Can You Use Hot Glue On Fabric? A Detailed Guide

If you love arts and crafts projects, you’ve probably wondered at some point if you can use hot glue on fabric. Hot glue guns are inexpensive, easy to use, and create strong bonds quickly. But will they hold up when used on flexible, absorbent fabric?

Read on for a complete guide on using hot glue with fabric.

The quick answer is yes, you can use hot glue on fabric successfully as long as you follow some basic guidelines. The key is using the right type of hot glue and taking steps to reinforce the bond.

Choosing the Right Hot Glue for Fabric

When it comes to crafting or repairing fabric items, using hot glue can be a convenient option. However, not all hot glue sticks are suitable for use on fabric. It is important to choose the right type of hot glue to ensure a strong bond that lasts.

Here are three types of hot glue that work well with fabric:

All-Purpose Hot Glue

All-purpose hot glue sticks are a popular choice for general crafting purposes. They are suitable for a wide range of materials, including fabric. These hot glue sticks are designed to provide a strong and durable bond on various surfaces, making them a versatile option for fabric projects.

However, it is important to note that all-purpose hot glue may not be the best choice for delicate or lightweight fabrics, as it can sometimes leave a visible residue or create a stiff texture.

Low-Temp Hot Glue

If you are working with delicate or heat-sensitive fabrics, low-temp hot glue sticks are the way to go. These sticks are formulated to melt at a lower temperature, which reduces the risk of damaging or melting the fabric.

Low-temp hot glue is ideal for fabrics like silk, lace, or thin cotton that require a gentler adhesive. It provides a secure bond without causing any harm to the fabric’s integrity.

Fabric Hot Glue

For the best results and a seamless finish, consider using hot glue sticks specifically designed for fabric. Fabric hot glue sticks are formulated to bond well with different types of fabric, ensuring a strong and flexible hold.

They are often clear or transparent, which makes them ideal for projects where the adhesive needs to be invisible. Fabric hot glue sticks also offer a quick drying time, allowing you to complete your projects efficiently.

When choosing the right hot glue for fabric, it is important to consider the specific needs of your project. Take into account the type of fabric you are working with, the desired bond strength, and the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve.

Remember to always test a small area before applying hot glue to the entire fabric to ensure compatibility and desired results.

Tips for Applying Hot Glue to Fabric

Use Thin Lines of Glue

When using hot glue on fabric, it is important to apply thin lines of glue rather than thick blobs. This will help ensure that the glue adheres evenly and does not create a bulky or uneven texture on the fabric. Start by applying a small amount of glue and then gradually add more as needed.

The goal is to create a secure bond without overwhelming the fabric with excess glue.

Let it Cool Completely Before Use

After applying hot glue to fabric, it is crucial to let it cool completely before using or handling the fabric. Hot glue bonds best when it has had time to fully cool and harden. Rushing the process can result in a weaker bond and could potentially damage the fabric.

It is recommended to wait at least 10-15 minutes for the glue to cool before moving or using the fabric.

Reinforce with Stitching

While hot glue can provide a strong bond on fabric, it is always a good idea to reinforce it with stitching. This is especially important for fabrics that will be subjected to frequent use or stress. Adding stitches along the edges or seams can provide extra durability and ensure that the fabric stays securely attached.

Combining hot glue and stitching can create a reliable and long-lasting bond that will withstand regular wear and tear.

For more detailed information on using hot glue on fabric, you can visit the DIY Network. They provide step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for using hot glue in various craft projects. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find the best techniques that work for you!

What Fabrics Work Best with Hot Glue?

Hot glue is a versatile adhesive that can be used on a variety of materials, including fabric. However, not all fabrics are created equal when it comes to using hot glue. Some fabrics are more compatible with hot glue than others, ensuring a strong and durable bond.

Let’s explore the fabrics that work best with hot glue:

Denim and Canvas

Denim and canvas are both sturdy fabrics that are well-suited for hot glue applications. Their tightly woven fibers provide a solid foundation for the adhesive to adhere to, resulting in a strong bond.

Whether you’re working on a denim jacket, canvas tote bag, or repairing a pair of jeans, hot glue can be an effective choice for attaching embellishments or making quick repairs.


Cotton is another fabric that works well with hot glue. Its natural fibers are absorbent, allowing the adhesive to penetrate and create a strong bond. Cotton can be found in a wide range of clothing and home decor items, making hot glue a convenient option for various crafting projects.

Just be sure to apply the hot glue carefully, as cotton can be prone to scorching if the temperature is too high.

Linen and Burlap

Linen and burlap are textured fabrics that can provide an interesting and rustic look to crafts and home decor projects. These fabrics have a looser weave, which can make it a bit more challenging to achieve a strong bond with hot glue.

However, with the right technique and proper application, hot glue can still be used effectively on linen and burlap. It’s important to ensure that the glue is evenly distributed and pressed firmly into the fabric for the best results.

Silk and Satin

When it comes to delicate fabrics like silk and satin, caution should be exercised when using hot glue. These fabrics are more sensitive to heat and can be easily damaged if exposed to high temperatures.

While hot glue can be used on silk and satin, it is recommended to use a low-temperature glue gun and apply the adhesive sparingly. Additionally, testing the glue on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric is advisable to ensure that it does not cause any discoloration or damage.

Hot Glue Alternatives for Fabric

Hot glue is a versatile adhesive that is commonly used in various crafting projects. However, when it comes to fabric, hot glue may not always be the best option. Certain fabrics can be damaged by the high heat of the glue gun, and the glue may not adhere well to certain materials.

Fortunately, there are several alternative options for attaching fabric together that are specifically designed for this purpose.

Fabric Glue

Fabric glue is a popular alternative to hot glue when it comes to bonding fabric together. It is specifically formulated to adhere to fabric and provides a strong and flexible bond. Fabric glue is available in both liquid and stick form, allowing you to choose the one that suits your preference and project needs.

It is important to note that fabric glue may take longer to dry compared to hot glue, so it is necessary to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper drying time.


Sewing is a traditional method of joining fabric together and remains one of the most reliable options. Whether you are using a sewing machine or sewing by hand, this method provides a durable and long-lasting bond.

Sewing also offers a wide range of decorative options, such as different stitch patterns and thread colors, allowing you to add a unique touch to your fabric projects. While sewing may require more time and skill compared to using hot glue, it is a versatile and reliable alternative.

Iron-On Adhesive

Iron-on adhesive, also known as fusible web, is another popular option for attaching fabric together. This adhesive comes in sheets or rolls with a heat-activated glue on one side. To use iron-on adhesive, simply place it between the fabric layers and apply heat with an iron.

The heat melts the glue, creating a bond between the fabrics. Iron-on adhesive is easy to use and provides a strong bond that is machine washable. It is a great option for projects like applique work and hemming.

When choosing an alternative to hot glue for fabric, consider the specific needs of your project and the type of fabric you are working with. It is always a good idea to test the adhesive on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying it to the entire project.

This will ensure that the adhesive is compatible with the fabric and will provide the desired results.

For more information on fabric adhesives and crafting techniques, visit The Spruce Crafts website.


While hot glue won’t stand up to heavy use or washing when used alone on fabric, it can create quick bonds for lighter duty crafts and temporary fixes. Just be sure to choose the right glue and take steps like reinforcing with stitching.

With some care, hot glue can be a versatile addition to your fabric crafting toolbox.

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