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How To Fuse Fabric Together: Fusing Woven Fabric And Leather

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.

How to fuse fabric together!

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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
  • Iron
  • 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

Two fabrics that will be fused together along with the bondaweb

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

The bondaweb is an adhesive that looks like a spider web

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!

The leather, the fabric and the bondaweb all cut to the same size

Step 3: Pressing The Fusible To The Leather

The paper used to operate the bondaweb is used for pressing and melting the adhesive.

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.

The leather is at the bottom, then the layer of bondaweb and the pressing paper on top.

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.

The first pressing - using heat from an iron to melt the adhesive and bond it to the first layer of fabric

Step 4: Fusing The Fabric To The Leather

The leather now has the adhesive applied to the wrong side.

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!

Removing the paper from the glued fabric reveals that adhesive web underneath

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.

The leather with adhesive on the wrong side, next to the fabric that will be fused to it
Place the fabric on top of the leather piece ready to press and fuse the fabrics together

Take the iron and press it, allowing the heat to melt the adhesive again so that the two pieces of fabric are fused together.

Applying heat to the fabric so that the adhesive is melted and adheres to both the leather and the fabric

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.

Trim the raw edges of the fused fabric so that they are neat and tidy

And some of the leather is showing on the fused fabric side.

Trim the raw edges of the fused fabric so that they are neat and tidy

Now that the raw edges are trimmed, we can see how beautiful the fabric has fused to the leather.

Once the raw edges are trimmed, the fused fabric looks beautiful
With the fused fabrics cool, I can bend and manipulate the leather section with no ill effects
Fusing a fun printed fabric to the wrong side of leather is a great way to line leather before sewing.

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!

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