On 27th July I created a poll in my facebook group, Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends, to ask what sort of glue is most popular among the members and here are the results. Members were asked to indicate which glues they use most often and would recommend to others. The most important use for glue with kumihimo is to stick the braid into the end cap and that is where strength and reliability are essential, so this poll is about that use.
2-Part Epoxy 18%
Gel style superglue 16%
Liquid superglue 2%
Gorilla glue, white 2%
Although there is a clear ‘winner’ it is important to remember that different products work for different people and there is no right or wrong. It is also important to remember that technique is just as important as the glue you use. Please make sure that before using any glue that you read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety warnings carefully. You also need to be aware that the safety guidelines for glue may vary from country to country.
Over half the group members use E6000 regularly and would recommend it to others. They said they found it reliable and easy to use. It dries clear with a slightly flexible finish and the precision nozzle was recommended by several people. However, some people disliked the smell or found it triggered their asthma. This glue is slow to dry, which is good if you like to work slowly, but many people found it too slow. It also requires a very long curing time of 48 hours, or even more in humid conditions. The glue can thicken over time in the tube and becomes less effective, so smaller tubes were recommended. It is necessary to have a close fit between the end cap and the braid because this glue is not good for filling in any gaps. Although the majority of people said that this glue had never failed for them, several members said that they had recently swapped to 2-Part Epoxy because they found it more reliable.
This type of glue is made by many different manufacturers and in different formulations. It is best to use the clear drying, fast acting type. The glue comes in two parts which are mixed just before use and it is available either in tubes/bottles or in a syringe which dispenses both parts at the same time. It was noted that the syringe type can be difficult to use and wasteful. Some people are put off by the need to mix the glue or by the smell, but it is easy once you get used to it and the smell does not linger after the glue has dried. The bond is extremely strong and it is not necessary to have a close fit between the end cap and the braid because this glue will fill any gaps very effectively. This type of glue is growing in popularity for kumihimo braiders.
Gel style Superglue
When superglue is manufactured as a gel formulation it tends to be easier to use and slightly slower to bond. Popular brands include ZapGel, Loctite Gel, Krazy Glue No Run Gel and Extreme Power Thick. People find them easy to control, quick to set and low smell. The downside is that you need to be able to work quickly and repositioning is not usually possible. Some people noted a white bloom occurring on the metal parts. This can usually be avoided if the glue is used sparingly and if it does form it can be buffed off.
This glue comes in a tube with a very fine, needle nozzle. The glue comes out slowly in tiny drops, which can be frustrating when using it to stick on end caps. However, it is a very strong glue and the nozzle avoids the tendency to use too much glue. The nozzle is fragile and will snap off if you are not careful with it.
This is a less popular glue than some others, but no negative comments were made about it, so it is worth a try if others have not worked for you or if you find others hard to find.
It is necessary to work very quickly with this type of glue and it is very fluid, so it will sink into the fibres of the braid, making it hard to know exactly how much to use. Liquid superglue can become brittle over time. However, it is very useful for stiffening cords prior to threading on beads and the types with a brush are best for this use.
Gorilla Glue, white
Many different types of glue are made by this company, but this particular type works by using moisture. Not many group members are using it at the moment, but those who do say that it is very strong and easy to use, with the additional benefit of filling up the gap between the braid and the end cap. This is worth a try if you are looking to find a new glue.
This is a German brand, which is popular with jewellery makers in mainland Europe. Although only 1% of the group members use this, the comments about its reliability and strength are positive. This is worth remembering for anyone on holiday in Europe who has forgotten their regular glue.
Others include Rayher Schmuck Kleber, which is another German brand specifically for jewellery making. Mod Podge, Glossy Accents and Uhu were also mentioned.
I am very grateful to all of those who took part in the poll because they have helped to create a very valuable resource. I will repeat the poll at a later stage and it will be interesting to see how it changes.
I set up the group to provide a place where keen kumihimo braiders can support and encourage each other. I am very keen that the group should be as active as possible. If you would like to join please click on this link and ask to join. You will be asked 3 questions. These are there for me to exclude potential spammers and time-wasters! Please answer the questions. We have members of all levels of experience, from complete beginners to those who have been teaching kumihimo for years. Your level of experience does not matter, but your enthusiasm for kumihimo does!