Rushing to work or a dinner date and your outfit rips in an unpleasant manner, that is too obvious to hide? That’s where fabric (or hem) tape comes to the rescue! Let’s take a look at how something so simple, can repair all sorts of outfit problems, where even seams can be fused within seconds.
Fabric tape or hem tape, is a nifty product that allows users to fuse seams without using a needle and thread, where practically anyone can perform this move with the greatest of ease. It’s a strong adhesive that latches on to fabric, staying put until you’re ready to take care of it with sewing; or you could just leave it as it is. The only problem with permanently keeping it in place, is that it’ll need to be removed before tossing it in the washing machine; it can damage the fabric and leave a mess. Wondering how to use hem tape? Let’s see how it’s done.
Steps on How to Fuse Fabric Tape
When you buy this tape, consider the different options available to you, depending on what the purpose is. Do you want a cleaner job done? Go for transparent hem tape. Do you want the job done quicker? Opt for double-sided tape. Not pressed for time? Single-sided tape should do the trick. These tapes are also available in a slew of options that mimic your outfit’s color, making the job as hush-hush as possible.
If you’re repairing a tear, reverse the fabric and run your finger over the tear to flatten the damaged area, before carefully placing the tape over it. Be sure to place parchment paper or another fabric over the tape (concealing the tear), and then iron for a few seconds to help the glue melt and fuse.
Choose a fusible tape variety that is specifically made for the sort of fabric you’re using. For heavy fabrics, opt for heavy-duty fusing tape, and for super-light fabric, lightweight fabric tape. Be sure that the fabric you’re about to work on is pre-washed, or the tape will find it hard to adhere.
Turn the outfit inside-out, so that you’re working on the wrong side. Next, pinch the fabric where the seam is likely to run across, holding it in place with pins. Remove the tape’s underlying layer to free the tape, carefully placing it within the seam fold.
Once the tape is placed within the fabric folds, run the iron over it to melt the glue. Never use the iron directly on the tape if it’s one-/two-sided, or it’ll melt and stick to the iron’s surface. For a seam that has the tape concealed within the fold, you can iron the top of the fabric to give it enough warmth to adhere.
Turn the outfit back to its right side, and it’ll look as good as new. For those of you who want to use this method as a quick-fix option when on the run, you can remove the hem tape before sewing the seams.
To remove fabric tape, you’ll need to heat the area again over the tape (not directly!) to un-glue it from the fabric (quickly strip it away when it melts), using acetone to scrape away any stubborn bits. It should come off easily, if not, consider taking it to a tailor to have it inspected. Be sure to test the acetone first on a small piece of the garment, to make sure it doesn’t damage easily.