The Best Glues to use for Hat Making

Glue can be a pretty touchy topic to discuss when it comes to using it for millinery purposes. As hat makers and milliners, we want our hats and headpieces to be entirely made from our hands, meaning that they are entirely hand-sewn together without using glue or alternative adhesives. The intense level of detail and handwork that is put into each hat is what sets our products apart from the ones that are mass-produced in factories far away from the store that is actually selling and distributing them. These ideas and notions leave milliners questioning ‘when is it okay to use glue and what kind of glue is okay to use on my delicate hats?’ Oftentimes milliners have no other choice than to work with glue or a particular adhesive in order to work with a specific hat-making material that may be difficult to attach through sewing. The millinery academy here at Hat Atelier has put together a list of different glues every hat maker should keep within their millinery studio.

The Top Glues That Every Hat Maker Should Use For Their Millinery Projects:

Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive

This particular type of glue comes in a bottle with a nozzle tip, allowing milliners to have more control over the glue. The only con that comes with the Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive glue is that users have to wait for the glue to drip down to the nozzle area slowly when the bottle starts becoming low. When this begins to occur, we suggest that you invert the glue bottle and store it in a cup with the nozzle closed; that way, you don’t have to sit there and wait for the glue to trickle down the bottle.

Selleys Kwik Grip (Water Based)

Hat makers or milliners that use leather in their designs need to use a strong leather glue that will adhere the leather together.  This particular glue is water based, has a low odour, is thick and clear and can dry quickly. Many leather glues are toxic, have very strong smells and need to be used outdoors with protective gear, so that’s why we love this particular leather glue, it is the perfect adhesive for you to use on leather.

UHU All Purpose Adhesive Glue

One of the most common glues for individuals that reside in Europe and Australia to use is UHU. UHU comes readily available in a tube with a clear consistency that makes this particular glue perfect for adhesion to multiple different surfaces and materials. It is also able to dry pretty quickly, making it a somewhat helpful tool for when you are in a rush to connect two pieces of fabric or materials together.

Loctite ‘Control’ liquid Super Glue

Loctite’s versatile and reliable Super Glue Liquid is fast and strong and has a range of applicators that will get the job done quickly in every situation. It dries transparent to form a long lasting invisible bond in seconds.  Loctite has an easy grip squeeze bottle for pin point applications and hard to reach places making it super precise to drop the tiniest amount onto delicate millinery pieces. Oh and it work on metal, leather, feathers, hat braids, straw and many other hat making materials.  We just Looooooove this glue!


Aquadhere is a PVA wood glue and is perfect to stiffen Sinamay with. You do however need to dilute the Aquadhere to 50/50 mix with cold water. A great tip is to keep a supply of the 50/50 mixture in a glass jar so it is ready when you need to use it next. We use the 50/50 mixture to brush onto sinamay after blocking it and once it has dried it won’t leave a windowpane effect like some stiffeners can. It also stiffens it quite firm and ensures the sinamay holds it shape.  It’s cost effective, you can strengthen it by adding more PVA to the water, it is non-toxic and doesn’t smell which is great for working indoors.  A great glue staple to keep in your millinery studio.

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