Best Substitute For Fabric Glue (8 Fabric Glue alternative)

What to do when you run out of fabric glue. That is the question that needs to be answered. Especially when you do not have the time or the means to run to your local fabric store and get some more. While fabric glue is not essential to sewing it does make a positive contribution you should never be without.

When you run out of fabric glue you do not have to drop everything and run to get some more. There are some adhesives around your house that can fill in. Shoe glue comes to mind. It is thick and won’t run all over the place making a mess.

To learn more about good substitutes for fabric glue just continue to read our article. It brings you great adhesives that should just as well as fabric glue will. The key is, of course, making sure you do not use permanent glue when the temporary is called for.

What to Use Instead of Fabric Glue

Fabric glue is a lifesaver for many tough sewing projects. When you do not have any on hand there are some great alternatives to help you finish your project on time. Some may be found around your home.

  • 1. Fusible tape - this is an easy alternative and all you need is a hot iron. Of course, when you are fusing delicate fabrics together you have to be careful about the heat of the iron.
  • 2. Fusible web - if you are out of both fabric glue and fusible tape this is a great alternative and also uses an iron to get those fabrics joined together.
  • 3. Velcro - it holds fabrics together when you need a good closure. It may not work that well on pockets or embellishments but it does have its place
  • 4. Hot glue - this is the glue that needs a glue gun to get hot and liquidy. Just make sure you get the glue to go in between the fibers
  • 5. Shoe glue - this is a thick type of glue that may dry too quickly. You may have to thin it down some to get it to go in between those fibers. The other drawback is that it is not a flexible glue so be careful where you apply it.
  • 6. Epoxy - this is another alternative that will stiffen fabric but once it gets between those fibers it has a great and tough bond.
  • 7. Elmer’s or similar glues - these may not have as strong of a hold as other glues have but they do dry clear. They work best on those fabrics with permanent color.
  • 8. Fusible adhesive - it comes in sewable and non-sewable forms with the latter not made to be used with a sewing machine.

Can You Use Regular Glue on Fabric?


It is possible to use regular white glue on fabrics. These variations of adhesive are designed to work with porous materials and can soak in through the fibers quite easily. Their thin nature may have them running a bit fast so be careful when you use them.

When you use this alternative there are some weaknesses you should be aware of. First, the bond is not as strong as fabric or other tougher glues. Second, they may make a mess when you apply it.

The washable versions may be good as a temporary fabric glue substitute. It should come out nice and easy when you place your clothing items in your washing machine. In addition, you can turn this white glue into fabric glue if you add a textile medium to it and mix it well.

What is a Good Glue for Fabric?


The type of glue you use for fabric will depend a lot on what kind of fabric you are working with. Upholstery material can have hot glue applied to it. The drawback to this glue is that it doe snot hold up well when used on furniture.

Spray adhesive is a good alternative and it comes in various strengths and can be applied to a variety of different fabrics depending on the use that fabric is going to receive.

Foam adhesive is another good substitute but it is a very specialized glue and should only be used in those circumstances. The best glue to us eon fabric when you do not have any fabric glue around are the varieties that can get into the fibers and wrapped around them.

When that happens you should be guaranteed of a very strong bond.

Can We Use Fevicol Instead of Fabric Glue?


Yes, you can use Fevicol as a replacement for fabric glue. There is a catch though. This is not to be used where you need permanent hold. Fevicol is made for holding paper together not fabric and it won’t hold that long when you use it where permanent glue is needed.

That means it can be used as a temporary glue when you do not need the fabrics held in place for very long. That makes this a good alternative when you see that your supply of temporary fabric glue has run out.

Just because something is made for paper does it mean that it will lose all of its adhesive power when applied to some other surface. The alternative will provide you with some aid when you need it and help you keep your sewing project on the right track till you add some permanent hold like stitches.

Can I Use Superglue Instead of Fabric Glue?


This is a yes and no answer type question. Yes, you can use superglue to hold different fabrics together. On some fabrics, it will have a permanent hold while on others it may only be temporary.

When you use superglue on a third set of fabrics you may be setting yourself up to be on fire. Not because the fix will make you look hot but because superglue can start to create heat when combine with the wrong materials.

Another drawback is that superglue will wash out if washed in hot water. Then, when you apply this glue to a run or a hole the fabric it touches will stiffen up and not be as comfortable as they could be.

Your use of superglue will depend on the variety you buy. Read the labels carefully so you know where you will get the best results.

Can You Use Hot Glue Instead of Fabric Glue?

Yes, you can because you can melt the hot glue to be a thin enough liquid to absorb into the fabric and wrap itself around the fibers. But you do not want to use a glue gun from the hardware store.

When you have time pick one up at your favorite sewing outlet. The latter models are designed for sewing and are easier to manipulate into position. Also, you have to be careful with the temperature of the hot glue.

Some fabrics do not react very well to heat, especially when it is high heat. You could ruin your outfit if you use hot glue on those fabrics. The other trick is you have to have the hot glue thin enough so it gets around enough fibers to form a good bond.

If it doesn’t absorb into the fabric well your hold may not last that long as the bond is not that strong.

Can You Use Elmer's Glue Instead of Fabric Glue?


We will let Elmer’s glue represent all white and carpenter glues on the market. Yes, you can but fabrics are not the main duty Elmer’s glue was designed for. It has better hold on paper and wood than it normally would on clothing materials.

Where this brand of glue would work best would be as a temporary glue when you can’t use pins or when you are doing some basting. The glue dries clear and should not stain.

Washable Elmer’s glue should be terrific as a temporary glue but again, like hot glue, if you want a good hold through those tasks make sure the glue penetrates the material and grabs onto those fibers.

Elmer’s and other similar glues are not a good choice when you need permanent holds. Their purpose is not really for fabric.

Can I Use Gorilla Glue on Fabric?


This brand of glue is similar to superglue. It will react negatively with cotton or wool. The ingredients in this glue do not get along with natural fibers and the combination could either cause a lot of white smoke to suddenly appear or you will see flames.

Also, Gorilla Glue seems to dry to a brittle state. This fact means that as soon as you move the bond will break and you will have to fix the problem once again. With those characteristics, you may find that Gorilla Glue would be good as a temporary glue on non-natural fabrics.

It is okay to find these limitations in different adhesives. A majority of different adhesives are made for specific materials, surfaces, and so on. They are not all-round glues that work on everything.

Each glue has its own purpose and sometimes can fill in temporarily when you run out of fabric glue. Just don’t expect them to be exactly like fabric glue.

Can You Make Fabric Glue?


Yes, it is possible to make your own fabric glue. The question will be if you have enough time to do it yourself. There is a long process you can follow and make your own fabric glue but that the details for that are coming up in another section.

If you do not have time, there is a way to turn Elmer’s glue into fabric glue and it does not take a lot of ingredients or time to do. All you have to do is thoroughly mix a textile medium in with Elmer’s glue and you ave created fabric glue.

If you are not a handy person, maybe ask a friend for help and you two can make it together. When you do it yourself you can make more than enough so you never run out of glue when you need it most.

How to Make a Waterproof Fabric Glue

There once was a time where everyone made a majority of their own products. Not because they were stingy but because those products were not readily available. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by making your own fabric glue and have enough on hand till you get time to make some more at a later date.

The ingredients and tools you will need are as follows:

  • 12 tbsp. water
  • 4 packets gelatin
  • ​4 tbsp. white vinegar
  • ​4 tsp. glycerin
  • ​Small saucepan
  • ​Whisk
  • ​Sterile mason jar
  • Potholder

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to make your own fabric glue:

  • Step 1. heat the water in a saucepan till it is boiling. Once that has taken place, remove the pot from the burner and place it on a potholder.
  • Step 2. Now add the gelatin and use your whisk to stir thoroughly. You want to make sure you get rid of all the clumps before proceeding to the next step.
  • Step 3. next, you add the glycerin and the vinegar. Again you need to stir thoroughly for about 5 minutes making sure all the ingredients are mixed together properly. You want to see a smooth texture in your concoction.
  • Step 4. Once you have that smooth texture, pour it into a mason jar. You want the glue to cool but not too much. The mixture should be warm to the touch. The more the mixture cools the more it becomes a gel-like compound.
  • Step 5. When you need to use this homemade fabric glue again, heat up the mason jar in a pot of water. You do this till you get the right consistency.

Application of Your Homemade Fabric Glue


You can use an eyedropper as you do not want to place too much glue on your fabric atone time. Or you can use an empty squeeze bottle that has a narrow tip. The narrow tip helps you stay in control of the amount of glue you apply at one time.

There is one warning when you use this glue on your clothes. When you go to iron the clothing items that have this glue on them the iron’s heat may warm up the glue and loosen it up again. When that happens the bond gets weaker.

Also, washing can be a problem as this homemade glue may not be strong enough to handle hot water washing or a hot dryer. The heat of both will have the same effect as an iron.

Making Fabric Glue From Household Items

Here is another recipe for making fabric glue from household products. The ingredients you will need will be as follows:

  • Baking soda
  • Funnel
  • ​Pan
  • ​Paper towel
  • ​Skim milk powder
  • ​Stirring spoon
  • ​Water
  • White vinegar

Here are the instructions:

  • Step 1. Add enough water to the skim milk powder to make about 100 ml of milk.
  • Step 2. Now pour the milk in a pan and add about 15 ml of vinegar.
  • Step 3. Place the pot on the burner and heat stirring constantly. When the mixture begins to curdle remove from the heat.
  • Step 4. use the paper towel as a filter and put it inside the funnel. Pour your mixture into the funnel leaving the curds at the top.
  • Step 5. Wash the casein (curds) to remove any excess vinegar.
  • Step 6. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into the casein and stir until the consistency is just right. Then use on your fabric.

If that is not a recipe you like, then this link provides you with about 11 different ways to make your own glue. These glues may not be fabric glue recipes but they can be used as temporary adhesives.

Or you can do your own search on the internet to find a recipe that contains all the ingredients you have in your home at the moment.

Some Final Words

When you run out of fabric glue you do not have to panic. It isn’t the end of the world and your sewing project doesn’t have to be delayed that much. All you have to do is reach for one of the many alternatives.

There are a lot of them so you should be able to find one quickly and resume your work fairly quickly. Or you can take some free time and make your own alternative. It won’t cost you a lot and you should have the ingredients in your home already.

Either way, you go running out of fabric glue will seem more like a nuisance than a real problem.

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