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: College Inspired Cardigan

Happy Monday All! It has been a while since I wrote a blogpost and it feels great to be back! Today I am excited to share my daughter who hasn’t graced the blog for quite sometime. Now that my children are older, I have to always get their permission to take photos and share. It took a lot of convincing to get my daughter to rock this FAMU (Florida A & M University) inspired cardigan. I originally planned to make the Blackwood cardigan using the orange and green ponte knit for myself to represent my alma mater FAMU but then realized I cut the wrong size.  I was a bit disappointed at first that I cut a medium instead of a large but knew my daughter would rock it. Additionally, even if I wanted to squeeze in the cardigan, it just could not even pass my elbow when I tried it on. It was definitely a learning experience because I now know that you cannot add a non stretch ribbon around a fitted knit garment sleeve. It must be added to a loose sleeve as the ribbon stops the fabric from s

Made By A Fabricista: An Outfit for First Snow

We had a marvellous autumn in western Canada with warm dry days and just a couple of hints of frost. When I was perusing Fabric Mart Fabric's site in October, I was tempted to focus on pretty florals for blouses or dresses but part of me knew that ... (da dah dum ... ) winter is coming . Fortunately, Fabric Mart was stocked with a huge selection of fabrics that are perfect for winter or holiday sewing. Over the past several months I've been planning my sewing projects so I have pieces that work together. To stick with that theme, I decided to pick a print fabric for a top, and a solid for pants, using navy as the neutral. Pants For the pants, I selected Navy Poly/Nylon/Spandex Stretch Corduroy. This fine 14-wale corduroy is warm enough to wear outdoors but will be especially comfortable indoors. It also has a bit of drape which makes it nice for trousers. And who doesn't want some stretch?  I selected Vogue 9181 (Custom-Fit Bootcut Pants) because it is designed for stretch

Made By A Fabricista: Velvet for the Holidays

Are you getting ready for the holidays?  I am.  From past years, it gets so busy in my household around this time of year, so it is never too early to start my holiday sewing.  This year I decided to sew velvet, a fabric I had not sewn for many years but I think it is luxurious.   As luck would have it, FM’s poly rich black velvet flashed on my computer screen and I bought lots.  I thought it would be pretty for a one-shoulder gown, which I had never worn before but admired on others.  The following week FM’s multi-colored one showed up.  It was a poly embossed Bohemian print velvet with jade, yellowish, and crimson colors; it screamed fall and family get-togethers.   I just had to have it!  When the fabrics arrived, the deep colors did not disappoint. I chose Butterick B6557 for both dresses, View B for the knee-length printed dress and View C for the maxi dress. It was perfect for velvets; the front was one whole piece and so was the back.  I cut the fabrics with the nap going down