Can You Use Hot Glue On Fabric

Can You Use Hot Glue On Fabric? (Know The Answer)

Are you confused; can you use hot glue on fabric or not? Here’s the best answer, and the process by considering your fabrics. Just check it.

Now, the day has gone when you have to sew fabric to make your Barbie doll’s sweet dress, hair clips, bow, etc. Without sewing, you can easily embellish your ordinary fabric dress with stones, pearls, mirrors, ribbons, and laces.  

Are you thinking, how is it possible? 

Yes, it’s possible with fabric glue or hot glue. However, many people are known to use fabric glue but not hot glue. They have a question; can you use hot glue on fabric or not? 

Because using hot glue on fabric is slightly different and more tricky than fabric glue. In this post, we’ll answer your question and tell you how to choose hot glue, use it on fabric, and some valuable tips to avoid damaging your garment. So keep reading-


Can You Use Hot Glue On the Fabric And Wash It?

In short, yes. You can use hot glue on the fabric and hand wash the clothes. If you use the right temperature of hot glue on the fabric, it will offer you an excellent bond between the pieces of fabric or decorative items. Moreover, it is the easiest and fastest solution than sewing.

But, it’s also true that all kinds of fabrics are not suitable for using hot glue, and if you use it can ruin your clothes. So before knowing the exact procedure of using hot glue on fabrics, it’s wise to learn about hot glue, its types, how it works, fabrics types, etc. If you have knowledge about hot glue and fabrics, the chances are lower to misuse the glue and damage your garment.

What Is Hot Glue?

The hot melt adhesive (HMA) is mainly known as hot glue among mass people. Because they find the glue in different diameter sticks and use the sticks with hot glue guns under different temperatures. 

Basically, hot glue is made with ethylene-methyl acrylate (EMA), ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyethylene, and polyesters. When you heat the solid glue sticks, all those properties will melt, length its chain, and dry fast to bond almost all kinds of materials.

How Does Hot Glue Work?

In general, hot glue works in two states. One is “open time,” and another is “solidified or drying time.”

Sounds harsh!

No worries, let us describe it in simple words. 

When applying the hot glue on any materials or surfaces, it stays in its liquid form or molten state. It is known as “open time.” It loses its heat too fast, so the open time duration is concise.

As soon as the second piece of material is compressed on the first one, it starts cooling down, setting, and solidifying. It is called “solidified time”, and within this time, the hot glue bonds the two objects together.


Types Of Hot Glue Sticks

There are two types of hot glue sticks, 7 mm, and oval. Yes, when you first purchase the glue gun, you’ll get the glue sticks. But when you finish the glue sticks, you have to purchase a new one. In that case, you have to choose the right glue sticks. Otherwise, there is a chance of choosing the wrong sticks that may not suit your gun or projects. 

  • For bonding stones, pearls, or other materials that need precise glue application, you should choose 7mm diameter glue sticks. Because they will offer you a low glue flow with a thin layer that is a must for precise glue application and avoid wastage or making your fabric messy. 
  • Oval glue sticks are used on heat-sensitive materials and low temp glue guns. These sticks are suitable for silk, nylon, latex, polyester, balloons, glass, and flower decorations. 

However, it’s a good practice to use the same branded glue gun and glue sticks. That means if you use Gorilla glue gun, you should choose Gorilla glue sticks, for AdTech glue gun, choose AdTech glue sticks and like this.

Are All Hot Glue Sticks The Same?

No, all glue sticks are not the same. There are two types of glue sticks depending on using purposes. 

  • The universal glue sticks are suitable to bond most solid materials that need only bonds instead of decoration. 
  • On the other hand, colored glue sticks are excellent for decorating purposes because they offer a shiny and colored outlook that looks great for decoration.

Is Hot Glue Waterproof?

Since you have to wash your clothes after hamming or embellishing them with hot glue, you should know whether hot glue is waterproof or not. 

Usually, hot glue is water-resistant and waterproof. On top-notch, it can withstand almost every type of water, including sea saltwater, chemical mixed water, and cold water. Even hot or cold temperatures can’t lose the two materials’ hot glue bondage. 

So that we can say you can use hot glue on fabric and wash it with full confidence. You should keep in mind that one time you wash the clothes, the bond will be one step weaker than before. But, the bond won’t come off for that; instead, your cloth will be old and lose its utility before losing the bond.

Is Hot Glue Permanent?

Yes, hot glue is permanent with epoxy, and the bond it creates is guaranteed to last long. But, the bond will be permanent after cooling down the glue and completely curing. However, if the bonding surfaces are removed from one another before curing, the bond won’t be long-lasting.

Types Of Fabrics With Name 

As your target is to use hot glue on fabric to bond them, so you should know fabrics types, their heat resistance, or handling capability. It will help you to successfully complete your task without damaging your garment.

Name Of FabricTemperature handling capability
Cotton204°C (400°F)
Polyester250°C (482℉)
Poly-Cotton180°C (356℉)
Nylon220°C (428℉)
Wool148°C (300°F)
Spandex240°C (464°F)
Leather93°C (200°F)
Acrylic160°C (320°F)
Viscose20°C (68°F)
Rayon190°C (375°F)
Kevlar426° C (800℉)

How To Use Glue Gun On Fabric? (4 Easy Steps)

As you are here that means you have already acquired all the essential information about using hot glue guns on fabrics. Now it’s time to learn 4 simple steps to bond fabrics with hot glue. Here’re the steps

Step 1 – Glue gun set up

You have already learned the different fabric temperature handling capability from our above list. So put the glue sticks into the gun and plug the gun’s electric cord into a power socket (if you use a corded glue gun) to generate heat. Then set the temperature and wait a few minutes. If you use a cordless glue gun, there is no hassle of putting the power cord into the power source. You just need to turn the power on switch, set temp, and wait 1-3 minutes. 

Step 2: Prepare your fabrics 

In the meantime, when the gun is ready to melt glue, you have to prepare your fabrics by folding its edges for hamming. If you want to bond two pieces of fabric, keep them side by side. If you want to decorate the cloth, you should arrange the decorative things besides the fabrics to make your bonding process faster. 

Step 3 – Hot glue application 

When the gun reaches the set temperature, hold the gun and gently squeeze its trigger button to precisely apply the hot glue to the specific space of the fabrics. Be careful when handling hot glue, as it can burn your hands or the clothes for carelessness. 

Step 4 – Bond the fabrics

For hamming, compress the folded parts of the fabrics to make a strong bond between them. For two pieces of clothes attachment, pick the second piece of fabric and keep it on the first piece. Now gently compress and wait a few seconds to dry the melted glue. And if you want to decorate the cloth, put the decorative items on the fabrics, compress, and wait. 

You have to use a solid object to press the fabrics instead of your hand. Because as the glue is still hot, when you press the fabrics to bond, the heat may reach your hand through the fabrics. 
If you want to get a visual experience, check this video.

hot glue vs fabric glue

Hot Glue vs. Fabric Glue

When fabric glue and hot glue are both suitable for bonding two pieces of fabrics, it’s pretty natural there is a debate, which is better than another. 

But, there is no specific answer and we can say one is better than the other. Because both work excellently on different types of textile. So we can compare their using process, advantages, and disadvantages to define which is better. Let’s start 

  • Easy to use

Using hot glue is easier than fabric glue. You can use hot only by setting the temperature and squeezing the trigger button. You have complete control over the gun to apply a thin layer of glue to avoid messing up your textile.

But for using fabric glue, you have to open the tube’s lid, hold the tube upside down, and squeeze it to apply the glue. You have less control over the tube, and there is a high chance of glue overflowing and making it messy.  

  • Dry 

Hot glue takes a few seconds to dry, and within 24 hours, it is fully cured to use the clothes. On the other hand, most fabric glue takes 2-3 minutes to dry and 24-48 hours for a complete cure. 

  • Waterproof

Hot glue is waterproof with epoxy and ensures a permanent bond between the pieces of fabric. Fabric glue is also waterproof and can offer you strong bonds.

  • Washing 

Hot glue and fabric glue both are washable. But you have to avoid washing machines to wash them as it decreases the strength of the bond. 

  • Risk factor

You have to maintain the proper heat temperature according to your fabric type for using hot glue. Otherwise, it may shrink, burn, or damage your textile. Contrary, fabric glue has less risk of burning, shrinking, or damaging your clothes. 

After a head-to-head comparison, we have to say both types of glue are excellent for fabric bonding. You have to choose which you suit the best, comfortable to use, and is budget-friendly.

Some Valuable Tips To Use Hot Glue

  • You have to wear hand gloves to keep your hand free from sticky glue attachment on your skin, and a face mask to avoid contamination.
  • If possible, try to use the hot glue on a ventilated place where there is a good flow of air. 
  • Always set the right temp of your glue gun by considering your materials’ heat resistant level and capability. The low temp won’t melt the glue as liquid as you need, so it dries quickly before attaching the fabrics and offers weak bonds. On the other hand, high temp will burn your fabrics. 
  • You have to provide enough pressure over the fabrics to smoothly and strongly bond both of them. Otherwise, the glue substrates won’t be able to offer strong bonds.
  • Hot glue cooling or drying time depends on the amount of glue. The more you apply the glue, the more time it requires to cool and dry. So you have to be conscious about the glue amount and drying time.
  • The glue open time has a direct impact on the temperature level and its bond strength. The more time you keep the glue open, the more time and pressure it needs for compression. The lower viscosity is the main reason for this change.


Do Hot Glue Ruin Clothes?

The honest answer to this inquiry is it depends. As long as you use the hot glue depending on the fabric types and what temp they can handle, it won’t ruin your clothes. But, if you apply the hot glue without knowing fabrics types and their heat resistant level, the chances are high that high temp will shrink, burn, or ruin your clothes. 

Can you use hot glue instead of sewing?

Yes, and no, both the correct answer to this question depending on your purpose. If you want to design your clothes with embellishment, bond two small pieces of fabrics, or ham them in small partitions, then using hot glue is perfect instead of sewing. 

On the other hand, if you want to make a new designer dress and want to join their different parts, it’s the worst idea to use hot glue instead of sewing. Here, you have to use needles and threads for sewing rather than using hot glue. 

In summary, hot glue is suitable for small fabrics attachment and designing or decorative purposes, whereas sewing is suitable for making new dresses. 

How quickly does hot glue dry?

Hot glue requires 30 to 60 seconds to dry under low humidity. But the time may increase for higher humidity because it will slow down the glue drying time. 

What materials does hot glue work on?

Hot glue works on almost all kinds of materials. Wood, paper, plastic, fabrics, ceramic, ribbon, lace, glass, styrofoam, metal, and magnet are some of the common items among them.

Can I hot glue Velcro to fabric?

Sure, you can use hot glue to bond velcro to the fabric. For this, first, you have to apply suitable temp hot glue on the back center point of the velcro. Then press it on the fabric where you want to bond it. Here you have to be careful about glue seeping on the velcro strip and fabric because it will decrease the utility of the velcro strip. 

How strong is hot glue on fabric?

Hot glue is very strong on fabric as it offers a permanent bond between them. But you have to apply the right temp glue on the fabric to avoid damaging it. 

Can hot glue guns catch fire?

Fortunately, the hot glue gun won’t catch fire. But that doesn’t mean you keep the gun unattended while plugging in. It may enhance its shocking hazard and be dangerous for kids and pets if they touch the gun.


Now, you know everything about hot glue and can you use hot glue on fabric or not. Basically, hot glue is an excellent alternative option than sewing and using fabric glue. 
So, if you’re a crafter and have to bond fabric to fabric, fabric to other materials, on an emergency and regular basis, buying a dual hot glue gun like MONVICT is a wise decision to increase your productivity and skills.

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