Does Hot Glue Work On Fabric? How To Use It Guide

If you have a lively pet in the house, torn clothes and furniture covers might have become a norm in your life. What can you use to put the torn pieces back together? You might also need to put together several pieces of fabric to complete your craftwork. What can you use as an adhesive? Does hot glue work on fabric?

Yes, you can use hot glue to patch up torn fabrics and fit multiple pieces of fabric together for craftwork and other purposes. That said, you must exercise caution while using hot glue on fabrics.

Does Hot Glue Work On Fabric

If you fail to implement it correctly, hot glue can cause irreversible damage to the clothing material.

Getting the glue type and gun combo right is crucial to getting the best results. You can’t just put any glue on any gun. Without the perfect fit, you won’t get the desired outcome. Sounds intimidating? Once you pick up the technique, you will realize hot gluing is an easy and cost-effective fix for torn fabrics.

What Is Hot Glue?

Hot glues or Hot Melted Adhesives (HMA) are adhesive materials that you would need to put inside a glue gun to melt it.

You would commonly find hot glue in handyman toolkits. You can effectively use hot glue on textiles if you play your cards right.

But you must make sure you know what you are doing before putting hot glue on fabrics.

What Is Hot Glue

Some people might think regular glue sticks and hot glues are the same. But that’s not true. Regular glue sticks are solid adhesives available in tubes with a twist-off cap.

These are excellent for routine use and smaller applications. On the other hand, hot glues are suited for more heavy-duty usage.

Hot glue is made from polymers and additives like polyesters, polyethylene, resins, and waxes. After heating, these elements can be cooled to a solid state.

Some hot glues contain antioxidants that keep the adhesive from degrading even at high temperatures. Thermoplastic polymers are responsible for the glue’s adhesive properties.

In its functional state, hot glue is molted. For this reason, you need a glue gun to activate the glue, i.e., melt it from solid form.

Hot glue is used for a lot of different things in industrial, construction, and domestic landscapes. Sealing packages, furniture repair, seating assembly in automobiles, and wire tacking are some of the uses of hot glue that come to mind.

What Is Hot Glue Used For?

Hot glues are both common and useful. Usually, you can apply hot glue by rolling or spraying it out of a glue gun. The high viscosity of these adhesives makes them perfect for porous and permeable substrates.

Hot glues or HMAs can bond with a wide range of materials, such as ceramic, paper, rubber, wood, and more.

What Is Hot Glue Used For

Here are some of their applications:

  • Bookbinders use hot glue to glue the spine of books.
  • In the packaging industry, workers use hot glue to seal the flaps of boxes and cartons.
  • Hot glue is essential in diaper manufacturing.
  • Electronic companies use hot glue to secure the components inside the unit.

Does Hot Glue Work On Fabric?

Hot glue is a versatile material that works across various surfaces. Thankfully, fabrics are one of them. However, it can potentially ruin the fabric if you are not careful enough.

will Hot Glue Work On Fabric

So do your research properly before you use hot glue on fabrics. It’s best to use lower-temperature glue guns to produce fabric-friendly hot glues.

Can You Use Hot Glue On Fabric?

Upon meeting certain requirements, hot glue is safe for fabric use. One of the crucial considerations is the type of hot glue and the nature of the gun you are using. Some HMAs could be abrasive to clothes.

Can You Use Hot Glue On Fabric

So, you should avoid using them. Go for low–temperature glue guns for safer fabric applications. Don’t use it on types of fabric that exhibit low heat resistance.

Is It Good To Use Hot Glue On Fabric?

Hot glue does a pretty good job of holding fabric. Unfortunately, there’s a catch to it. Using hot glue will compromise the fabric’s soft texture and give it a rougher feel. On top of that, all textiles are not suitable for hot glue use.

For instance, you can’t use hot glue on nylon because it has a relatively low melting point. So, hot glue treatment has its perks, but it has its perils too.

Does Hot Glue Gun Work On Polyester?

Polyester is quite heat-sensitive, but not as much as nylon. So, hot glue is not an absolute no-no for polyester, unlike nylon.

Does Hot Glue Gun Work On Polyester

However, it’s important to use the proper temperature setting. You can make it work for polyester apparel if you use a low-temperature gun and don’t use too much hot glue.

Hot Glue vs. Fabric Glue

Do you need to join two pieces of fabric together? You can consider using hot glue or fabric glue for the job. Both glue types have their pros and cons.

So, you have to assess the disadvantages and advantages to find out which one suits your task the best. This is a dilemma DIY, and craft enthusiasts often face.

Hot Glue vs. Fabric Glue

Before deciding between fabric adhesive and hot glue for your activity, consider the types of materials you’ll be working with. Fabric glue can be used for many things, like adding trims and other decorations to fabrics.

Contrarily, hot glue can be used with both delicate textiles and thicker ones, such as leather or heavy gold braiding.

Hot glue can also join fabrics to non-textile materials like wood or plastic, but fabric glue was created specifically to work with textiles. You can use both adhesives for fabric craft and repair.

However, hot glue tends to lose its strength as time passes. So, you might have to go through the trouble of reapplying it from time to time.

But, you can’t write off hot glue for fabric decorations and handcrafting, especially when you need to attach the fabric to a non-fabric surface.

Fabric glue facilitates a better experience and often lasts longer than hot glue. But for handicrafts, hot glue might be a better fit because of its versatility.

We must also remind you that hot glue will not work for all fabrics because of the temperature issue. It will eat through nylon; you will also walk on very fine edges when you use hot glue on polyester.

So, you should go for fabric glue in these cases. Opt for fabric glue instead of hot glue on smoother surfaces like silk and vinyl.

What Is The Best Hot Glue For Fabric?

Our recommendation as the best hot glue for fabric is the Surebonder Fabric Hot Glue Stick. Surebonder has specifically made this product for fabric and leather products.

After using the Surebonder Fabric Hot Glue Stick, you can wash the fabric on washing machines. However, do remember to wash in gentle cycles.

Since fabrics require a more delicate touch than other materials, you must use low-temperature glue guns to melt the Surebonder Fabric Hot Glue Stick.

Using low-temp guns, you can keep the glue temperature in check and ensure it does not damage the fabric. The glue takes about a minute to get set, which gives you enough time for repositioning.

How To Use Hot Glue On Fabric: Step By Step

How To Use Hot Glue On fabric

Step 1. Choose The Glue And Gun

You have to decide on which glue and gun you will be using. Using a regular glue gun for fabric application is possible, but using specialized low-temp guns is always a safer bet. You would not want the glue to get overly hot, as most fabric types don’t cope well with high temperatures. So, picking a low-temperature glue gun with a low-temp glue stick makes sense.

If you choose to use a low-temp gun, make sure you have appropriate glue sticks in it. Since it’s a low-temp gun, it will not be able to melt high-temp glue sticks.

Apart from the high-temperature intolerance, you would not want to use high-temp glues because of their lower viscosity. Lower viscosity glues are a better fit for harder surfaces.

Step 2. Fire Up The Gun and Insert The Glue Stick

If you have used a regular glue gun before, you know the drill. Low-temp glue guns operate similarly to their high-temp counterparts.

The only difference is in the level of heat they can generate. Check whether or not the nozzle is clean. After ensuring the nozzle does not have any old glue residue, put it in a glue stick.

Never check the nozzle when the gun is plugged in for obvious reasons. Only plug it in after you have cleared the nozzle and put the glue stick in. Switch the gun on and give it a few minutes to heat up.

Most guns would take about two minutes to do so. When the gun gets heated enough, the glue will melt and be ready for application.

Step 3. Apply The Glue On The Fabric

Put some glue along the line where you want to bond the fabric. Avoid a thick coating. If you’re going to glue two pieces of fabric together, put the glue directly on the more heat-tolerant fabric.

For example, if you want to join wool and cotton sheets, you should apply glue on wool since it can deal with heat better.

You will feel pretty overwhelmed if you attempt to glue a large fabric sheet. The smartest strategy is to work on smaller parts and build up. Go inch by inch.

You might think it would take you longer, but this is the most efficient way to glue a large piece of fabric. If you try to glue a large area simultaneously, you won’t get to use proper compression.

Step 4. Press The Fabrics Together

Press fabrics while the glue is hot. Use a stack of books or a fabric clamp to press and weigh the textiles together. Never hand-press hot glue onto fabric.

Otherwise, you’ll have detached textiles and scorched fingertips. Hot glue hardens quickly, so you must work swiftly while pressing clothes together. Bind the fabrics while the glue is still hot for a solid bond.

Read Next: A Complete Guide on Using Gorilla Glue on Fabric

Can You Hot Glue Buttons To Fabric?

Yes, one can consider using hot glue to attach buttons to clothes. However, if the button material has a low melting point, you would not want to use hot glue on the button.

This only works if the button is heat tolerant to the right degree. Check the packaging to know for sure the buttons are safe for hot glue use.

Read Next: How to use glitter glue on fabric

How Long Does It Take For Hot Glue To Dry On Fabric?

Hot glue does not take much time to dry on clothes. Some hot glues, like the Surebonder Fabric Hot Glue Stick I discussed above, can dry off in only sixty seconds.

But not all hot glues take so little time to dry on fabric. You should expect to wait for one to ten minutes.

Can You Use Hot Glue On Fabric And Wash It?

Do you think exposure to water and detergent will damage the hot glue you used on the fabric? I assure you that you can wash fabrics after using hot glue on them.

Hand washing is the safest route to take, but you don’t have to rule out machine washing altogether. Just make sure to use the best cycling.

Do Hot Glue Ruin Clothes?

Yes and no. Some fabric types will show little to no resistance to the hot glue heat. On the other hand, some will be perfectly fine after hot glue use.

So, you have to check and confirm that the fabric you want to use hot glue on is capable of handling it.

Final Words

While the results vary across different types of fabrics, you can contemplate using hot glue on clothes to address a small tear or for your handiwork projects.

Follow our guidelines to avoid making a mess. So the results could defy your expectations if you don’t put a foot wrong.

Hi, I'm Robert Jameson. I'm a textile engineer. As a textile engineer, I design & create fabric. When I'm not busy with my family members, I research, write, and edit content for Fabric Fits.

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