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Thread: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Lehi, UT
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    99

    Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    I'm starting my 5th bellows for my 8x10 project, and one of the problems I've run into in the past is getting a good bond between the cardboard (poster board) stiffeners and the fabric layers. So far I tried Loctite spray adhesive, rubber cement, and Scotch Super 77 spray adhesive. None of these provides good adhesion, and the fabric balloons out on me when folding the bellows. What are some glues you've used and had good luck with?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Northwest of Chicago
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    1,312

    Re: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    I used to own a custom lampshade company and we laminated a LOT of fabric to a thin glossy cardboard backing. We used plain old white glue which was thinned down and applied lightly and evenly with a short nap paint roller. The fabric was then placed on the glue covered board and rolled with a laminating roller similar to this—

    https://www.dickblick.com/products/s...saAtc_EALw_wcB

    until the glue started to set up—not very long. It was then set aside to dry thoroughly. We sometimes made pleated shades that were not much different than bellows, although a little larger scale perhaps; about 1 inch pleats.

  3. #3
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    4,149

    Re: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    After removing the old adhesive with Goof Off, I used Pliobond 25 for attaching long bellows from Rudy on ebay to Toyo hardware with excellent results.

    Thomas

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    Try Barge Cement, the shoe repairman's old standby.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    42

    Re: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    Same here, I've use spray adhesives and never completely satisfied with the results. Rubber cement, especially the low VOC, is too thick for attaching the ribs to fabric, however, it's great for overlapping fabric. I agree with Richard Wasserman about using a roller for getting rid of bubbles. Try the purple Elmer's Glue stick and let it set for a day before folding the bellows.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Denmark
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    Re: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    Spray adhesive is not good on very absorbent surfaces. A deepish wetting is best. Rollers sound good - but I have always borrowed a domestic iron instead. Hastens the drying process too.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    103

    Re: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    I find that contac cements, such as Pliobond 25, work great, but are hard to apply cleanly.

    Transfer tape is a good alternative. Easy to apply and doesn't degrade over time. Somewhat expensive though.

    https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-18771/Adhesive-Transfer-Tapes/3M-465-Adhesive-Transfer-Tape-Hand-Rolls-4-x-60-yds

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Yorkshire
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    64

    Re: Which adhesive for bonding cardboard stiffeners to fabric?

    If I make another bellows, and I probably will, I would use api's Crafter's Pick Fabric Glue for the job you describe. I recently used some of this to glue paper to fabric on a little project I did with my grandchildren. I was really impressed by the excellent job it did. It has the consistency of PVA glue, and is a creamy white colour, almost as if you had mixed a little Titebond into PVA glue. But on the fingers it had a distinct hint of cellulose glue, such as UHU. It had a fairly fast grab and went off quicker than PVA glue, and formed a very strong flexible bond. I make musical instruments - guitars and lutes - and often use cloth tape to re-inforce butted wood joints. In the past I have used hot hide glue or Titebind for this, but in future will definitely be using Crafter's Pick. The irony here is that I bought this glue from the fabric craft department of a household goods shop - not from a specialist craft supplier of fine materials. But it is a top quality product.

    Alan

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