Fabric and plastic: Together forever

Gluing fabric to plastic: Your how-to guide for crafts and repairs

Using the right adhesive is the key to successfully gluing fabric to plastic. We’ll provide expert recommendations and tips to make your project a huge success.

Gluing fabric to plastic: What you should know 

When selecting an adhesive for gluing fabric to plastic, always read the label and ensure the glue will be compatible with both materials. Some types of liquid glue will bleed through the fabric and ruin the job. Other adhesives may become brittle and crack with the flexing of the material.

The best choices are fabric adhesives, contact adhesives, and spray adhesives. Let’s look at a few details. 

How to glue fabric to plastic: Common solutions 

Follow the manufacturer’s directions when using any adhesive. Here are some general guidelines for the most common solutions when attaching fabric to plastic.

Fabric glue

Use fabric glue in a similar manner to general-purpose glue. Apply an even coat to each surface, then press the items together until the glue has dried. Always test a small area first to ensure the glue will not discolour or bleed through the fabric. Don’t overdo it! A little adhesive goes a long way, especially on more delicate fabrics.

Contact adhesive

Contact adhesives can be an excellent choice for many projects. This type of glue works a bit differently than other adhesives. The glue is allowed to dry to a tacky state before joining the materials. Once joined, a strong bond develops very quickly, so reposition the material immediately if necessary. Consult the directions for details.

Spray adhesive

Spray adhesive functions like a contact adhesive in that you don’t join the materials immediately. For most applications, spray both surfaces, wait until tacky, then join them. Two or more applications of adhesive will usually result in a stronger bond. Spray adhesive is the glue of choice for many fabrics because of the low moisture content, which reduces the chance of wrinkling or staining.

If repairing a large tear, use some cloth or fiberglass as a patch on the back side of the material. Glue the patching material to the back of one side of the torn fabric, then carefully line up the other side of the material to match. This creates a durable repair. 

Choosing the best glue for fabric to plastic 

As with any project, consider the materials used and the conditions to which the item will be subjected, and make your choice accordingly.

Spray adhesive is likely most convenient for larger areas and more delicate materials. Contact adhesive or fabric glue may work best with less porous materials or when spraying is impractical.

Loctite Vinyl, Fabric & Plastic Flexible Adhesive can be a great choice for quick repairs. Not only does it stay flexible, but it dries clear, so it’s nearly invisible when dry. It is waterproof and resilient and will bond to fabric, vinyl, and most plastics. The adhesive is perfect for repairing cushions, outdoor furniture, and automobile seats. 

For precision work, you’ll love Loctite Super Glue Power Gel Control. The unique rubber-infused formula will bond to almost any porous surface and most plastics. It stays flexible, can withstand heavy loads, and dries to a transparent finish.