Monday, May 5, 2014
Product Review: Mettler Web Bond TA 101 (Spray Adhesive)
So it looks like Mettler has gotten a little deeper into the Notions game with their spray adhesive. Just about everyone knows Mettler for their thread, which is wonderful and very competitive with Aurifil and Gutterman. I don't know how long this particular product has been out in general (probably a considerable while), but the shop has carried it for about 6 months and I thought it might be time to give it a review. I am a spray adhesive girl. I use it when I can in my quilting projects, and also in other crafts where I want to have a good, but non permanent fix.
Like most all other spray adhesives, it comes in aerosol form, not pump-spray form, which means it should have a fairly even spray distribution...and it delivers. I found it to come out quickly, evenly and the spray itself was fairly thick. Rather than coming out as a fine mist like a lot of other sprays, which can make it hard to see where you've sprayed and where you haven't, this comes out whitish and kind of webby and stringy. What I really liked about this, aside from it making me feel like Spiderman for a second, is the fact that I could actually clearly see where my spray had ended up on the fabric. Another bonus is that even where I had sprayed the fabric heavily, the adhesive remained on the fabric surface so there was no absorption into the fabric itself - meaning, no funky patches or color distortion on the right side of the piece.
Because the spray came out as a web instead of a mist, more adhesive came out per spray, which means a little goes a long way - it has a very strong stick. I was able to leave a project alone for a few weeks without the pieces separating because the glue was weakening, so I was very pleased with that. Also, despite the amount of glue coming out per spray, I found it to have a lower odor than other sprays. Often aerosol sprays will have a very strong chemical smell due to the aerosol delivery, and can be off putting to the point where people don't want to use them. While the smell of this one is still here, to my nose it seemed less stinky than the 501, 505 series of adhesive sprays that you commonly see out in the quilting world.
The only caveat? This is not your best choice for spray basting a quilt you plan on free motion quilting. Why? Here is where it's super stickiness becomes a foe rather than friend...it will make you skip stitches like crazy if you use it as your basting spray for both quilt top and backing. I was quilting along happily and noticed my machine was skipping stitches, particularly on the curves. That immediately signaled "tension issue!" to me, so I fiddled with the tension. Still skipped. Changed my needle. Still skipped. Re-threaded my top thread AND bobbin. Helped, but still skipped. It took 2 wall hangings and some scientific method-level process of elimination, but after testing the different variables on a scrap piece of quilt sandwich, I found that the pieces that did NOT have any of the spray adhesive on it didn't have skipped stitches no matter how fast, slow, simply or intricately I was quilting. I made a couple more quilt sandwiches with different adhesives, and it was the Mettler that seemed to have the skipping issue...the others (505, 501, 301, Dritz) did not. I did find fewer skipped stitches when used on only one side (quilt top or backing) but not both. My conclusion is that since it comes out fairly thick, and has such a strong adhesion, it is catching the thread as it moves in and out of the fabric, and preventing it from creating a correct stitch.
So overall, Mettler has put out a good spray adhesive product with low stink and high stick that lasts. I will not be using it to spray baste a quilt again, but for all other purposes, I think it far surpasses Dritz and the 501, 505 and 301 series.