Do Hot Glue Sticks Work On Fabric? Here’s How Properly Use Them

You might be looking for a way to do some quick, easy fabric crafts, but do not have the budget or time to buy an expensive sewing machine or sewing materials.

Luckily, there are other ways you can attach fabric without sewing such as using hot glue sticks.

So, do hot glue sticks work on fabric? Hot glue sticks do work on fabric. How well they bond mostly depends on the kind of fabric you’re applying the glue on and the temperature of the glue. You need to be sure the fabric is not too delicate. You also need to make sure you’re using a hot glue gun that’s set to a low temperature.

Keep reading to learn more about how hot glue sticks work and how to properly use them to glue fabrics

What Are Hot Glue Sticks Made of?

showing how do hot glue sticks work on fabric using a glue gun

Hot glue, also known as hot melt adhesive or HMA, is a synthetic adhesive made of a chemical called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA).

Hot glue typically comes in the form of solid cylindrical sticks of various diameters. The adhesive is applied to the surface by melting those sticks using a specialized glue gun.

Can Hot Glue Sticks Be Used on Fabric?

Hot glue sticks can be used on fabric. However, the quality of the adhesive bond formed will depend on a few factors such as:

  • The kind of fabric you’re using
  • The temperature of the glue
  •  Whether or not the fabric is prepped beforehand

What Kind of Fabric Can You Use Hot Glue on?

Typically hot glue sticks can be used on most fabrics as long as that fabric is not too delicate or has embellishments.

There are some fabrics that can take heat better than others. So, hot glue can be safely used on fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, and leather. While fabrics like polyester and nylon tend to melt easily when exposed to hot glue.

It’s very important to test out the hot glue on a scrap piece of fabric first to make sure it will not do any damage to the material.

Please keep in mind that hot glue fumes can be toxic as explained here.

How to Properly Use Hot Glue on Fabric?

Using hot glue on fabric is very easy, it’s almost similar to using it on paper. 

You just need to cut the fabric to the desired shape and size you want it to be, apply a thin layer of hot glue to one side of the fabric pieces you are joining together, then hold the fabric together for a few seconds until the glue sets.

However, you need to be careful when using hot glue on fabric to ensure that it will bond strongly and that the fabric will not be damaged.

So, here are a few tips you can follow to properly use hot glue on fabric:

  • Make sure that the glue gun’s temperature is set to low heat and that you’re using the right kind of glue sticks.
  • Iron the fabric if it is wrinkled or creased before applying the glue. This will give the finished product a neater look.
  • Avoid getting the nozzle of the glue gun too close to the fabric as it is often hotter than the glue and can damage the fabric.
  • If you are bonding the fabric to a more temperature-resistant material, it’s recommended to apply the hot glue to the other material first then let it cool slightly before applying your fabric.
  • Make sure not to use the fabric until the glue is completely dry.

Related Questions

How to Remove Hot Glue from Fabric?

To remove hot glue from fabric, do not try to pull it off the fabric while it’s still warm. It’s recommended to wait until the glue has dried then use a fine-tipped paint brush or an old toothbrush to rub away at the glued area until you can peel it off by hand.

Can You Put Hot Glued Fabric in the Washing Machine?

You can not put hot glued fabric in the washing machine as it might damage both the fabric and the adhesive bond formed by the glue. It’s recommended to gently hand wash hot glued fabric with cold water to avoid having the adhesive bond fall apart.

Helpful Resources 

What is Hot Melt Made of?

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