As an experienced master tailor, I am often asked if regular Gorilla Glue can be used on fabric. The short answer is yes, Gorilla Glue can bond to fabric if used properly. However, it is important to note that regular Gorilla Glue is not specifically designed for fabric projects. There is a Gorilla Fabric Glue product made for bonding fabrics that I would recommend for most situations.
When using regular Gorilla Glue on fabric, there are some key steps to follow. It is essential to test a scrap of fabric first and pre-wash it without fabric softener. Apply a thin, even layer of glue to each surface to be bonded and wait 2 minutes for it to partially set before pressing the fabrics together firmly. The glue will take 1-2 hours to dry 80% of the way and a full 24 hours to fully cure. Waiting the full curing time is recommended for maximum hold.
While regular Gorilla Glue can work on fabrics like cotton, felt, and denim, it may not hold up well on delicate or stretchy material. The bond also may degrade over time with frequent washing. For most fabric projects, I would advise using a specialty fabric glue like Gorilla Fabric Glue which is designed to bond fabrics and embellishments. It dries clear, flexible, and lasts through laundering. Testing first and following product directions will lead to the best results.
An Overview of Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue is a polyurethane-based adhesive known for its versatility and durability. The water-activated formula expands as it dries, allowing it to fill gaps and create an incredibly strong bond between various materials including wood, metal, ceramics, foam, glass, and more.
While not specifically formulated for fabric, Gorilla Glue can bond to many fabric types. However, there are some limitations and factors to consider when using it for fabric projects.
Pros of Using Gorilla Glue on Fabric
- Strong holding power
- Bonds firmly to fabrics like felt, denim, and cotton
- Dries fairly quickly within 1-2 hours
Cons of Using Gorilla Glue on Fabric
- Not designed for use on delicates or stretchy fabrics
- Can leave fabric stiff if too much is applied
- Repeated laundering can break down the bond over time
Steps for Properly Using Gorilla Glue on Fabric
While regular Gorilla Glue isn’t made for fabric, it can be used successfully if proper techniques are followed:
Test on Fabric Scraps
Always test Gorilla Glue on a scrap of the fabric you intend to use. This helps ensure the adhesive will bond well and not damage or stain the fabric.
Wash Fabric Prior to Use
Wash and dry the fabric before gluing to remove any coatings or residues that could impair adhesion. Do not use fabric softener.
Apply a Thin, Even Layer
A thin layer of Gorilla Glue is all that’s needed. Applying too much can cause stiffness, bleeding through fabric, and long dry times.
Allow Glue to Partially Set
Let the glue tack up for 2 minutes before bonding fabric surfaces. This helps maximize the strength of the bond.
Firmly Press Fabrics Together
Press the glued fabrics together very firmly after partial drying for a tight, durable bond. Use clamps or weights if needed.
Allow Full 24 Hour Cure Time
It takes Gorilla Glue 1-2 hours to dry 80% of the way, but a full 24 hours to fully cure when used on fabrics. Allowing a full cure results in a stronger bond.
Wash Gently After Gluing
When machine washing a Gorilla Glued fabric, use cold water and gently cycles. Hot water and agitation can degrade the adhesive over time.
Fabric Types Best Suited for Gorilla Glue
Through testing, we’ve found Gorilla Glue bonds best to the following fabric types:
- Felt – The fuzzy texture bonds well with Gorilla Glue. Great for crafts and accessories using wool felt.
- Denim – The rigid weave and sturdy cotton threads adhere nicely. Good for reinforcing jeans.
- Canvas – The durable, medium-weight cotton canvas fabric accepts Gorilla Glue well. Useful for decor or outdoor gear.
- Cotton – Gorilla Glue bonds successfully to most tight-weave cottons. Linens, quilting cottons, apparel cottons work well.
Gorilla Glue is not ideal for more delicate materials prone to glue bleed-through, including silks, chiffons, and very lightweight fabrics. Stretchy fabrics like spandex, knits, and Lycra do not pair well with Gorilla Glue which dries stiff and inflexible.
Always test a fabric scrap before committing Gorilla Glue to a larger project.
Recommended Alternatives for Fabric
For most fabric applications, a specialty fabric glue will provide better results than regular Gorilla Glue. Some top options include:
Gorilla Fabric Glue
Specifically engineered for fabrics, Gorilla Fabric Glue is a great all-purpose choice for bonding and embellishing fabrics. The fast-setting formula dries flexible and crystal clear while still being incredibly strong. It’s washer/dryer safe while still resisting heat, tearing, and water. Gorilla Fabric Glue is an ideal alternative to needle and thread for hems, seams, quilting, and crafts.
Fabric Fuse Glue
Fabric Fuse is a permanent fabric adhesive that remains flexible after drying. It’s excellent for binding edges, applique, and fast repairs. The water-based glue won’t leave marks and bonds turn out invisible. Fabric Fuse stands up well to washing and drying.
For faster hold, hot glue guns quickly adhere fabric. Best for small areas and temporary hold. Liquid hot glue seeps into fabric; cool melt hot glue sits atop fabric without soak-through. Hot glue washer/dryer use depends on glue formula.
Fusible web tape like Stitch Witchery makes quick, no-sew hems and bonds. Apply tape between fabrics, iron to seal. Creates a permanent hold suitable for laundering and dry cleaning. Easy to use and project-friendly.
Comparison Table of Gorilla Glue versus Other Adhesive Options for Fabric Projects
|Gorilla Glue||– Strong initial bond
– Good for heavy fabrics like denim and canvas
|– Not very flexible
– Can make fabric stiff
– Breaks down over time with washing
|– Denim repairs
– Felt crafts
– Canvas reinforcement
|Gorilla Fabric Glue||– Specifically designed for fabric
– Flexible hold
– Washer/dryer safe
– Crystal clear finish
|– Slightly less initial tack than regular Gorilla Glue||– Hemming
|Fabric Glue||– Made for fabric
– Invisible hold
|– Less water resistant than Gorilla Glue||– Hemming
– Binding edges
|Hot Glue||– Fast drying
– Great for small areas
|– Can soak through delicate fabrics
– Temporary hold
– Washability varies
|– Sequins and embellishments
– Small bonds and touch ups
|Stitch Witchery||– No-sew
– Heat activated
– Holds well to washing
|– Only suitable for hems and edge binding
– Less versatility than liquid glues
|– Hems on curtains, pants, skirts
– Tablecloth edges
Longevity Concerns with Gorilla Glue on Fabric
While Gorilla Glue forms a tenacious bond with fabric initially, there are some concerns regarding long-term use:
- Repeated washing/drying can break down Gorilla Glue over time
- Bonds can become brittle and degraded when exposed to sunlight
- Gorilla Glue may yellow slightly over time on fabric
For permanent bonds, occasional reapplication of Gorilla Glue is advised. For fastenings subject to regular stress and laundering, a specialty fabric glue is recommended over Gorilla Glue for extended durability.
Tips for Success Using Gorilla Glue on Fabric
Following these tips will help ensure successful results when bonding fabric with Gorilla Glue:
- Store Gorilla Glue at room temperature away from excess moisture to prevent clogging.
- Avoid over-gluing. Too much glue leads to bleed-through and stiffness.
- Let Gorilla Glue cure fully – at least 24 hours for maximum strength.
- Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes during drying.
- Keep bonded fabric surfaces immobile while drying for optimum adhesion.
- Hand wash or use cold water cycles when first laundering Gorilla Glued fabrics.
- Check bonds periodically and reapply glue as needed if washing degrades the hold.
Examples of Gorilla Glue on Fabric Projects
While specialty glues are ideal for most fabric applications, Gorilla Glue can be successfully used in certain situations:
Gorilla Glue is useful for permanently mending rips, holes, and seam splits on denim jeans, jackets, and upholstery. It holds up well to repeated wearing and laundering.
For bonding and shaping wool felt for crafts like flowers, dolls, and ornaments, Gorilla Glue creates strong joints that last. Helpful for edges and multi-layer felt projects.
Reinforce openings and stress points on canvas bags, shades, and outdoor gear with strips of canvas glued with Gorilla Glue along the edges. Creates a super durable bond.
Small patches and appliques can be neatly adhered to cotton quilting squares and panels using a thin layer of Gorilla Glue before assembling the quilt.
Frequently Asked Questions about Using Gorilla Glue on Fabric
Is Gorilla Glue waterproof?
Yes, when fully cured Gorilla Glue is waterproof and suitable for outdoor use. It resists moisture, heat, and freezing temperatures.
Can I use Gorilla Glue for clothing repairs?
Gorilla Glue can work for certain clothing repairs on heavy fabrics like denim. But it may not flex well for areas that need to stretch and move.
Does Gorilla Glue wash out of fabric over time?
Frequent laundering can break down Gorilla Glue bonds over time. Hand washing or cold water cycles help preserve the strength longer.
Is Gorilla Glue safe to use on fabric that touches skin?
When fully cured, Gorilla Glue is non-toxic. But some users may experience skin irritation from the uncured adhesive. Test on a skin patch first.
How do I get Gorilla Glue out of fabric if there is a spill or excess?
Try soaking the area in warm water to loosen the glue, then gently scrape off the excess. Rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits also help remove uncured glue.
Can I use Gorilla Glue in place of sewing for hemming?
Gorilla Glue can work for temporary hemming on thick, non-stretchy fabrics. But a flexible fabric glue or fusible web tape offers better results long-term.
Is Gorilla Glue toxic when wet?
When curing, Gorilla Glue emits non-toxic fumes. But use in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling the vapors directly.
Does Gorilla Glue bond fabric as strongly as it does wood or metal?
No, the bond strength on fabric is lower than materials like wood. Allowing the full 24 hour cure maximizes the strength of the fabric bond.
Can I reposition fabric after applying Gorilla Glue?
No, Gorilla Glue begins curing immediately. Repositioning before drying will damage the fabric.
Regular Gorilla Glue can successfully bond to certain fabric types when proper gluing techniques are used. However, for most fabric and sewing applications, a specialty fabric glue designed for flexibility, laundering, and fabric embellishments will provide better results and longevity. Always test Gorilla Glue on fabric scraps first, follow product directions, and use care when laundering for optimal hold. With some limitations, Gorilla Glue can serve as a helpful fabric bonding option for certain DIY and craft projects.