Why use a glue gun in textiles?
One doesn’t immediately think of a hot glue gun as an essential tool in textiles. After significant research and experimentation, I developed a glue-gun workshop specifically for textile artists. My workshop explores dozens of ways to use this versatile medium. The focus was to ‘Embrace your glue gun to emblazon fabrics by embellishing, embedding, embossing and more…….’
The humble glue gun along with easily available (and surprising!) materials is a really useful tool in textile art. The almost wet-look sheen of hot glue helps to add contrast, texture, bling and dimension. Hot glue is light, solidifies quickly and is very flexible. 2D and 3D elements made from glue can be attached or couched onto fabric or applied directly. You can stitch over, around and through glue without the fear of breaking a needle. More effects can be achieved by utilising the glue’s heat sensitive properties. You can use both heat and cold to manipulate the structure of the glue and the elements created.
Glue guns – general
I particularly love using a Bosch glue gun. This particular one has an elongated nozzle which gives you more control. Cheap ones from your local craft shop work well too – just differently. Glue sticks are not all the same either but it is fun to experiment with whatever you have to see what you can achieve. Using hot glue is a very cost effective way of creating embellishments that are also unique and quick to make.
Hot melt glue has been around since 1894 and Wikipedia has a lot of information about it. I am not an authority on the subject, but I gather hot glue also has good archival properties. Certainly something to consider if you intend incorporating ‘hot glue’ elements into your textile work.
Glue gun workshops
I have given this workshop a few times, most recently to a Wearable Art group at WAFTA (West Australian Fibre and Textile Association). The participants were pretty excited about the possibilities. So were the 84 Contemporary Textile Group who are always keen to explore alternative and complementary textile techniques.