Skip to main content

Resource Library: All About Interfacing

Interfacing is so important when making a garment. It helps stabilize fabric, stiffen it where needed and all around help make a better garment. But choosing the right interfacing can be confusing if you don't understand the different types. I will be highlighting the most common interfacing, including my personal commentary.

Fusible vs. Non-fusible
I think this is a preference thing, but I personally like fusible interfacing. When ironed onto the fabric, it sticks creating a smooth, stiff piece of fabric. When using non-fusible interfacing, one must baste it to their fabric, therefore creating possible puckers and bubbles. (Plus it is just more work!)

Fusible Woven vs. Fusible Non-woven
Fusible woven interfacing is basically a thin piece of cotton-like material with fusible on it. Fusible non-woven interfacing is a bonded material (usually polyester) with  fusible on it. Both can be used in the same way. Use it for collars, cuffs, waistbands and some necklines. These can also be used to stabilize areas like buttonholes.


I really like to use Pellon Shir-Tailor for buttondown shirts. Use it on the cuffs and the collar. 
A rule of thumb would be to use a lightweight interfacing with a lightweight fabric and a medium or heavy weight interfacing with the same weight fabric.

Do not use fusible interfacing on laces or netting, beaded, sequined fabrics, vinyl, leather, rainwear fabrics, acetate and faux furs. If you need to stabilize any of these fabrics (except the laces) use non-fusible interfacing. Use a press cloth to adhere to some fabrics in case the fabric cannot stand the temperature at which you are using. I sometimes use a damp press cloth. When using a damp cloth, it "tells" you when it is adhered--- the fabric drys and your interfacing is fused in place!

Using Interfacing on Knit Fabrics
Yes you can use interfacing on knits! You will want to find a lightweight knit tricot interfacing. It is essentially a sheer knit with glue on the back. You can also find knit tricot interfacing without glue. This will help add shape to cuffs, necklines, etc. Many patterns call for a strip of fusible interfacing along shoulder seams also.


Stabilizing Purses and Accessories
When making a handbag or tote, adding interfacing helps make it not "homemade." I had a stint in making purses and the right interfacing was key. I used buckram, a heavy canvas-like material to get a good stiff look. If I wanted to make the purse soft with some stiffness, I used fleece and a light-medium weight fusible together. I fused the interfacing to the fabric.

Other fabrics to use as interfacing:

- Use Silk Organza to stabilize anything that is as stiff or stiffer than the organza itself. It should also be used anywhere you need extra stiffness. Pre-wash the silk organza if you use it in a garment that you will be washing. No surprise shrinkage! (Do not substitute poly or nylon organza for the silk. According to Threads Magazine, "The crispness of silk organza is due to the natural gum left on fibers during processing; in man-made polyester, the stiffness is engineered."

- Sometimes interfacing (even the lightest) can be too stiff for a really delicate fabric. In this case, use the same fabric you're making your garment with to give stability to certain areas of your garment. Another name for this is method Self Fabric. (Thanks to Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing for this tip!)

I just made a few button-down shirts for my husband and actually used two different interfacings on the project. I used the Pellon Shir-Tailor interfacing for the collar and cuffs. Then I used woven fusible interfacing for the button area. The Shir-Tailor can be a bit stiff for that area (personally), so I used something just a little bit lighter.

I hope this helps you figure out what you need for your next project and make it a success!

We carry some interfacings on our website. Check it out now!

~ Julie

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this!! I feel interfacing really makes a project stand out, and not look homemade, so this really helps me get a more professional look!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you. My project entails fusing re-purposed denim fabric and the tutorial indicated "use a woven fusible interfacing". I am concerned that if I don't find "woven" it will mean all my work would be in vain? Help!

    Barb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure something from our website will work for your project: http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/Interfacings/

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Speaking My Truth

Happy Saturday All! In these unsettling times, I hug my children a little tighter, spend quality time embracing them, and cherish every moment even more. This pandemic has allowed me to appreciate deep conversations about racial injustice, police brutality, and their feelings about growing up black . My daughter Arielle, a happy go lucky child, shuns away as she is always being questioned about her race and which box she checks off on an application. She hates the fact that she is consistently asked by her peers and teachers at school if she is biracial, Hispanic, or Black . She has often times questioned her own identity, yet she gladly responds to anyone who asks, “ I am black and I am a part of the human race ”. My son despises the news media (especially social media) and doesn't watch it at all. The death of his older brother and guns triggers a fear that we pray he overcomes. Over the past few weeks, I have read some of the most unreal remarks and comments about "

Made by a Fabricista: A Work Wardrobe with a $50 Fabric Budget

Can you save money by sewing your own clothes?  Well, that all depends on a lot of factors!  I decided to challenge myself to make a new Spring work wardrobe with a $50 budget for fabric.  I know, I know- that doesn't include your patterns, notions and miscellaneous things like interfacing and lining.  For me, those are already sunk costs, because I already have them.  By ordering during one of Fabric Mart's $2/$3/$4 sales, I was able to make 8 items- 2 pants, 1 skirt, 1 dress, and 3 tops.  Here's my exact order: This took me about 6 weeks once I started.  I usually sew after dinner for about an hour or two every day.  It's my relaxation time.  I dove right in the deep end with the jacket first. I absolutely love this fabric!  It is so bright and cheery.    I made the jacket with Vogue 2957, an out of print Anne Klein designer pattern. The fabric is a Milly Cady suiting which I found challenging to work with.  It feels delightful, but it is tough as nails.