Interfacing: A Comprehensive Guide to Adding Strength and Shape to Your Projects

Steam a Seam

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

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

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

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

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.

Specialty Interfacings

  • 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.

Interfacing Weights

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:

  1. Featherweight – light and durable used with fine fabric
  2. Medium weight – good for most projects
  3. 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:

Sew-in Interfacing

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 TypeBest Interfacing Type
Silk, SatinsFeatherweight Sew-in Woven
 Can also be lined with the same fabric
TaffetaMedium weight Sew-in
Cotton BroadclothMedium weight Fusible Woven
Cotton KnitsMedium weight Fusible Knit
Heavy DenimHeavyweight Fusible Woven
BrandNameFusible/Sew-inFabric Weights
Pellon860F Ultra-WeftFusibleLightweight and Regular for Wool and Wool Blends
 906F FusibleFusibleSheer Fabrics like Challis and Voile
 910 Sew-inSew-InSheer fabrics like Voile and Chiffon
 EK130 Easy-KnitFusibleLightweight Jersey or Knit
 805 Wonder UnderFusibleOne-sided Lightweight to medium-weight
HTCTouch O’ GoldFusibleWoven, featherweight to lightweight
 Fusi-FormFusibleCrosswise stretch non-wovens Lightweight to medium-weight
 SoftknitFusibleLow-temp, tri-dimensional, medium-weight to heavyweight
 Intra-face BiasSew-inFor bias Featherweight to lightweight
StacyShape-FlexFusiblePlain woven, Lightweight to medium-weight
 EasyKnitFusibleTricot, Featherweight to lightweight
HeatnbondFeather LiteFusibleDouble-sided adhesive on paper backing, for Featherweight
 Soft Stretch LiteFusibleDouble-sided adhesive Lightweight
 Non-woven FusibleFusibleOne Side Shirt weight for cuffs, collars, buttonholes, shirts and jackets
Steam-a-Seam 2Double Stick Fusible WebFusibleLightweight to Medium weight fabrics
Steam-a-Seam Lite 2Double Stick Fusible WebFusibleDouble-sided for Sheer and Lightweight fabrics
DritzFusible Bonding WebFusibleMedium weight fabrics
Stitch WitcheryFusibleFusibleUsed for seams, hems and belts

We highly recommend the book below as an extremely useful book of knowledge on interfacing knits.

Marjorie Vaudreuil

HI. I'M MARGIE I love creating and creations of all kinds! I love Jesus, I love my family and I love to teach! That's what makes life exciting for me and that is why I have so much to share with you. I am founder and owner of SewingPatternSecrets LLC, based in Boston, MA. I am a writer and an avid sewist with a background in fine art and design from New England School of Art and Design, Boston. Sewing Patterns Secrets was conceived with my husband (my #1 supporter), inspired partly from my grandmother, but largely inspired by my mother, who passed in 2017. She supported many decades of my artistry, including, but not limited to, sewing. Whilst my mother was indeed, an important benefactor, my husband has unfailingly supported all of my endeavours and is the Director of Sales. As the Product and Project Director, I conceptualized, developed, produced, tested, and edited all of the 125+ curated sewing patterns, instructions and ebooks, using my decades of experience. I managed a team of fashion designers to help me with the 3D software and production. I and three other master seamstresses, vector artists, graphic designers, and one amazing fashion illustrator. Production took two solid years of detail and hard work and another six months of sales funnel creation. I give thanks to: Fer, Rima, Oksana, Debbie, Kathreen, Suanne, Elizabeth, Jacki, Bronwen, Kimberly, and the many others who contributed. As such, I am gifted with the ability to share with you my expertise and everything that I have learned along the way, as relates not only sewing, but to project and product creation and all areas of design: web, graphic, fashion, pattern and product creation. This would include 10s of software, marketing and SEO tools, affiliate marketing and so much more. All you have to do is ask! In addition to writing all of the ebooks for Sewing Pattern Secrets, I am also the main writer of this blog, but looking for other (Human) sewing bloggers who would like to partner with us. We welcome guest bloggers, vloggers, influencers and also an invitation to blog for you as well. We always want your advice and we also want to hear from you regarding ideas and improvements to our blog, product, or advertising. PLEASE COMMENT. Please do write me at Blessings, Margie "Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you." 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (coming soon)

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