Interfacing is an extra layer of fabric that is sewn into or adhered inside your garment to give strength and body elements in construction. It will appear in collars, facings, button plackets, and other spots in the garment that need a bit of support and shaping. Pattern instructions will request you to use either fusible or sew-in interfacing, depending on the situation and fabric type. There are many varieties of interfacing, from lightweight to heavyweight, as well as woven and nonwoven varieties. The weight of your interfacing should complement the weight of your fabric.
What is Interfacing and When to Use It
Fusible interfacing has glue on one or two sides that is melted onto your fabric when pressed with an iron. Always use a pressing cloth between your interfacing and iron as well as between your fabric and your ironing board to keep the adhesive off those surfaces.
Lightweight Woven Fusible Interfacing
This is one of the most commonly used weights in garment construction. It is lightweight, so it is ideal for collars and facings, and is woven, so it is actual fabric that will not disintegrate with washing and wearing. Because it is made of woven fabric, you must take the grainline into account when cutting just as you do with your pattern pieces on the garment fabric. It is available in both white and black for use with light and dark fabrics. Woven fusible interfacing also is available in medium- and heavyweight options, for use with heavier fabric or when extra body is needed.
Knit Fusible Interfacing
Perfect for knit, jersey, and other stretch fabrics, this interfacing is a lightweight knit that has some give and stretch. It also comes in both white and black to match with your fabric’s color.
Often used for ironing hems, this non woven fusible interfacing tape is fusible on both sides, so it can be placed between two fabrics to fuse them together. Fusible tape is often used for no-sew hems or to create a patch.
How to Iron Fusible Interfacing
Place a pressing cloth on your ironing board to protect it from the interfacing’s adhesive. Place your fabric on the pressing cloth, wrong side up. Place your fusible interfacing onto the fabric, glue-see down. Place another pressing cloth down on top of your interfacing, to prevent your iron from sticking to the adhesive. Gently lay it down, careful not to move the pieces underneath out of place.
Using an iron set to the temperature instructed on the interfacing’s instructions, place your iron onto your pressing cloth and hold in place. Using both hands to apply even pressure, move the iron in small circles for about 10 seconds for most types of interfacing. Pick up the iron and move to the next section of the interfacing, again being careful not to shift the pieces around. Do not move the iron back and forth, simply pick it up and set it back down.
After ironing the entire surface, peel back the pressing cloth and check to make sure the bond is permanent; otherwise, the interfacing will separate from the fabric as you wash and wear the item.
Just like fusible interfacing, sew-in interfacing gives support to garment pieces, but it is sewn into place rather than ironed onto the fabric. Sew-in interfering is best used in enclosed areas of construction, like inside a collar, in a men’s tie, or between your fabric and lining.
This sew-in interfacing is often found in jacket and coat tailoring to add stiffness and body. Sew-in interfacing is typically used in collars, cuffs, pocket flaps, and other locations that require extra support.
When making fabric-covered belts, inserting this stiff interfacing helps the inside of the belt hold its shape. Fold the fabric around the belt and cut it into whatever end shape you desire.
Lightweight Woven Sew-In Interfacing
Exactly like the lightweight woven fusible version, this interfacing consists of a lightweight woven cotton fabric that provides body and strength to areas in garment construction like collars, pockets, cuffs, and facings. place the pattern pieces with either grain, cross or lengthwise, when cutting out. This is also available in medium and heavy-weight varieties, for when additional strength is needed.
Have you ever used interfacing in any of your projects? Let us know in the comments below!