I love my sewing machine, but sometimes you need a quick fix or a convenient no-sew project. I was approached by the makers of Speed Sew (out of Canada) to give it a go- so I was absolutely game. They provided the product for this review.
From the website:
Credibility: Speed-Sew has been on the market over 45 years. Once you start using Speed-Sew you will continue to love Speed-Sew.
Longevity: Speed-Sew has an amazing shelf life. You have no risk in buying 2, 4, 6 or 12 tubes for added discounts!
Traction: Speed-Sew has grown nationwide by the word of mouth. Once you use Speed-Sew we are sure you will tell your friends too.
Multi-use: Crafter’s Love Speed-Sew! Speed-Sew is also the product of choice for training dog’s ears. Yes, it’s that safe!
Dries in Minutes: You never know when you will need a quick fabric repair, in just minutes you can save yourself hours. NO IRONING!
Washable: Yes you can wash with confidence, Speed-Sew will not come off in the wash.
Strength: It will take all your might and some to tear apart Speed-Sew once it is set, sew with confidence!
The tube is metal, and you have to puncture the seal by inverting the cap.
Speed Sew is almost a liquid glue- it’s somewhat thinner than white glue. And, like white glue, it is opaque in it’s liquid form and then clear when dry.
However, you will notice a few BIG differences from white glue…. the first is the smell. Speed Sew has a strong odor in a closed room (like my studio in the middle of winter, for example.)
There is a distinct ammonia smell, and if you use it for any amount of time (larger projects) it’s a bit overwhelming. It brought back to the days of wet diapers in summer.
And I’ll be honest, I didn’t care for the smell or the consistency right off the bat. I prefer my fabric adhesives to be more viscous…and a nice pointy nozzle for precise application wouldn’t hurt, either.
But I set my apprehension aside and sallied forth.
So… are you wondering why this review is also mentioning Dritz Liquid Stitch Fabric Mender? Keep reading, folks. They mystery unfolds….
First, I added some Speed Sew to a non-woven cloth called Oly*Fun. Since I’m using that for a lot of kid’s projects, I thought it might be a good adhesive to try. Sadly, after it dried for 2 hours I was able to pull it apart.
I also tried repairing this plastic shopping bag. It just wouldn’t hold at all.
Then I used the product on this t-shirt bag. While the tube says it’s not for knits, they DO have a video of using it on a sweatshirt in a video so I thought I’d give it a try. And surprisingly, it held VERY strong on the knits! There was a bit of discoloring where the glue seeped through, but that’s due to my less-than-careful application.
Then I tried a cotton patch to a t-shirt. It dried quickly and stayed on the t-shirt material even when stretched or pulled. I even washed it and dried it and it remained intact. The cotton felt a bit rubbery, though- and again, I applied too much product and it squished through the fibers somewhat. So I think if you applied it with a paintbrush it would be stellar.
Onward! My hubby had a pair of jeans where the belt loops ripped out. Why not try some Speed Sew?
I got the loops to adhere, and in 2 hours they were glued back in place. AND STUCK TIGHT! Now..take note of this time frame. In 2 hours they were holding and we were impressed.
Here’s where I started to change my mind about Speed Sew. I was initially put off by the smell and consistency. But if it could hold my husband’s jeans together? Well, I’m sold!
I also glued a patch onto some jeans…because I HATE sewing patches on! I glued it on and left it to fully dry
Now, life got busy and 2 DAYS later I went back to check all my samples. T-shirt bag? Great. Cotton patch? Great. Jeans…. well, now we have a problem. The loops pulled right back off. And the patch also pulled off. WHAT? How could a hold so tight initially loosen up so dramatically?
And frankly, the product reminded me a LOT of rubber cement.
So I had to find out what Speed Sew is made from.
By the way, the ingredients are not noted on the tube or packaging. This product comes from Canada but is manufactured in the US, so I’m not sure how the laws apply. And since it’s also used for training dog ears, I thought that it must be non-toxic…but since it’s from Canada there is no “non-toxic” certified label.
I had to go digging on the website to find the MSDS (or SDS in Canada) to find what was actually IN it. Here’s what I found:
- Information on hazardous ingredients: Ethylene Glycol, CAS# 107-21-1
- Refer to Section 15: Regulations
- Chemical name: Speed-Sew %w/w
- Product code: Speed-Sew Hazard symbol: N/A
- CAS-no. N/A H-phrases: N/A
- EC-no.: N/A P-phrases: P273
- Formula: Natural Latex 95%
- Water/Additives 5%
OK, so that explains the stretchy factor, as well as the rubber-cement-like properties.
But this is a BIG issue for me… lots of folks have latex allergies or sensitivities, and this is NOT noted on the packaging anywhere. But now we do, right?
BUT THEN!!! I found out that this product is sold in the US Dritz Liquid Stitch And on their website I found this information:
DANGER: Extremely flammable. Harmful or fatal if swallowed. Avoid inhaling vapors. Exposure may result in nausea, headache, confusion or instability. Exposure may cause allergic reactions, harm to the developing fetus or harm to the central or peripheral nervous system. Contains natural rubber, methanol and glycol distillates. Precautions: Avoid breathing vapors. When using, do not eat, drink or smoke. Do not use or store near heat or flame. Keep tightly capped when not in use. Use exhaust fan to ensure adequate ventilation. If symptoms occur, move to fresh air. Avoid using if pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. First Aid: If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Give two or three glasses of water. Get immediate medical attention. In case of eye contact, flush gently with water immediately for 15 minutes. In case of irritation, get medical attention. If symptoms persist, see a physician. Keep out of reach of children.
Well, that’s certainly more information and more in line with what US crafters expect in the way of proper product labeling and information.
So… I’m a crafty sleuth, as well, eh?
Back to the mystery of the denim jeans. All I can think of is that because the product is latex, if you stretch it or pull it will hold initially but then you’ve stressed the fibers and it loses it’s ability to hold, and breaks like a rubber band.
I have to be honest… I have mixed feelings about Speed Sew.
- quick dry
- easy clean up when wet
- Available as Speed Sew in Canada/Australia- available in US as Dritz Liquid Stitch Fabric Mender
- Cost- $8 per tube in Canada Wal-Mart, $9.99 USD with shipping included from the website; Dritz product is $13.99 USD.
- non-durable hold for some fabrics
- poor labeling for the Speed Sew product
- needs a precision tip applicator since the product has a thin viscosity
- Removal for dried product requires dry cleaning chemicals.
If you are interested in seeing me use this product first hand, I made you a video:
Crafty Friends, I really feel like I’ve WORKED on this review. (And to be fair, I didn’t even try non-fabric tests on puzzles, ceramic, etc.) But I do feel like I’ve provided you all with some important information regarding what is in this product and how it performed for me personally. And I want to make it clear that these are my own opinions, based on my first-hand experience with the product. My tests are far from exhaustive and you might get different results.
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Laura P. says
Wow, Jenny, what a comprehensive and helpful review! Makes me especially glad that I seek out products made in the USA. I didn’t know the labeling requirements would be so different! If I compared the products side be side and saw one with all the warnings and one without, I would have assumed that the Speed Sew was safer! Thanks for educating us and also for the heads up to think twice when buying products that might not be subject to warning regulations.
Wow! That is SO good to know. I have an allergy to Latex that has gotten worse over time. My last reaction was severe. And I never once thought about looking for latex in an adhesive. So, I just checked mine. I have one called Liquid Stitch by Prym (dry cleanable version) and it is non-flammable. Also, it smells like regular glue. I used it to glue silk to fabric to lace to leather over a month ago. It was securely bonded in less than 24 and is still holding strong. Thank you so much for the review and additional info.
Thanks for the review of this product Jenny! I would love to see you do a review of the liquid mending glues out there. I haven’t found any that work well. Either they pull apart, or are really stiff so hems don’t bend, etc. I have also found that they tend to dry out in the bottle fairly quickly and I end up throwing it out. (Even though I put them in zip lock bags for that reason.) Is there one out there that really works??
Charlotte Zweigoron says
I appreciate your reviews so much! A question came to my mind during your review of the Speed Sew simply because so many things I have used for crafting with fabric include this warning. If a garment is new or if it has been subjected to softeners, it has to be pre-washed to get out the sizing (in any new fabric whether a piece of clothing or right off the bolt) or the softeners before applying. Apparently, the label on this product is a bit lacking in information. I wonder if this precautionary pre-wash would have made any difference?. I use fabric glue for making miniature clothing where the item is part of a display and will probably never be washed. And, because of the size of the project, only tiny amounts can be used. So, most everything I have tried worked for my needs. I’m the kind of gal who would have just cut off the belt loop completely anyway.
I realize this is an old review but where did you get your info about Dritz Liquid Stitch being the same product as Speed Sew? I had reason to test both and for me the Liquid Stitch looked like a vastly different product, far more liquid and soaked through the fleece I was working with. As to cleanup, the Dritz product took soap and water to get off of my hands while the Speed Sew just dried and peeled off like rubber. They smelled different too. In my non-review test the Dritz product didn’t adhere to itself at all well after any soaked into the fabric while the Speed Sew didn’t soak in all that much and gripped well in a very short amount of time. Granted that I’m in Canada, but here the Speed Sew claims to be made in Canada, not in the US (admittedly that is always suspect no matter where it claims to be made). Again to my original question, where did you get your info? I’d like to be able to read it for myself before I make my own judgement on your MSDS info and whether or not that is concerning for me.
Perhaps you tried a different formulation of Liquid Stitch? Dritz liquid stitch “fabric mender” (there are now different versions) is a liquid latex product (glue.) here is a link to the Spec sheet: http://m.dritz.com/file/22873/download/?token=EfF_FOqP