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UMSCO Fabric Adhesive

Bill Henry-

Brussel Sprout Connoiseur
Aug 17, 2002
Boondock Bowerbank, ME
Retired from the grind
Can UMSCO Fabric Adhesive be diluted with water to thin the consistency of the stuff and still keep it’s effectiveness? I am having trouble getting a uniform glaze with the adhesive straight out of the bottle.

If so, how much can one dilute this goop?

If you are referring to United Fabric Adhesive, Number 2912, then you probably could dillute it slightly.

To be honest, we've never had any problems in applying it evenly using a small wallpaper roller.


We use it with framing fabrics, primarily when creating "Embossed Matting" that is using fabric and double thick matboard (3X) for a deep embossed look...

Embossed Matting - Dimension with Fabric


I have diluted it with water to varying consistencies. Didn't seem to affect its stickiness at all.

I also use Sobo glue for sticking fabric to liners- I like that it is slightly thinner and spreads more evenly. I use it exactly the same way I use fabric adhesive.

But I use acrylic gloss medium for sticking fabric to mats. There is absolutely no ooze-through with that stuff.

edie the moreinformationthanyouaskedfor goddess
Edie, you use the gloss medium, and not the gel? Do you roll it on, then let it dry and heat-reactivate it through the fabric?
:cool: Rick
Thanks for everyone’s responses.

I should have been more specific in my original post. I have several projects:

(1) irregularly shaped police uniform patches to which I need to apply the adhesive carefully with a brush. I don’t believe a roller would give me the control I need to get near the edges cleanly.

(2) several fairly large, cheap “island art” canvases for which stretching is not an option (the edge of the fabric is unprimed and too thin and threadbare to grab with canvas pliers or even sew extensions onto).

I have come to realize that Fusion 4000 does not bond well enough to continue using that process.

I will try diluting the Fabric Adhesive so that it will spread more evenly. I’m assuming that the drying time will be somewhat extended.
If the island art is painted without thick 3D globs of paint, it will mount nicely with the acrylic gloss medium.
Can you take a few tacking stitches in the patches to mount those?

edie the justthinkingoutloudintype goddess

I’ve never tried acrylic gloss medium. Does it bond well to foam board? Is it heat activated? I may have to get some and play around with it. The art is not three dimensional so I’m comfortable plunking it into the dry mount press. I’m just having difficulty spreading the fabric adhesive uniformly onto the back of the canvas.

As far as the patch is concerned. It is a very heavy woven, embroidered material usually sewn onto cops’ uniforms. It isn’t irreplaceable; they’ve given me three to play with. Even though they are only 4” x 6”, none of them are lying flat. Sewing one into the mat board, for me, would be risky, because it would require quite a few stitches to keep it flat, and it is part of a 41 double opening mat. If I screw up and misplace a needle hole, I am sunk. (I don’t have a CMC, unfortunately).
The gloss medium bonds nicely to just about anything including fc. Yep, it is heat (re)activated. Spread the medium on the fc, let it dry and then reheat with the art in place in the press, 180 degrees ish.

Why not cut some fc (or four ply whatever) pieces roughly the shape of the patches (but a little smaller,) spread the medium on those, let it dry and bond the patches to those. Let them dry under weight overnight. (but you knew that)That should work to flatten the patches. Then you can use a few dots of PVA (sobo or elmer's) to stick the fc backed patches to your multihole mat.

Make any sense?

edie the gluesisus goddess
Thank you, Edie, it does make sense.

I have finally mounted one of the patches. It needed to be “sunk” into the under mat rather than floated, so pre-mounting onto foam board or a patch shaped piece of mat would not have worked for this application.

The next time I place an order to United, I shall grab some of the gel you mentioned and see how it works.

Thanks again.
A follow up:

Diluting Fabric Adhesive so it spreads more easily: Great Idea in Theory.

Diluting Fabric Adhesive so it spreads more easily: BAD Idea in Practice!

I mixed the UMSCO Fabric adhesive about 3 parts to 1 with water. The consistency was such that I could apply it more easily with a brush, BUT the resulting glaze was diluted enough (after it dried) so that there wasn’t enough to bond to the foam board backing.

AND, the solution was just fluid enough so that I had great difficulty keeping from slopping onto the front of the canvas.

AND, while the glaze was drying, the edges curled up like a scroll so that the subsequent attempt at mounting it flat was extremely difficult.

AND, in retrospect, adding more water to the adhesive might have resulted in it’s soaking into the canvas and disturbed the binders in the oil itself. (Luckily it didn’t in this instance).

I guess I'll have to try Edie's method next time.