Sewless Mending: Fixing clothes without a needle and thread

A women removing a seam from a red fabric with white florals with a seam ripper as a form of sewless mending
Have you ever found yourself with a rip or tear in your clothes, but don't know how to sew or don't have access to a sewing machine? Don't worry! There are actually a few clever solutions to fix your clothes without having to sew.

No Sewing Machine No Problem

Let’s face it, we all want to be more sustainable and mend our clothes but the ability to do so exists out of our budget or skill range. Don’t fret bestie, we got you cover with some ways to mend your clothes without even a needle and thread! 

Frist, a brief history on sewless mending.  While visible mending techniques existed for over 300 years, options for sewless mending came to market in 1940s (about 84 years ago). Fusible interfacing however entered the US market in the 1960s by Pellon (the made regular sewing interface in the 1930s in Germany).  Fusible interfacing remains the best way to patch holes with a machine!

Then we moved on to various glues as a possible second method. As a temporary solution,  glue is a quick fix for small tears rather than holes. Glue became before fusible interfacing and first appeared in Britain made from fish about 3,000 years ago. Today, Henkel makes most hem glue and baste tape on the market nd was founded in 1876.

Lastly, mending patches consisting of denim for elbows and knees exist in the notions section of every fabric store. These patches focus on repair and added to the reverse side of the garment.  These techniques make non visible mending easier because all you need is an iron!

Sewless Mending techniques


The ease of use of interfacing makes it my go-to way to patch holes in a garment. Remember to use the back of the garment to iron on the interfacing. Check out this guide to using a fusible interface for mending clothes.

Try these interface choices for invisible mending:

Fusible Interface

Even through there are a lot of interfacing fabrics on the market, there are only three basic types: woven, nonwoven and knit. Wovens work best for stretch fabric, nonwovens for organic fabrics (cotton, linen) and knit for thick sweater materials. 

Basting tape

This tape makes hemming skirts and pants a breeze but only temporarily. Another option, use it like tape for tears on the reverse side of the fabric! Use a lot of layers if the fabric rubs against your skin or a stretch material.


From Aleene to Gorilla,  glue no longer provides a temporary hold for bind and mend clothes. Today, glue offers an easy option to mend clothes and is washable as well.  Fabric glue remains the best option to mend on the fly. The variety on the market makes it easy to tackle any project. Check out the how to guide to using glue here.

Try these glues depending on fabric type:

Gorilla Fabric Glue

Gorilla fabric glue works best on heavy and natural fabrics but takes time to become flexible when applied so use sparely.

Aleene Fabric glue

This washable glue works best on nonporous materials but also on stretch fabrics! It’s clear, nontoxic and odorless. Also, the glue works on dry clean only garments.

Tear Mender

This glue works best for leather and animal based materials but also on other natural materials inclusing cotton (canvas and Denim), silks and linen too.

In conclusion, more options exist for mending clothes beyond the sewing machine and even a needle and thread.  So even if sewing isn’t a skill in your arsenal, you can still keep you clothes out of landfills!

Would you rather try visible mending? Check out our blog on visible mending by hand.