You have your brand new-dress, diamantes, half pearls and lots of beautiful jewel stones. Question is, which glue should you use?
Choosing the correct glue can sometimes be a costly nightmare if you are new to the game and over the years I have seen plenty of situations where the wrong choice was unfortunately made. Examples of some of these catastrophes include the use of a hot glue gun, glue sticks, silicone glue gun, fabric tac, PVA wood glue, Liquid Nails, Kwik Grip, epoxy glue and glue in a spray can. The problem here is whilst some of these adhesives are formulated to stick a glass or plastic flat back object to fabric, none of them have been formulated for our specific purpose. Thankfully there are a range of glues available that have been specifically developed for dancers. Please note there are a range of suitable glues available however the ones described in this article are those I have personally used for many years and highly recommend.
Best glue for diamantes...
There is no doubt that water based specialised white PVA style fabric glues are the most successful for gluing diamantes to fabric. One of the best Diamante adhesives I have come across is Gem Tac. It has great consistency and provided you use the correct technique when applying, works very effectively. Other brands which are either similar or the same as Gem Tac are Chrisanne Clover Crystal Glue, and DSI Jewel Glue. I have used all 3 of these glues and found them all great. In fact I only ever stick with these major brands as I have never found any of the generic or cheaper brands to work as well. The best advantage of these glues is that they are non-toxic and don't have any carcinogenic fumes. These glues are great for bonding diamantes up to ss40 in size.
Best glue for jewel stones...
Due to their larger size, flat back sew-on style jewel stones need a firmer bond than diamantes. I have found glues such as Gem Tac are not strong enough to offer an everlasting bond for these larger embellishments. To stick jewel stones to fabric it's best to use an industrial clear adhesive. To date the best and strongest glue I have found is the E6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive. It dries clear and has a flexible bond. The downside is that you need to use extra caution when using this glue for several reasons. Most importantly you should always remember this type of glue is highly toxic and breathing the vapours can be extremely harmful. You should always read all the warnings on the packaging and only ever use these glues with adequate ventilation. The other downside to this type of glue is that it can be difficult to control. It can tend to ooze from the nozzle and get stringy so always have some tissues at the ready. Over the years I have used several other brands of glue and although they tested positively to start with, I found over time the bonds often became brittle and sometimes left a yellow discolouration. The best of the rest I have found are Helmar 450 Stainless Adhesive, Bostik All Purpose Extra Strong and Evo-Stik Clear.
Best glue for half pearls...
When choosing glue for half pearls the main consideration is their size. For anything 6mm or less I would go Gem Tac style glue, for pearls bigger than 8mm definitely E6000 type glues. 8mm pearls are that between size and I have found either glue to be fine so go for whatever you have available in your kit.
You can buy highly recommended glues from Diamonte.net at great prices.
In conclusion, the best advice is to make wise choices based on quality rather than price and always use a glue that is appropriate for the job.
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