Ned Ludd » Can You Use Tacky Glue on Fabric?

Can You Use Tacky Glue on Fabric?

Tacky glue is one of the best go-to glue products on the market, and it gives numerous possibilities for crafting and mending most daily items. It is a non-toxic, eco-friendly, resin-based adhesive you can use on various materials.

Based on numerous researches, Tacky glue is a must-have in most households, thanks to its wide purpose. However, you probably wonder does Tacky glue work on fabric and how well. Let’s take a look.


What is Tacky Glue?

What is Tacky Glue

Polyvinyl acetate white glue (PVA glue, Tacky glue) is a convenient adhesive you can use for numerous projects. Whatever material you decide to glue, this practical product won’t negatively affect its original flexibility.

Besides being helpful with various materials such as felt, paper, wood, metal, glass, and ceramics, you can also apply this product to different fabric types. Its advantage is creating a clean finish with a strong bond immediately after drying.

There is no reason to worry when noticing that Tacky glue emits a slight odor because it is a non-toxic adhesive. That makes it entirely safe to use around children and pets.


Tacky Glue on Fabrics

This glue is one of the rare products of that type that excellently works on fabric besides other hard surfaces. Since it is an all-purpose adhesive, you can apply it to nearly any material.

The remarkable thing is that this product is perfect for flexible holds without causing the surface to become hard and stiff. Unfortunately, this glue is not water-resistant, and you can expect it to remove from the material as soon as you wash it.

The result will be the same regardless of whether you wash the laundry by hand or in the washing machine. For this reason, you should consider other glue alternatives more suitable for applying to the fabric you need to wash regularly.

On the other hand, you can effortlessly remove this product from your clothes with soap and cold water whenever you want. Remember that you can get the best result before the glue completely dries.

Once this adhesive hardens, removing it without leaving traces can be challenging. Be aware that it takes approximately half an hour to an hour for Tacky glue to dry up entirely, depending on its quality. In any case, its hardening process is about 50% faster than with other glue types.

Therefore, you should remove accidentally spilled glue during that period. Once it dries, water and soap can still weaken it, but it is impossible to remove it without residue. Only an acetone-based product or acetone applied with a cotton swab can help you solve the problem.


Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue

Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue

When you want to purchase top-quality Tacky glue, you should look for the original product available on the market. It first appeared in the 1950s and is still considered the gold standard for creative adhesives.

Tacky glue features

This remarkable adhesive has a few crucial advantages compared to other similar products you can find. It is:

  • Water-based
  • Non-toxic
  • Adaptable to different textile types
  • Permanently clear on fabrics after drying

These features make Tacky glue the best product of this king available without competition in the modern market.

Its formula is tightly kept proprietary information and trade secret. However, Tacky glue is a rare adhesive that comes without labels on the packaging that warns of potential toxicity.

Tacky glue application method

As I have already mentioned, applying Tacky glue only to non-washable fabric and textiles is highly recommended. The procedure includes adding the adhesive to both material pieces in a thin layer and leaving it to dry for five minutes. Then, you should carefully glue these two pieces together to prevent glue leakage on the sides.


Things to Consider When Looking for a Glue for Fabric

Once you look for the best glue to apply to fabric, you will discover that the product type you need depends on the project you wish to work on.

The next step is to decide the outcome you want to achieve and the specifications an adhesive type needs to fulfill. The crucial things you need to consider before going to the local store for a suitable glue include the following:

  1. How effortless the particular adhesive is to use on fabric
  2. Determining the product’s drying time
  3. Finding the curing time for the glue that you want to use
  4. The safety level for children and pets
  5. Ways to get rid of the odor if there is any
  6. Whether the chosen glue changes the clothes’ color and leaves marks on their surface

Be careful when picking out the best glue for your needs to avoid spending more money than planned and ending up with the wrong product. For instance, inexpensive Tacky glue varieties can be a decent option for work suits when aesthetics are not crucial.

However, you shouldn’t apply such a product to quality clothes since the result may disappoint you. Moreover, it can ruin the high-quality fabric.


Tacky Glue Compared to Other Similar Products

Tacky glue vs. Fabric glue

Tacky glue vs. Fabric glue

The most significant difference between Tacky glue and Fabric glue is their ingredients. Tacky glue is based on resin, meaning it can quickly be washed after washing clothes.

On the other hand, Fabric glue has an acrylic-based structure, making this product more resistant to water. Thanks to this feature, you can wash your clothes after applying this adhesive, and be sure it can withstand five to seven washings.

However, the manufacturer claims that the product can potentially last for a long when applied to fabric that doesn’t require regular contact with water.

Tacky glue vs. Hot glue

Tacky glue vs. Hot glue

The difference between these two products is significant. For instance, Tacky glue comes in various sizes, and you can modify the tip to get more or less flow, depending on your needs. Plus, it won’t compromise the fabric quality and elasticity.

On the other hand, it is hard to control the Hot glue application. The other problem is that this product is not very good at keeping the fabric flexible. It typically raises and stiffens up after drying, leaving visible lines on the material’s surface without the possibility of soaking into the fabric structure.

Hot glue also has limitations in use, depending on the packaging size. It comes in small and standard variations, but the smaller package contains less adhesive. In other words, you can run out of it before finishing the project.


Other Tacky Glue Use

Besides using Tacky glue to fabric, you can apply it to other materials, including Styrofoam, which is hard to stick. The best thing is its ability to hold the material surface immediately.

Many creative people choose this product for various paper projects, like making photo albums and scrapbooks. However, you can also use it to glue tiny pieces while making jewelry.

1. Wood

Tacky glue is an excellent option for gluing wood, but you need to apply a thicker coating over this hard material.

The only thing you need to take care of is to make continuous pressure with clamps over the glued surface for at least 30 to 40 minutes. If you spot that glue starts pouring on the side, you should quickly wipe it with a cloth before hardening.

2. Plastic, cardboard, and paper

Most creative people use these three materials in art projects, particularly DIY ones. In most cases, you should glue pieces to get the desired creation, and Tacky glue is an excellent solution for this purpose.

Since plastic convenient for this purpose is typically light, it doesn’t require a thick glue layer application. It will be enough to cut the valve on the bottle at the highest ridge and finish the work.

As for paper and cardboard, you can add small glue dots or thin lines over their surfaces instead of applying adhesive over the entire piece.

3. Ceramics

Be aware that ceramics is an incredibly delicate material that requires careful handling, making most glue types unsuitable for application. The Tacky glue advantage in such a case is clear. You can use it to fit various materials and adhere:

  • Two ceramic surfaces
  • Ceramics to other materials, including wood, glass, and fabric

The only thing to do is to apply Tacky glue on both pieces you want to stick together and wait for the adhesive to dry. In most cases, you should count on two to three minutes for the glue to harden before continuing with your project.

4. Metal

You can use Tacky glue to stick metal to other materials, including other metals, wood, glass, fabric, and even rubber. However, avoiding this adhesive for significant surfaces is better since metal is too hard and requires thick layers. This glue type typically holds glued pieces for a short time, particularly after contact with water.



Tacky glue is a handy adhesive you can quickly apply on any fabric type. Its significant advantage is that it doesn’t compromise fabric flexibility, keeps most of its texture, and you can quickly remove it when necessary.

On the other hand, its crucial disadvantage is the impossibility of withstanding water. Therefore, you can expect your glue to last only until the first wash.


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