Gorilla Glue is one of the most well-known and trusted brands regarding heavy-duty adhesives. But when you have a fabric project that needs some sticking, is Gorilla Glue up for the job? Or will it leave your fabric stiff and uncomfortable?
Let’s explore the possibilities and limitations of using Gorilla Glue on fabric.
An Overview of Gorilla Glue
First, some background on Gorilla Glue itself. This adhesive was first introduced in 1994 and was formulated to bond wood, stone, metal, ceramic, foam, glass and more.
Some key features of original Gorilla Glue include:
- Incredibly strong and durable bonds – The polyurethane formula creates a super secure bond that can withstand extremes.
- Expands as it dries – Gorilla Glue foams and expands 3-4 times its initial volume as it cures. This helps it fill gaps and holes.
- Dries tan – When Gorilla Glue finishes curing, it dries into a tan or brown color. Keep this in mind for visible applications.
- Water resistant – Gorilla Glue has excellent water resistance and weatherproof abilities once fully cured.
- Difficult to remove – If any adhesive gets onto surfaces you don’t want bonded, removing once dried can be challenging. Apply carefully.
Gorilla Glue is ideal for bonding porous materials where you need incredibly strong, long-lasting bonds that can withstand the elements. But how does it work on fabrics?
Using Original Gorilla Glue on Fabric
Standard Gorilla Glue is formulated to work on porous, slightly flexible materials like wood. Fabric is typically too thin and flexible for it to bond well.
Here are some key points on how original Gorilla Glue interacts with fabric:
- Limited flexibility – Gorilla Glue creates rigid, inflexible bonds. This can make fabric stiff and restrictive when applied.
- Can leave residue – If too much glue seeps through the fabric, it will cure and leave behind tan/brown residue.
- Not machine washable – Anything glued with Gorilla Glue will not hold up to machine washing and drying. The bond is likely to fail.
- Bonds are permanent – Gorilla Glue creates incredibly strong bonds, so if you do get fabric bonded, it will likely be a permanent fix.
The bottom line is that standard Gorilla Glue is not ideal for most fabric applications. The characteristics that make it excellent for wood and construction materials work against it when used on thin, pliable fabrics.
There are a few limited cases where you may be able to use small amounts of Gorilla Glue on fabric, such as:
- Bonding sturdy leather or vinyl
- Attaching fabric to a wood base
- Making simple repairs on denim
But test first on scraps if attempting these techniques. And use very thin layers of glue to allow flexibility.
Introducing Gorilla Fabric Glue
Luckily, the makers of Gorilla Glue realized there was a need for a fabric-friendly version of their adhesive. Gorilla Fabric Glue was formulated for bonding fabric, leather, felt and other flexible materials.
Here’s an overview of Gorilla Fabric Glue:
- Made for fabric – Designed to flexibly bond fabric without leaving stiffness or residue.
- Dries clear – Cures into an invisible, transparent bond instead of tan/brown.
- Permanent hold – Provides a super secure connection between fabric pieces.
- Washable – Can withstand machine washing on gentle cycles.
- Ideal for most fabrics – Works on cotton, linen, polyester, canvas, felt, suede, and more.
Gorilla Fabric Glue maintains the strength of the original formula while adapting to the unique needs of fabrics. This makes it a great choice for:
- Hemming garments
- Affixing patches
- Securing embellishments
- Laminating fabrics
- Crafting leather goods
- Stitchless repairs
- And more!
How to Use Gorilla Fabric Glue
Using Gorilla Fabric Glue is a similar process to the original Gorilla Glue. Here are some tips:
- Prepare surfaces – Fabrics should be washed first with no fabric softener. Rough up smooth leathers lightly with sandpaper.
- Avoid excess glue – Only a very thin layer is needed between materials. Too much glue will seep through and leave residue.
- Apply to both surfaces – For the strongest bond, apply a thin layer of glue to each fabric you join.
- Let cure fully – It takes at least 24 hours for the glue to set completely. Allow 3-5 days before washing.
- Work in ideal conditions – Gorilla Fabric Glue works best in the 50-90°F temperature range with 43-70% humidity.
- Handle carefully – Once bonded, let the materials rest untouched while curing. Movement can disrupt the bond.
- Wash gently – When laundering anything glued, use a delicate cycle and low heat or air dry settings.
With some care and patience, Gorilla Fabric Glue will provide super strong, durable and flexible bonds for all kinds of fabric and leather projects. Test on scraps first to get a feel for application.
Gorilla Fabric Glue vs. Alternatives
How does Gorilla Fabric Glue compare to other fabric adhesives on the market? Here’s a quick overview of some popular options:
Aleene’s Fabric Fusion
- Clear drying formula
- Flexible hold
- Best for light to medium fabrics
- More affordable
- Very thick glue with fabric inclusion
- Bonds heavyweight fabrics like vinyl and leather
- Can apply hot or cold
E6000 Fabric Adhesive
- Industrial strength hold
- Long curing time
- Resistant to washing and weather
- Excellent for leather and vinyl
Gutermann HT2 Fabric Glue
- Dries clear and flexible
- Designed for apparel and costume making
- Lower fume formula
- Good washability
As you can see, there are a range of options when it comes to fabric adhesives. Gorilla Fabric Glue is among the strongest and most heavy duty. For delicate fabrics, a lighter glue may be easier to work with. Test out a few to see which you like best!
Tips for Gluing Fabric Successfully
Working with fabric glue takes some practice. Here are some top tips for getting great results:
Go light on the glue. Fabric glue bonds best when it can soak into the fibers instead of sitting heavily on the surface. Apply it thinly and evenly.
Make sure the fabric is prepared. Wash and dry your fabric before gluing so it is free of dirt, oil and sizing. This helps the glue adhere.
Follow curing times. Resist the urge to tug or move glued items while the adhesive is setting. Let it fully cure first.
Reinforce stitch-less repairs. Add small reinforcing stitches at stress points like corners and seams when doing stitch-less repairs for best results.
Use release paper. Slip parchment paper or plastic between layers when gluing bulky areas like hems to prevent excess seepage.
Work in a well-ventilated area. Most fabric glues give off fumes as they cure. Open windows and use fans to keep the air fresh.
With patience and the right techniques, you can create durable, long-lasting bonds with fabric glue. It just takes a delicate touch and practice.
Is Gorilla Glue Toxic? Safety Tips
While Gorilla Glue is an incredibly useful adhesive, you do need to be mindful of some safety issues when working with it:
- Skin irritation – Gorilla Glue can cause skin redness, itching, and irritation with prolonged exposure. Wear gloves when applying.
- Eye irritation – Like skin, eyes are sensitive to Gorilla Glue. Wear eye protection and avoid contact. Flush eyes with water if exposure occurs.
- Inhalation – Gorilla Glue gives off volatile organic compounds as it cures. Use in well-ventilated areas and avoid breathing fumes.
- Flammable – Both liquid glue and the vapors are highly flammable. Keep away from heat, sparks, flames, and ignition sources.
- Difficult to remove – Once cured, Gorilla Glue bonds are near impossible to break. Use extreme care when applying to avoid unwanted spread.
You can safely take advantage of Gorilla Glue’s incredible bonding abilities by working carefully and taking appropriate safety measures. Just use common sense and care when handling this industrial strength adhesive.
Storing Gorilla Glue
Proper storage is important to get the most out of your Gorilla Glue and maintain its effectiveness. Here are some tips:
- Keep the cap on – Replace the lid tightly after each use to prevent the glue from drying or curing in the bottle.
- Store upright – Gorilla Glue can clog the nozzle if stored on its side. Always keep bottles upright.
- Refrigeration extends shelf life – For maximum freshness, store Gorilla Glue in the refrigerator between 40-50°F.
- Let it warm before use – If refrigerated, allow the glue to come fully to room temperature before opening and dispensing.
- Avoid extreme temperatures – Don’t store Gorilla Glue in very hot or cold conditions which can affect the formula. Ideal is 60-75°F.
- Keep away from moisture – Humidity can significantly shorten Gorilla Glue’s shelf life. Store in a dry location.
- Watch for expiration – Unopened bottles have a 1-2 year shelf life from manufacture date. Opened glue expires much quicker.
- Discard if expired – Don’t use Gorilla Glue past its expiration date. It will not bond effectively if old. Dispose of old glue properly.
With the right storage, Gorilla Glue can retain its powerful bonding properties for its shelf life. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Improperly stored glue can underperform or even fail to cure.
Removing Gorilla Glue from Fabric
We’ve covered how to use Gorilla Glue on fabrics, but mistakes happen! Here’s how to remove Gorilla Glue from fabric if you get some where you didn’t intend:
- Act quickly – The sooner you can remove wet, uncured glue the better. It gets much harder once dried.
- Use a scraper – Carefully scrape off any beads of still-wet glue with a dull knife or spatula to remove excess.
- Freeze then scrape – If glue has dried, try freezing the fabric first to harden the glue, then gently scraping it off.
- Rub with alcohol – Dampen bonded area with isopropyl alcohol and rub gently to soften and remove cured glue.
- Soak in acetone – For stubborn glue residue, lay fabric in an acetone bath to dissolve bonds, then rinse in water.
- Avoid damage – Take care when scraping, rubbing, or soaking glued fabric. Aggressive removal can harm the material.
- Prevent future issues – Once free of glue residue, immediately wash and dry the fabric to remove any remaining adhesive.
Gorilla Glue can usually be removed from fabrics with some elbow grease and the right solvents. But prevention is easier – use care when working with this ultra-sticky glue!
While standard Gorilla Glue may not be suitable for direct fabric bonding, Gorilla Fabric Glue offers a flexible, fabric-friendly alternative. This specialty adhesive provides durable bonds that can withstand washing and wear while maintaining the soft drape of fabric. With responsible use and proper safety precautions, Gorilla Glue products can be tremendously useful for both fabric and non-fabric applications. Just be sure to choose the right formula for your specific material and project needs. Armed with the info in this guide, your next fabric endeavor can be seamlessly bonded!