One of my favourite learnings while at the Roland Mouret studio in London, was learning how to fuse fabrics together – a technique referred to as araignée, or ‘spiders web’ as I was told.
This technique using a glue that looks like a spiders web, to bond two fabrics together. It’s very much like the method of using hemming tape to shorten the hems of pant legs, only on a larger scale.
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What You’ll Need To Fuse Fabric Together
To get started, you’ll need just five things:
- Two fabrics
- Adhesive webbing
- Pressing mat or ironing board
- Scissors for cutting (that aren’t fabric scissors) or a rotary cutter and cutting mat
Let’s get fusing!
Step 1: Cut Your Fabric To Size
Grab the fabric or materials that you want to fuse together and cut them so that they match in size. In this example, I am fusing remnants on a woven fabric (used to create this DIY ruffle dress) to a leather which is a test piece for a lined leather project I have planned.
Step 2: Cut Your Adhesive To Size
Now we need to cut the adhesive to match the side of the fabric pieces. In order to fuse them completely you’ll want to make sure that the web is exactly the same size as the fabric.
Avoid having the adhesive webbing larger as this will stick to your iron. And that is not a fun task to tidy up!
Step 3: Pressing The Fusible To The Leather
Place one piece of fabric right side down on your pressing mat or ironing board. Lay the adhesive webbing on top and then make sure the paper is on top if yours has it. If not, use greaseproof paper from your kitchen.
You may also want to use a pressing cloth. Carefully press the paper, so that the glue of the web melts onto the fabric beneath it.
Step 4: Fusing The Fabric To The Leather
Remove the paper from the web by peeling it backwards. You can see that the web is not fully fused to my leather – it will be by the end!
Place the second piece of fabric on top. Try to make sure that there is no overlap, though sometimes this happens if you’re fusing two fabrics that are a different structure or fabric type.
Take the iron and press it, allowing the heat to melt the adhesive again so that the two pieces of fabric are fused together.
Step 5: Neatening The Raw Edges Of the Fused Fabric
Finally, use a rotary cutter or a pair of scissors to neaten the raw edges of the fused fabric pieces. We can clearly see that some of the fabric is showing on the leather side.
And some of the leather is showing on the fused fabric side.
Now that the raw edges are trimmed, we can see how beautiful the fabric has fused to the leather.
This technique of fusing fabrics can be used for many applications:
- Fusing fabrics for appliquéing before stitching in place
- Fusing two types of fabrics together to create a ‘ready lined’ fabric
- Fusing two of the same fabric in contrasting colours for a reversible fabric
How will you use this fabric fusing technique? I’m going to continue fusing printed woven to my leather remnants ready for my big leather project!
Learn more about the different types of fabrics so that can make better choices when fusing fabrics in future and if you’re new to fusible, I have a great post covering interfacing fabric; what it is and how to use it!
Eve Tokens (aka The Creative Curator) is a fashion designer, creative pattern cutter and sewing pattern designer.
Eve graduated with a 2:1 in Fashion Design from the University of The Creative Arts in the UK, has a BTEC diploma in Creative Pattern Cutting, a Foundation Degree in Art & Design from Wimbledon College of Art and gained extensive experience in the fashion industry by interning and freelancing for London based fashion brands – Hardy Amies, Roland Mouret, Peter Pilotto and others.
As well as running her own small sustainable fashion brand, Eve has more than 25 years experience sewing and making clothes for herself and family members.