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I am looking for fastener options to attach 2 fabrics and also keep them detachable. I am working on an adjustable knee brace so small hook and loop patches are a good option but they are difficult to sew on. So, I have also tried snap buttons that can be easily punched instead of sewing but they are usually metal or plastic. I want to avoid hard material as falling on the knee while wearing the brace could cause extra damage because of the hard buttons. So, I am looking at different options like self adhesive hook and loops about which I am exploring in another thread. Just wanted to see if there are any silicone based snap buttons or some soft non metallic snap buttons that could be used as fasteners or any other fastener options that could be used. Laces are another option but they tend to open up.

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    Have you considered using Velcro? – Mick Jan 20 '18 at 18:59
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    @Mick, "hook and loop" is the generic term for Velcro. – user812786 Jan 22 '18 at 19:49
  • @Katrina, it looks like you made two separate accounts (one on each question) - you can merge them by using the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page so everything is in one place. Good first questions btw :) – user812786 Jan 22 '18 at 19:51
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    @whrrgarbl You're right. I was thinking of "hook and eye" fasteners. – Mick Jan 22 '18 at 20:29
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    Knees braces I've worn have used long pieces of velcro to incorporate the adjustment, rather than little pieces – Chris H Feb 25 '18 at 19:18
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You might consider using grommets, then lace it up. You can get a grommet kit for about $10.59 which includes grommets. They are really easy to install, and they actually look pretty cool in addition to their functionality.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B076BGJ7KB/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516452247&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=grommet+kit&psc=1

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I suggest fine velcro, or else tiny sew-on plastic snaps, sold for sewing onto underwear garments. You can buy them in a fabric and notions store.

Here is a picture of snaps. These look like they're probably the metal kind but I couldn't find a picture of the plastic kind.

snaps

Plastic will have more give than the old-fashioned metal snaps.

Plastic snaps are small and quite thin.

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Do not omit the mighty Zipper from consideration. There are probably more types, materials and variations of these than any other closure device, not all of them needing to be sewn.

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For soft, adjustable, with a firm connection, that won't hurt when you fall or kneel on it, you really only have one option: sew-on hook and loop fasteners. Any other fastener option is going to be hard, with the exception of using laces with buttonholes (not grommets, which are also hard), but you've also specified issues with using laces in your post, and I do not know if you are comfortable with sewing buttonholes. Additionally, for a piece put under tension like a knee brace, anything other than the laces is going to be prone to separating under stress. In the case of the punch-in snaps you mentioned, they will often tear free from the fabric under tension, damaging your brace; in the case of the self-adhesive and iron-on hook and loop products, they will similarly detach under the tension needed for a brace.

There's a reason commercial knee braces tend to use hook and loop fasteners, and that's because it's the best tool for the job.

As you didn't offer any information on how you're constructing your brace, it's hard to know why you're having trouble, other than your description of using "small patches." The smaller a piece gets, the more challenging it is to stitch in place, and with hook and loop, smaller pieces also have less grip. Your best option to solve all of your issues is to use larger pieces, which will both be easier to sew down, and will have a greater grip strength when closed up, thus offering greater support for your knee.

If you are constructing a fairly standard brace with straps that wrap around the leg to hold it in place, you may want to consider double-sided hook and loop (branded as Velcro One Wrap), which could be used with very minimal sewing, as it would take the place of the entire strap. This material is designed with the hooks on one side and the loops on the other, so that it will stick when wrapped around itself.

Remember as well that when you are adding whichever form of hook and loop you choose, to always have the hook portion positioned to face away from the body, to avoid discomfort from any exposed hooks. Ideally, you would also set the strips within the borders of the fabric, as the edges can also be stiff and uncomfortable against the body.

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Reusable "sports wrap" or "sports tape" will offer some support, and doesn't require hook and loop, or any hard materials.

The down side is, you can probably only reuse it a few times before you have to replace it with another piece.

One upside, it comes in lots of fun colors and patterns!

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