How to Glue Woven Nylon: Cosplay Adhesive Guide

October 30, 2019

Woven nylon is one of the behind-the-scenes heroes in so many cosplays you see (and probably make) today. Without it, we'd probably all be struggling to add straps to our armor and wear our cosplay creations comfortably. But as strong and reliable as woven nylon is for strapping, the thing about the material is that the fibers can be ultra slippery, and that makes your straps difficult to attach to your cosplay. Your straps are less likely to snap than they are to pull away from your foam, thermoplastic, etc., ruining your cosplay.

So how do you glue woven nylon straps so that they stay in place through a con, photoshoot, and beyond? In this post, we'll discuss how to glue woven nylon to your cosplay and show you a great method for reinforcing your straps to make sure they're not going anywhere.

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Best Cosplay Glues for Woven Nylon

  1. Hot glue: As far as adhesives go, hot glue is one of the most popular choices for woven nylon. Hot glue can work both for situations where you're attaching two pieces of nylon or where you're attaching nylon to your armor or cosplay pieces. While many glues slip right off of woven nylon, the reason that hot glue can be more effective is because nylon is essentially a thermoplastic in its composition. The heat from the hot glue can slightly melt the surface of the nylon, effectively welding the two materials together. When the glue hardens, the two materials will have a fairly strong bond between them. However, added heat can reactivate the hot glue when you're wearing the cosplay, putting your straps in a bit of danger of peeling away from the glue.

    Cosplayer using Attach & Build to stick woven nylon strap to armor
  2. Attach & Build double-sided adhesive sheets: Attach & Build is one of the easiest adhesives to use when adding woven nylon to your cosplay. Attach & Build, if you've never used it, is a double-sided, peel and stick sheet with a super-strong adhesive sandwiched in the middle. Unlike double-sided tape, Attach & Build is merely a sheet that delivers the adhesive. The adhesive inside is strong enough to stick to all the most common cosplay materials, including woven nylon, which makes it ideal for adding straps to whatever your cosplay is made out of. On top of that, Attach & Build provides an instant hold with no dry time, no mess, and no toxic fumes, so it's quick and easy to use anywhere.

    Cosplayer sewing elastic to woven nylon for armor straps
  3. Sewing: Ok, so this isn't an adhesive, but in some situations, sewing by hand or machine is one of the most secure ways to attach your nylon straps or other elements to your cosplay. If you don't have adhesives on hand or you're particularly handy with sewing supplies, this might be the direction to go when you're attaching woven nylon to fabric. Additionally, while you can use an adhesive to attach Velcro or especially elastic to the ends of your nylon straps, another options is sewing the Velcro on for extra security. Of course, you can't sew through materials like foam or plastic, so this option will be limited to sewing nylon to itself or other fibers. If you needed a double-wide strap, for instance, you might consider sewing two pieces of woven nylon together lengthwise.

  4. Contact cement: Another option that might work for your woven nylon straps is contact cement. Contact cement, an industrial-strength adhesive, can be used in many situations to glue nylon webbing and is generally strong enough to grip the nylon and the surface you're adhering to. Contact cement should be applied to both surfaces you're bonding together. Once the glue is tacky, you can press the piece together to adhere. The drawback to using contact cement, despite its incredible strength, is that it produces harmful fumes and should only be used when wearing a mask and/or in a well-ventilated area.

Securing Nylon Straps with Reinforcer

Cosplayer securing woven nylon armor straps with Reinforcer

The biggest challenge to gluing woven nylon to the rest of your cosplay is the slick texture of the nylon fibers. This texture makes it tricky for many adhesives to stick to, and even the strongest adhesives can still struggle to adhere to it. But when you're using woven nylon to strap your armor, you need to be able to depend on your adhesives and the strong construction of your straps. When it comes to woven nylon, sometimes an extra level of protection is necessary to give you the peace of mind you need. In these cases, we recommend using Reinforcer to add an extra layer of protection to your straps.

Reinforcer uses the same adhesive as Attach & Build, but it's backed on one side by a nearly indestructible synthetic material, available in both black and white. Adding a patch of Reinforcer with at least an extra half inch of space on each side over the end of your nylon strap will help hold your strap in place no matter what. If you're looking for some extra insurance on your nylon straps, Reinforcer is the way to go.

Topics: Cosplay Adhesive Guide, Woven Nylon

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