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Thread: Elmer's Glue Stick - Yellowing?

  1. #1
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Elmer's Glue Stick - Yellowing?

    If you use Elmer's washable glue sticks for your applique, have you ever had an issue with yellowing over time? I am currently using this method for a quilt I'm making for my daughter so it will definitely get washed...but I wanted to try it on some wallhangings and quilts that probably won't be anything but surface washed - should I be concerned about yellowing or anything funny happening over time? Thanks!

    (I did do a search on this but mostly just got applique projects and pictures!)
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer but will follow this and see what advice you get.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  3. #3
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    Doesn't the glue wash out?

  4. #4
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    She said she wouldn't wash the wallhangings.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  5. #5
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    ​I have noticed that the glue stick itself yellows over time as it gets dried out. I don't think you would be able to tell on the back of most pieces unless they were white?

  6. #6
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Tartan, that is true except where she uses it on the front for her applique. I'm concerned about this also as I'm going to be working on a wall hanging that will not be washed. I guess one could wipe it off with a damp rag??
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



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    Some of the most destructive elements in antique quilts is, indeed, starch. Others are improper storage. Water, moisture and wood and wood products. Bugs are attracted to the starch. We are talking about long term storage in maybe an attic or trunk or on a closet shelf on bare wood. I dnn't have much experience with modern elements such as glue, etc. Why not wash a wall hanging before it is hung?

  8. #8
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I think anytime glue is used for a quilt/wallhanging it should be washed to get the glue out of the fabric. Besides, when I use glue the project ends up stiff where the glue was applied. That said, using glue for sandwiching and binding has made my life so much easier.

  9. #9
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    Does fabric glue cause problems?

  10. #10
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Hmm ... I have a small baggie of some of the leftover cuts that I decided not to use when I made a wall hanging using a glue stick. Most of the cuts have been glued before storing in the bag, but they were not washed before they were put in the bag. They've been in there a little over a year (15 months to be exact). I just checked and not even the light colors have yellowed.

    BUT .... I agree with Adamae ... even if the glue doesn't yellow, it could promote some of the other problems listed above (bugs, deterioration of the fabric). I made a large wall hanging and used a LOT of the glue stick on it ... I went through several sticks!! I did however give the wall hanging a wash when I was done (a good long soak - no agitation - gentle soap). I dried mine, but you can choose to dry it flat.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  11. #11
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    I would definitely wash it out of my wall hangings. I would just use a different washing method, probably just soak them until the glue was dissolved, and then a couple of rinses, no agitation and lay flat to dry - or I would make the wall hangings able to withstand a regular washing. Heavy starch is not good for fabric over several years no matter where the fabric is. If these are seasonal wall hangings that you plan on discarding after a few seasons, don't worry. If they are something to keep then you need to get the starch/glue out of them.

  12. #12
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    Hi all, when I learn the glue method I was instructed that to keep down the yellowing and stiffing, it must be soaked/washed doesn't have to be agitated and rinsed. This was several years ago. Will keep watch of this thread in case things have changed.

  13. #13
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of the advice - I appreciate it! The project I'm thinking of using this on is one that I would like to possibly enter into a show and it will be something that we keep indefinitely.

    Maybe fabric glue would be safer? Just Elmer's is so darn inexpensive and we always have it around with three small children!

    Quote Originally Posted by gramajo View Post
    I think anytime glue is used for a quilt/wallhanging it should be washed to get the glue out of the fabric. Besides, when I use glue the project ends up stiff where the glue was applied. That said, using glue for sandwiching and binding has made my life so much easier.
    So far I've used glue as sparingly as I can to still achieve the desired effect, and I've not had much stiffness. I've read of people using Elmer's white glue and I could see where you'd get that because it dries hard...but the glue stick is more like a soft paste.

    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    I would definitely wash it out of my wall hangings. I would just use a different washing method, probably just soak them until the glue was dissolved, and then a couple of rinses, no agitation and lay flat to dry - or I would make the wall hangings able to withstand a regular washing. Heavy starch is not good for fabric over several years no matter where the fabric is. If these are seasonal wall hangings that you plan on discarding after a few seasons, don't worry. If they are something to keep then you need to get the starch/glue out of them.
    I took an applique class with a simply amazing lady who uses the heavy starch method. I noticed a good number of her quilts had yellowing - and this woman put HOURS upon hours into her quilts...she even recorded the times she put into them. At the time I was pretty new to quilting - I went home and tried her method only to burn my fingers fingers (resulting in lots of swearing, stomping, and yelling) and stiff jagged appliques. Never again!!! Lol*

    I think you're right, for heirloom pieces I think I'm going to soak them. Thank you!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  14. #14
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I use Elmer's School Glue that I buy for $1 at Dollar General; it's cheaper than the glue stick and easier for me to apply. There have been posts on here about people looking for nozzles, but I find I don't need one--I just open the Elmer's nozzle enough to get a small line of glue out. I also wash all my projects in the machine on gentle cycle. It's easier on me. I'm lazy and don't want to spend the time hand washing/soaking and then giving it several rinses. The machine is much easier/less time-consuming for lazy me.

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