What Kind of Glue Is Used for Iron-On Patches?

By Mercedes Valladares

Create original embroidery designs or appliques to embellish garments or home decor items by transforming the trim into iron-on patches. Use different application fusibles which have the same characteristics of glue to adhere permanently adhere the designs. Always test the application method, fusible type or glue with fabric scrap material similar to the project material.

Double-Sided Fusible Web

One of the most common fusibles used to adhere embroidered patch designs is double-sided fusible web. Most fabric and sewing supply shops carry this fusible type, sold by the yard or with peel-away backing. Release the heat sensitive glue within the web by gliding a hot iron in a back and forth motion for a few minutes, depending on the brand. Place the patch on the fusible and cut around it, not surpassing the patch's outline to avoid glue adhering to the bottom of your iron. Turn the patch to its back side and position the fusible. Cover the fusible with a nonstick protective sheet and iron. Lift the sheet to check if the fusible has adhered to the back of the patch. Position the patch on your garment, cover it with the nonstick protective sheet and iron to release the glue as it adheres to the garment.

Permanent Bonding Adhesive

Jazz up a plain backpack with patches. Zippers, snaps and straps usually prevent fusible web from adhering to heavy weight canvas or nylon. However, by using a permanent bonding adhesive, sold as a craft adhesive at most arts and crafts shops as well as sewing supply stores, this thick solution adheres to most surfaces and fabrics. Do not add excessive glue to the back of the patch to avoid the glue seeping around the patch and onto the fabric surface. Most bonding adhesives are rubber-based compounds and have contact adhesive qualities. Choose the exact location for the patch prior to adhering because the bonding agent is permanent and can damage the item if you attempt to move it to another location.

Patch Adhesive

Certain garments, such as dry clean only or plastic-backed patches, require a different adhesive type and application procedure. For example, adhesives usually slide off of plastic backed patches. Score around the edge of the plastic back with a sharp craft knife, exposing the patch fibers and avoiding embroidery thread tears. The patch adhesive seeps into the fibers and adheres to the garment. If you are adhering patches to machine washable garments, wash prior to attaching the patch to remove any garment sizing, which is an agent adding body and stiffness to fabric easing the ironing process.

Iron-On Glue Sheets

Although most crafting enthusiasts and sewers use double-sided fusible web, iron-on glue sheets have the same properties. These thin-type sheets are covered in fabric glue and have a protective sheet covering on each side of the glue sheet. Generally, the shiny sheet covers the glue side and the dull side, referred to as grease paper, adheres to the fabric. Lightly trace the patch on the shiny side and cut out. Place the glue side on the patch and dull side on the fabric. You can cover the patch to protect metallic embroidery threads or delicate patches with a nonstick protective sheet. Set the iron to a medium setting, allowing the glue to melt into the back of the patch and onto the fabric. Keep in mind that, although most glue sheets are machine washable, the glue type used in the sheet is permanent. Select the exact location on the garment prior to attaching the patch.

About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.