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There are some situations where you may want to fuse two pieces of fabric together but not want to mess around with needles or stitches. In this post, we’ll quickly take you through how to fuse two pieces of fabric together, and the different ways that you can do so.
The easiest, simplest way to fuse two fabrics together is to just use fusible tape. It’s available in many different sizes and strengths, and to activate it, you just need to heat it with an iron. It’s one of the best ways to quickly hem a skirt or a leg without much fuss.
When hemming, there will be instances where you don’t want any stitches to show. You can use fusible tape here.
Another neat use for fusible tape is to hold a turned fabric in place. These parts of the fabric naturally want to twist in place and can be a nightmare to work with, so fusible tape can come in handy.
Since there are so many varieties of fusible tape available, you want to match the tape to the application. Thick, wide tapes will most certainly show through sheer fabrics. The tape can show through the fabric, or worse, the adhesive can seep through.
Using fusible tape is super easy. Just place the tape between the two pieces of fabric you wish to join, and press with a hot, dry iron until the tape melts and causes the two pieces of fabric to stick.
Allow plenty of time for the bond to cool and solidify before moving anything, as you don’t want anything to slip.
Also, if you’re just fusing tape to a fabric for later use(instead of fusing two fabrics together at once), use a piece of wax paper or parchment paper in between the tape and the iron. Do not iron directly!
Fusible web is an alternative to fusible tape. You can buy it by the yard in fabric stores. Additionally, many types of fusible web has a paper backing you can use to iron on directly.
The difference between fusible tape and fusible web is that you can cut the fusible web to whatever size and shape you need, making it ideal for applique.
If you want to applique a flower or any other design, you can just trace the shape onto fusible web, cut the fusible web, and have a complete and full adhesion.
If the two processes above seem like a handful to you, why not just use good ol’ fabric glue instead? Most fabric glue is really good. Fast drying, does not leave much residue, and makes a strong bond.
It’s ideal to repair small tears and make quick hems. You could even use it to glue on appliques.
Plus, it’s washable, so you won’t have your clothes unravel every time you take it out of the wash.
Fusible adhesive is quite similar to fusible tape, except it’s sold in sewable and non-sewable varieties. Be sure to choose the right one as the non-sewable variety will stick to your sewing machine needle if you ever try to sew through it!
For really DIY projects that you’re not going to wear, you can even get away with using hot glue. When hot glue gets between the fibers of the fabric and cools, it creates a really nice and strong bond.
Just remember: the glue must get in between the fibers. If your fabric has a satiny sheen or is too smooth, the glue may not be able to penetrate it enough and you won’t get a strong enough bond.
Since we’re talking about fusing, the least permanent way to do it is really velcro!
Before you fuse – whether it’s using tape, web, or even glue, make sure to pre-wash any fabrics you will use. From the manufacturer, fabrics usually have chemicals and coatings that will mess up the bond. It’s also possible the fabric will shrink, so you need to wash everything beforehand.
Additionally, your iron needs to be HOT, with the steam off. If your iron is not hot enough, the adhesive will not melt fully and the bond won’t be as permanent. It may start peeling right away, in fact!
One of the main reasons people tend to gravitate towards fusibles is that they’re simply not handy with a needle and thread! That’s completely OK, as the methods we’ve shown here will do the job really well.
Another reason you may wish to use fusing instead of stitching is if you don’t want the stitches to show, such as in a hem.
We're a husband and wife team of craft enthusiasts! Mostly we love working with different kinds of fabrics - in fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a store-bought piece of clothing in our home. Most of the stuff we enjoy making by hand!