Interfacing: Everything You Need to Know
Interfacing is a crucial layer of construction material that adds strength, shape, and body to your garments or other projects. It is used to strengthen and prevent fabric from stretching away from the grain on button plackets, collars, cuffs, pocket flaps, waistbands, lapels, necklines, armholes, buttonholes, and anywhere else that needs extra stability or support. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of interfacing, their uses, and how to choose the right one for your project.
Types of Interfacing We Use in Our Patterns
Woven interfacing has a lengthwise and crosswise grain that must be matched with the fabric grain. It may need to be cut on the bias to work properly. It is strong and stable and used for tailored garments. It tends to bond better with the fabric, fusing well without wrinkles.
Non-woven interfacing is made by bonding and felting fibers together, which results in no grain. It can be cut in any direction, won’t ravel, and is easy to use. It is very versatile and used with many fabrics.
Knit interfacing is soft and flexible with a crosswise stretch, but minimal lengthwise stretch. It is used with jerseys and other stretch fabrics, but can also be used with woven fabrics when you want a softer shape or to maintain stretch while adding strength. Depending on how it’s used, it can also prevent or restrict stretch in areas, which helps the garment keep its shape. Weft insertion interfacing is a type of knit with a crosswise yarn designed to stabilize the stretch. It is very supple and used to interface silk or other fabrics that need a soft feel.
Other Fabric Interfacing
Other fabric interfacing can use the same fabric or a lighter weight fabric to interface as well. Muslin/silk organza can be used as interfacing. Canvas can be used to interface suede or leather. Felt can be used to interface craft projects.
Fusible Fleece Interfacing
Fusible fleece interfacing has one side with adhesive and the other side is soft and padded. It is used for bags, purses, and shoulder pads.
Water-soluble interfacing is used when you want to remove the interfacing after you have sewn the project. And example of this would be an embroidery project where you’ve stabilized the fabric to apply the embroidery and then you wash it to remove the fine tissue left.
There are even water soluble interfacings that you can print an embroidery design on and then wash it off.
- Waistband interfacing: fused or sewn into a fitted waistband that provides a perfect crisp edge that will not roll or collapse.
- Seam Tape: fused or sewn and used for stabilizing the seams, often used on shoulders, necklines, or hems.
- Fusible Thread: 100% nylon fusible threads used to hold down edges of fabrics or seams. The threads will melt into the fabric when ironed. Brands include Threadfuse and J&P Coats’ Stitch ‘n’ Fuse.
When choosing fusible interfacing, consider the type of fabric you’ll be using and the weight.
Generally speaking, industry list the weight of fabric something like this:
- 1 to 3 Oz – Very LightWeight
- 3 to 5.3 Oz – Lightweight
- 5.3-8 Oz – Midweight
- 8-10 Oz – Heavyweight
- 10 Oz +Very Heavyweight
Heavier fabrics require heavier interfacing, while lighter fabrics require lighter interfacing. Choose interfacing that is compatible with your fabric to ensure the best results.
Interfacing comes in different weights, including:
- Featherweight – light and durable used with fine fabric
- Medium weight – good for most projects
- Heavyweight – stronger type designed to add structure to purses or hat brims
Interfacing can either be sewn in or fusible on one or both sides. Here are the two application methods:
Sewn-in interfacing is sewn onto the fabric using machine or hand-sewn basting stitches. It creates a less stiff feel and gives the garment a freer look.
Fusible Interfacing: How to Use and Choose the Right Type for Your Fabric
Double-sided fusible interfacing has adhesive on both sides and is used for appliques. It’s easy to use and great for beginners. There are two options for using fusible interfacing: fuse a large swatch of fabric and cut out your pieces afterwards, or cut the interfacing pieces out and then fuse them to the appropriate pieces.
To avoid accidentally getting any adhesive on your ironing board cover, place a piece of cotton on your ironing board. Some interfacing comes with a paper liner that can be peeled from the fusible web side and used to protect your ironing board cover and project.
Before fusing the interfacing, test a swatch of it with the fabric. Adjust the iron temperature to get a smooth finish and use a press cloth to avoid burning or melting the fabric or interfacing. A press cloth will also ensure that any dirt or residue on your iron does not transfer to your project.
When fusing the interfacing, use an up and down pressing motion, lifting the iron to a new section to fuse. Do not slide the iron across the fabric. Wait for the fabric to cool before sewing to ensure a good bond.
Cleaning the Iron: If you need to remove fusible interfacing and it’s not completely fused, reheat the area by pressing lightly and peel up the warm layer. To remove fusible interfacing residue from fabric, iron it with a dryer sheet or use spot remover made for glue and adhesive. If you need to remove fusible interfacing from the iron, use a hot iron cleaner such as Dritz Iron-Off and follow the package directions.
Tips and Tricks
- Match the weight of the interfacing with the weight of the fabric
- Match the color of the interfacing with the color of the fabric – dark interfacing to dark fabric, light colored interfacing to light fabric
- Verify the directions that come with the interfacing
- Some interfacing requires prewashing before using. Place interfacing in a tub of cold or warm water for 10 minutes. Take it out, pat it dry with a towel and dry it flat for one whole day.
- Cut the fusible interfacing 1/8” smaller than your fabric to prevent the adhesive bleeding to the edges of your fabric.
- Cut sewing interfacing the same size as your fabric. Interfacing up to your seam allowances might create bulk, but it can also make the seams stronger.
- Fuse or sew the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.
|Fabric Type||Best Interfacing Type|
|Silk, Satins||Featherweight Sew-in Woven|
|Can also be lined with the same fabric|
|Taffeta||Medium weight Sew-in|
|Cotton Broadcloth||Medium weight Fusible Woven|
|Cotton Knits||Medium weight Fusible Knit|
|Heavy Denim||Heavyweight Fusible Woven|
|Pellon||860F Ultra-Weft||Fusible||Lightweight and Regular for Wool and Wool Blends|
|906F Fusible||Fusible||Sheer Fabrics like Challis and Voile|
|910 Sew-in||Sew-In||Sheer fabrics like Voile and Chiffon|
|EK130 Easy-Knit||Fusible||Lightweight Jersey or Knit|
|805 Wonder Under||Fusible||One-sided Lightweight to medium-weight|
|HTC||Touch O’ Gold||Fusible||Woven, featherweight to lightweight|
|Fusi-Form||Fusible||Crosswise stretch non-wovens Lightweight to medium-weight|
|Softknit||Fusible||Low-temp, tri-dimensional, medium-weight to heavyweight|
|Intra-face Bias||Sew-in||For bias Featherweight to lightweight|
|Stacy||Shape-Flex||Fusible||Plain woven, Lightweight to medium-weight|
|EasyKnit||Fusible||Tricot, Featherweight to lightweight|
|Heatnbond||Feather Lite||Fusible||Double-sided adhesive on paper backing, for Featherweight|
|Soft Stretch Lite||Fusible||Double-sided adhesive Lightweight|
|Non-woven Fusible||Fusible||One Side Shirt weight for cuffs, collars, buttonholes, shirts and jackets|
|Steam-a-Seam 2||Double Stick Fusible Web||Fusible||Lightweight to Medium weight fabrics|
|Steam-a-Seam Lite 2||Double Stick Fusible Web||Fusible||Double-sided for Sheer and Lightweight fabrics|
|Dritz||Fusible Bonding Web||Fusible||Medium weight fabrics|
|Stitch Witchery||Fusible||Fusible||Used for seams, hems and belts|
We highly recommend the book below as an extremely useful book of knowledge on interfacing knits.
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