When you start looking at fabric glue, you realise how many types of glue there are and the number of brands available. Tacky and fast setting were my main priorities, but of course the glues must also be suitable for use by children; non toxic and not likely to stick their hands to their foreheads! My favourite Copydex type was also not really on the agenda as it can be a bit difficult to work with. I wanted one that came in small sized bottles with a fine applicator nozzle, not one that needs spreaders.
PVA seemed the best solution, but most ‘school’ types are quite runny. Hi-tac type, thicker PVA seemed the best solution, and I chose two types; one is a specific fabric glue (Trimits Fabric Glue) that is tacky and fast drying, and another (Hi Tack Fast Tack) which is labelled as more general purpose, but with the same properties. Both seem to do the job OK, they hold almost immediately, but do take up to 12 hours to dry completely. So we will just have to be gentle when packing up the workshop.
Then we have the cool melt glue guns as well. I’ve not used a cool melt gun before, and having burned my fingers on my hot melt gun I was dubious, but these cool melt ones aren’t bad. I chose ‘Stick It’ ones, as they were cheap and the sticks are readily available. They are not really ‘cool’, but not burning hot – more uncomfortable than painful if the glue gets on your fingers (and of course it does), but still not suitable for children to use alone. I hate to think of the mess that would ensue! This glue really does set fast, and the bond is strong, but the gun will only be used by an adult, and must situated near to an electric plug. Children can bring things that they are having trouble sticking down with the PVA to the adult with the gun to stick for them. We must make sure the mat-making is put close to plug as the vinyl one will rely on the glue gun.