Reposting: originally posted 8/29/13 - some stores have changed, disappeared, popped up... I have discovered some new ones, and some more options have appeared since then...
Why write this post?
Because you can't deny the time and anguish-saving fabulousness fusing or gluing something properly can bring, as an alternative to hand-stitching...
I am glue-challenged. My fear of adhesion, the process, my inability to properly launder, my disappointment when it fails, frustration when I press, maintain, and secure things to other things, has long made me seek other solutions, in an effort to avoid all of the products associated with it. But these are the things I have tried and loved/liked/dealt with, whether for clients, or for myself.
Now, I share my experiences with you, and invite you to share your own.
So, here are some things I've tried, and how they have worked. Chime in on this one, 'cause all input helps here...
One of the best sources for glue of all kinds is Manhattan Wardrobe Supply, because of their wide range of glue options and constant, healthy supply of products in the brick and mortar store!
The official spiel:
This is great if you have a costume to assemble. When stuff needs to stay put, without the real considerations of real life issues, like laundering and stiffness after adhesion, this stuff is great. Not a lot of need for it in my life, but come Halloween, that stuff is gonna get a lot of use!
This glue is a general-purpose glue for school, craft, and household use. Sobo withstands multiple freeze-thaw cycles and dries fast and clear.
Got craft projects and/or kids? This is the fiber artists equivalent of a stronger Elmer's Glue, in my opinion. Works great, if that's what you need!
Great for leather, rubber, fixing your shoes, and in my experience, some home dec purposes, too! This stuff is super strong, and professional quality.
Aleene's Tacky Glue
The official spiel:
In my experience: A temporary craft glue. Think holiday ornaments, kids' projects, and party decorations.
Other sticky stuff...
Just my own preference, but I don't use much fusible interfacing. When I do get interfacing of any kind, I get mine from Steinlauf & Stoller. I am usually buying small quantities, so they are the best option for me. The rest of the time, I use woven interfacings, and sometimes fabrics that aren't necessarily sold as "interfacing", when I'm sculpting a garment. Really depends on my opinion on whatever the garment requires. Too much to explain here, but I do notice drastic differences in interfacing quality from store to store, so really, don't just buy it anywhere. I've learned the hard way.
It gets far more complicated, though. You might want to do something special, and you need something that only a really tough or specific fusible product can do for you. I just had a very happy experience with thick, firm Fuse-A-Shade, which I bought from a local Jo Ann store (yes, really), and it was perfect! Jo Ann is also good for shipping elsewhere, if you're not in NYC. Also easy to find Wonder-Under, Stitch Witchery, and spray-on or heat-set adhesives (turning something previously not fusible, into something fusible).
A note about JoAnn, and why I mention the store here on this blog:
While the NYC garment district has a wealth of notions, tools, and things you can use, Jo Ann's products can help bridge the expertise gap, bringing some no-sew ideas to life, making use of the fabulous fabric you find in the garment district's stores. Not a betrayal of my mission here, but rather, a complement to it.
Also, see my post on Quick Fusing, if you want to bond or fuse yardage!
There are an amazingly large bunch of people who glue rhinestones. I won't even ask why... but I have do some ideas, people... Anyway, Joyce Trimming has got you covered for that stuff. If you can't go in person, see their website.
M&J Trimming is a wonderland. Visit the Swarovski counter, and I defy you to leave without a bag of something. Silver foil backing, with adhesive already in place. Easy to apply! If you need a Hot Fixer tutorial, M&J offers an instructional video on their site!
Monograms and well, just letters...
M&J and Jonathan Embroidery both offer some great fusible letters. They stay on so securely, you don't need to worry! And, you've gotta check out the rhinestone script letters M&J offers. If it didn't require so many letters, I would love to spell out "High Maintenance" across a cashmere sweatshirt... but people wouldn't know I was kidding, so...
I have learned to pre-fortify the knees of my son's jeans with iron-on patches BEFORE the hole begins. Yup. That's what it is to have an extremely active boy! (He's no longer a "little" boy, but man... it's still true!)
And a personal Mommy recommendation from me...