How Does Fabric Glue React When Washed? (Explained)

If you want to add a design to your fabric, but you are not sure about embroidery or fancy stitching on your fabric, you could always look into using fabric glue.

Fabric glue is most commonly used to embellish fabric to add some design flair to your project.

Here is How Fabric Glue Reacts When Washed:

When fabric glue is washed, it can be affected in a few different ways, depending on the type of fabric glue you used, what fabric you are using, and how you used the glue. Wait until the glue is fully dry and has time to set properly before you get it wet in the washing machine or otherwise.

How to Use Fabric Glue:

If you have never used fabric glue before and are more used to traditional sewing, you might not know the best uses for fabric glue, or the best way to apply it.

Fabric glue is most often used as a temporary alternative to sewing, but it can be used for so much else.

Before you use fabric glue, keep the following in mind:

  • Read the manufacturer’s specifications on the bottle and make sure the fabric you intend to use is on there.
  • Make sure your fabric is clean, and there isn’t any dirt, dust, or anything else on the fabric that might make the glue not stick as well.
  • Make sure your fabric is not folded or stretched before you apply the glue.
  • Wash your fabric so that any shrinkage occurs before you begin your project.
  • Ensure you check the directions on how long to wait for the glue to dry before you can get it wet.

If you are thinking of putting your project through the washing machine, make sure your fabric glue is labeled as machine washable; if it is not labeled as such, it will likely not withstand a wash.

Will Fabric Glue withstand Machine Wash?

Whether or not fabric glue will withstand a machine wash cycle depends on what type of fabric glue you are using and using it on the proper fabric.

Fabric glue can either be permanent or nonpermanent.

Nonpermanent Fabric Glue:

As the name suggests, nonpermanent fabric glue is great for temporary use that you need only for a small amount of time.

One great use for nonpermanent fabric glue is to temporarily adhere to two difficult fabric pieces together before sewing them in place of pins.

This is a great way to work with fabrics that are more slippery such as silk.

Nonpermanent glue is normally only good for one use and will not withstand a machine wash.

Permanent Fabric Glue:

If you are looking for a more long-term bond with your fabric glue, you will want to look at permanent fabric glues.

Some of the best uses for permanent fabric glue include:

  • Repairing holes and other issues in your fabric items.
  • Fixing loose ends.
  • Preventing fraying.
  • Attaching decorations or embellishments that are difficult to sew on traditionally.

Permanent fabric glues will normally withstand machine wash.

Just make sure when you are picking your fabric glue, it states that it is machine washable.

Is Fabric Glue typically Water-Resistant?

Permanent fabric glue is typically water-resistant if it is labeled as machine washable.

However, it would help if you did not wash anything that has been glued right away.

It is a good practice to wait until the glue is fully dry and has time to set properly before you get it wet in the washing machine or otherwise.

This can take between 48 and 72 hours for most glues, but you might want to see if the glue you chose has different instructions to follow.

How Durable is Fabric Glue?

Permanent fabric glue can be very durable and long-lasting when compared with non-permanent fabric glue.

Even though it is labeled permanent, it will not last forever.

Fabric glue, even machine washable fabric glue, is not a permanent solution. Eventually, the glue’s bond will break down after repeated strain from use and washing.

Fabric glue can be a great alternative to stitching your fabric, but stitching your fabric together in a more traditional way will last longer than the glue and will be much less likely to break down.

Which Type of Waterproof Fabric Glue is the Most Durable?

Permanent fabric glue is the most durable fabric glue, but how long it lasts will depend on whether or not you are using the proper fabric glue for the fabric type you are using.

Leather fabric is thick and less breathable and will hold certain glue types better than more breathable fabric.

Some glue types will seep through a more breathable fabric, causing issues when it comes to the glue trying to take hold.

Should I Add a Finish to make Fabric Glue more Water-Resistant?

There is really no standard way to seal a project that has been treated with fabric glue.

The best thing you can do to keep your fabric glue sturdy is to let it dry completely for 2 to 3 days.

This will allow the glue to thoroughly bond and become strong enough to withstand the wash and the normal wear and tear that will be inflicted on your project.

Any finish that you might use can make your fabric stiff and ruin your desired look, and it is not guaranteed that it would create more durability for your glue.

Will Glitter Stick when the Fabric is Washed?

Gluing glitter to your project can be tricky. Anyone who has previously worked with glitter knows how difficult it can be to work with, and how easy it can fall off your paper or other projects.

The best way to fix glitter to your fabric is to lay down a thin layer of clear fabric glue and sprinkle the glitter over-top.

When you are finished with placing your glitter where you want it, you can coat it in a mixture made from water and fabric glue. This will keep the glitter in place and will help it stick better when you wash your fabric.

How to Remove Fabric Glue:

We all know that not only can glue be messy, but accidents do happen.

So what do you do when you get fabric glue on clothing or other surfaces that you didn’t want to glue?

It is not impossible to get glue out of your clothing, carpet, or other areas that you might not have meant to get glue on.

The following are steps that will help you get glue out of the unwanted places:

  1. Scrape off as much glue as you can immediately. This is not something you will want to wait on.
  2. Wash out the fabric.
  3. If you are working with clothing, you can soak your fabric in a pre-wash stain remover that you have mixed into hot water.
  4. Then you will want to wash the fabric in a regular wash cycle using the warmest water for that particular item.
  5. If you are working with something you can’t dip in something, like carpet or upholstery, you can mix liquid hand detergent with warm or cool water and wipe the area with the glue.
  6. Repeat the process as many times as you need to get rid of the glue.

Knowing how to get rid of any unwanted glue can help you make a mistake, but it can also be good for removing temporary fabric glue that you no longer need to use.

Alternatives to Fabric Glue:

If you are not sure you want to use fabric glue, there are other options that you can consider.

Traditional Sewing:

The most common alternative to fabric glue is using traditional sewing methods. Stitching your fabric together with a needle and thread is the most durable way to make sure your project stays together.

While long-lasting, this method is not always effective when you are trying to add non-traditional items to your clothes. This is especially prevalent when making costumes that require glitter, foam, or other non-traditional materials.

Fusible Webbing:

One quick and easy way to adhere to two fabric pieces together without sewing or using fabric glue is fusible webbing.

This is a thin layer of webbing you put between two fabrics and apply heat using an iron. This heat melts the webbing and acts as a bond between the two pieces of fabric.

This can be a great technique when you try to hem an article of clothing without showing the seams or stitching.

This can be a great way to hem something if you are not sure you will be able to sew in a straight line since most hems are visible.

You can also use fusible tape, which is very similar to fusible webbing.

Other Types of Glue:

While not as ideal as specific fabric glue, in a pinch, you should use other types of glue in place of fabric glue.

These types of glue include tack glue, hot glue, gorilla glue, and much more.

When using these types of glue, prepare for them to not necessarily be durable or machine washable since that is not what they are made of.

Also, depending on the glue’s consistency, it could be similar to using regular paint over fabric paint and can cause your fabric to become stiff and tough to bend.

Make sure you look into what type of glue you are using, and whether it will hold for the project you intend to use it for.


You can use fabric glue to help elevate your project and skip the traditional sewing, and it will even survive the wash.

The main thing to keep in mind when using any method besides sewing with your fabric is to make sure you know what your needs are and what that particular method will do for you.