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Main >> Hints & Tips

Interfacing For Beginners

What is interfacing ?

Interfacing is an additional layer which helps to make the fabric firmer. It also helps to add shape and structure and adds support. It can be used to stiffen things such as collars and cuffs on shirts and to add structure to things such as bags and skirts.  There are many different types (sew in , fusible etc) , colours (white, black, grey) , weaves (non woven, woven and knit) and weights (light, medium, heavy, extra heavy). 

Types Of Interfacing

Fusible Interfacing - This tends to be the most    used and the easiest for beginners. It has an adhesive on one side which will permanetly attach to the fabric when it's ironed over. This is suitable for most uses and fabrics but should be avoided on sequined fabrics, fake furs and velvets where sew in interfacing would be more appropriate to use. 


Sew In Interfacing - This is sewn onto the fabric and is held in place by hand stitches or machine stitch. Sew in interfacing tends to be used on fabrics such as fake fur, sequined, metallics and velvets as this avoids using heat and causes less damage (such as melting) to the fabric. 

Different Types Of Weaves 

Woven Interfacing - 
Like woven fabric, it has a lengthwise and crosswise grain. When you cut woven interfacing make sure the grainline of the interfaing and the fabric are going the same way, this allows the two layers of fabric work together properly. Because of the need to match the grainline it can be more difficult to use.


Non Woven Interfacing - This is made by bonding fibres together and has no grain to it.. You can cut this in any direction and does not tend to ravel- this make it much easier to use. This is suitable for most uses and fabrics other than fabrics with a stretch such as lyrca.

Knit Interfacing - This is made by knitting the fibres together, this gives it a certain amount of stretch and give to it . Knit interfacing is suitable for use with jerseys and other stretch fabrics as it will stretch with the garment. 


Different Weights

When choosing the weight of your interfacing you should look at the weight of your fabric and choose an interfacing of the same weight or slightly lighter. Also go by what type of fabric your using and its properties for example : is it stretchy ? will it be effected by heat ?. Interfacing usually comes in light, medium, heavy or extra heavy weights to suit most needs. 


Colours Of Interfacing 

Interfacing generally comes in White, Black or Grey. Just match this up to the fabric your using to avoid the interfacing being seen underneath for example white interfacing under a black fabric will show through. 

Author: Neil laird

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Maria Hennessy

Really helpful! I really didn't understand the differences, so thank you!
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