Different Types of Sewing Adhesives and When to Use Them

Whether you’re plotting an appliqué project, hemming a garment, or strengthening your stitches, sewing adhesives are definitely a helpful addition. It’s surprisingly easy to use spray adhesive, basting tape, and seam sealant in your sewing projects – you’ll soon learn that these tools belong in every sewing room!

Spray Adhesive

What it is: Usually found in aerosol canisters, spray adhesive is a form of glue that sprays easily. It comes available as either temporary or permanent, and be sure to seek out forms that are meant to be used on fabric. Spray adhesive may also be known as “basting spray.”

When to use it: Spray adhesive will bond two pieces of fabric together. Commonly used for appliqué work, it’s also handy to use when pins might mar the fabric. Always test the spray adhesive on a fabric scrap to ensure it won’t leave a residue behind.

Basting Tape

What it is: Available in several forms, basting tape is a thin double-sided adhesive strip. There are several forms, some of which are more like double-sided tape while others are heat activated and require ironing.

When to use it: Hems are the most common use of basting tape, but it can also come in handy any time you need to fold up a piece of fabric.

Seam Sealant

What it is: Seam sealant is a liquid adhesive that is used to reinforce stitches. It will most often be found in the notions aisle of the craft store.

When to use it: The simplest use is to dab a bit on the wrong side of a button. However, it can also be used to waterproof seams. Be sure to research the best type of seam sealant for your specific project.

Adhesives can be a life saver in certain sewing scenarios, but can also be used creatively to enhance your project. You can watch me make a faux appliqué pillow and use spray adhesive to adhere the batting to the fabric in this video, and you can learn how to use basting tape when working with zippers in this video with Stacy Grissom.

Happy sewing!

Related videos:
Faux Appliqué Techniques
Sewing Zippers: How to Use Basting Tape

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4 Responses to “Different Types of Sewing Adhesives and When to Use Them”
  1. Erma

    I knit and have used some yarn that cannot be woven in as it badly frays. I use the liquid stitch and a toothpick to paste down the fray.

    • Dorothy Rushton
      Dorothy Rushton

      I’m sewing a baby bunting for winter weather. Suggestion on how to sew batting in the bunting?

  2. Janice Olson
    Janice Olson

    My recliner cushion stitching came out and since it’s part of the chair and not removable I’m having difficulty finding something to hold the seam together. Any ideas?

    • Janet

      You can probably use a hand-held sewing device to walk the stitching along the seam, or sew by hand with sturdy upholstery thread.