Fusible Options to Join Fabric Instead of Sewing

  • 01 of 03

    Fusible Tape

    Masking tape and cloth
    MIXA / Getty Images

    Fusible tape is available in a variety of widths and weights. The tape melts, causing a glue-like action between two pieces of fabric.

    When to Use Fusible Tape

    • Fusible tape is the perfect answer to a quick hem or repair.
    • Some fabrics are impossible to have a completely invisible hem. Fusible tape is an alternative to stitching that would show when you don't want stitches to be visible.
    • Fusible tape can be used to create a small patch to repair a small tear in the fabric.
    • A narrow tape is a great...MORE way to hold a turned edge, that wants to twist, in place to sew decorative or topstitching.

    What Weight to Use

    • The weight of the fabric you are fusing will determine the weight of the fusible you want to use. A lightweight fabric such as a sheer fabric would use ultra-lightweight fusible tape.
    • Do not use a heavyweight fusible thinking it will hold better. It may seep through the fabric, be visible and look very messy.

    How to Use Fusible Tape

    • Fabric used with fusible of any form should be pre-washed. Finishes in the fabric may prevent the fusible from adhering to the fabric.
    • Press the fabric and any detail (such as a hem) into place before using a fusible.
    • Place the tape between the layers of fabric and press until the fusible tape melts, adhering the layers of fabric. Allow it to cool before moving the fabric so that the fusing sets up rather than sliding while the fusible is still melted.
    • Do not place your iron directly on the fusible tape! It will melt to the iron and leave a mess!
    • If you want to fuse the tape to one layer of fabric at a time, use parchment paper on the nonfabric side of the tape.
    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Fusible Web by the Yard

    Fusible web is available by the yard in the interfacing section of fabric stores or in packaged quantities in the notions department.

    • There are many types and weights available. Most fusible web by the yard is backed with a paper that is suitable for ironing one layer of fabric at a time.
    • The weight of the fabric you are fusing will determine the weight of the fusible you want to use. A lightweight fabric such as a sheer fabric would use ultra-lightweight fusible web. The heavier the weight of the...MORE fusible, the stiffer the fabric will be after fusing.
    • Buying fusible web by the yard allows you to create a tape the width you want or fuse large pieces of fabric, such as an applique.
    • Sheets of paper backed fusible web can be traced on to or drawn on to create a shape. This allows you to fuse a larger piece of fabric and then cut out the desired shape.
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Mending a Fabric Tear with Fusible web

    Hole in a Blue Jeans.
    Stephan Drescher / Getty Images

    If the tear is in a location that an applique is possible, the applique can hide the tear.

    Not all rips and tears happen in a location that an applique is feasible. Tears in fabric are not usually going to be totally invisible but they can be wearable. The "cleaner" the torn edge is the more likely the mending will be invisible. Mend the torn fabric before laundering the item to prevent further disintegration of the torn edge.

    • Find a scrap of fabric of similar weight and color to the...MORE fabric that is torn.
    • Apply fusible web to the correct side of the matching fabric.
    • Cut a piece of the fused matching fabric so that it is large enough to cover the entire tear.
    • Press the tear, aligning the edges of the tear as closely as possible.
    • Place the fused matching fabric behind (on the wrong side)the tear being sure that the entire tear is covered.
    • Press the patch into place.