harsh chemicals like bleach. If the seam is properly done it will not be affected, but the underlying material will, and I frankly do not see how you can fix that. Perhaps I do not understand the issue though.

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