what is interfacing

What Is Interfacing In Sewing? A Complete Guide

Modern methods of sharing knowledge or communicating involve interacting. Computer interfaces and network interfaces are both options. However, for a novice sewer, purchasing interfacing can be extremely confusing. The subject is not particularly interesting, and finding sound guidance on how to select, acquire, and use interfacing can be challenging. Don’t worry; this interfacing beginner’s guide will make all of your sewing projects simpler.

What Is Interfacing In Sewing?

A fabric lining called interfacing is used to reinforce and stabilize other fabrics while they are being sewn. The most typical use is to strengthen areas of clothing that receive a lot of wear and tear. The inside of the majority of collars, cuffs, waistbands, pockets, buttonholes, and straps will be lined with the interfacing of some kind.

Your homemade clothing can advance with the use of interfacing. In order for a piece to fit or drape more comfortably on your figure, you can use it to give it a better shape. It gives even the flimsiest fabrics more firmness, structure, and support.

Types Of Interfacing

Your choice of interfacing will be influenced by the weight of the fabric you are lining and the outcome you are going for. Use medium-weight interfacing, for instance, on stiff fabrics and clothing. Using lighter interfacing is necessary for soft fabrics. It’s important to keep in mind that some fabrics will wrinkle if you use fusible interfacing.

Interfacing is divided into six main categories.

Fusible Or Iron-on Interfacing

An adhesive that activates with heat is found on one side of fabrics called “fusible interfacing.” As a result, you can use your iron to apply heat to the lining so that it will adhere to your project indelibly. This interfacing is very beginner-friendly because it doesn’t require sewing.

With the exception of heat-sensitive fabrics, most fabrics can be used with fusible interfacing. Given that it won’t be able to fully adhere to every bump or groove, it might not stick as well to fabrics with a loose weave or a lot of texture. But for the most part, fusible interfacing is a good option when making clothing.

Non-fusible Or Sew-in Interfacing

Since sew-in interfacing needs to be attached directly to the fabric you want to strengthen, it is less user-friendly for beginners. It resembles a thick fabric more closely because it lacks any adhesive. Over the material you are working with, this fabric lining is placed.

Sew-in interfacing must be basted to another fabric before sewing in order to be used. This has a slightly more difficult learning curve than iron-on options, but it gives any clothing you make a more organic drape and feel. Plus, it can be sewn onto any type of fabric, even thick or textured.

Woven Interfacing

what is interfacing

As its name suggests, woven interfacing has a weave to its threads that gives it the appearance and feel of thick fabric. This kind of interfacing will even have a selvage and a grainline to be aware of, giving it the appearance of regular fabric.

This kind of interfacing usually requires sewing in because of the way it is woven. Since it must be sewn onto any fabrics you use, woven interfacing can be a little more difficult to work with than non-woven varieties.

When using interfacing for the first time, beginners might find it challenging to work with multiple layers of fabric that aren’t completely adhered to one another and might prefer to use fusible substitutes.

Non-woven Interfacing

Fibers are spread out and compressed together rather than woven to create non-woven interfacing. In comparison to thick fabric, this kind of interfacing feels more like a thin, flexible piece of paper. This makes it a lightweight choice that moves and drapes well with your fabrics.

Non-woven interfacing is frequently iron-on fusible, allowing you to use it on a variety of projects. Since there is no grainline, it can be cut in any direction. Additionally, unlike many woven options, it will not fray, making it easier to use all around.

Knit Interfacing

Stretchy knit interfacing is necessary for lining fabrics because they are intended to be flexible and expand as you move.

Because of the way its fibers are knit together, this interfacing has a natural stretch that allows it to stretch in the same manner as knit fabrics. For fabrics that contain jersey or spandex fibers, this makes it a good choice.

Contrarily, woven and non-woven interfaces are infamous for having little to no stretch. They can ruin the feel of these otherwise stretchy knit fabrics by making them more rigid. Avoid these other options if your pattern calls for knit fabric and use knit interfacing instead.

How To Apply Different Types Of Interfacing

Before beginning to apply the interfacing to your material, it is always advisable to read the instructions that come with it.

Step 1 – Pre-wash

Interfacing and fabric should be prewashed. If you want to avoid having it shrink, soak it in some cold water and then dry it before using. The outside of your item will become wrinkled if your fabric or interfacing shrinks after being fused at a different rate.

Step 2 – Test

Make sure the results and feel of the interfacing are what you want by testing it on a scrap of fabric. When fused to fabric, most interfacing can feel quite different. They might not be as soft or stiff as you anticipate.

Step 3 – Fuse Or Stitch

Non-Fusible Types Of Interfacing Tips

Non-fusible interfacing must first be basted in place to keep it in place before being sewn to the garment. If you still see the stitches at the end, you might need to remove them. To remove the basting stitches quickly, use a thread of a different color.

Fusible Types Of Interfacing Tips

  • Verify your iron’s temperature and that you are applying the shiny side to the fabric’s wrong side.
  • Check to make sure your fabric won’t wrinkle after using fusible interfacing.
  • Fusible interfacing should never stick to the iron; always use a presser cloth to prevent this.
  • Before continuing to sew, let the fabric cool. This makes it possible for the interfacing glue to dry and adhere to the fabric.
  • If you do manage to get some interfacing on the iron, wait until it has cooled before attempting to peel the interfacing off the iron.
what is interfacing

Types Of Interfacing Weights

It’s critical to avoid using an interfacing weight that is heavier than the fabric you’re sewing.

  • Featherweight is strong for delicate fabrics but lightweight.
  • For the majority of projects, medium weight offers a wide range of interfacing options.
  • The stronger kind, known as a heavyweight, can give bags and hat brims more structure.

Do You Have To Use Interfacing?

Yes, in general, even though some projects will demand it more than others. If your sewing pattern instructs you to use interfacing, it was likely done so because the original pattern maker saw weak points in the garment that needed strengthening.

Your clothing’s straps, buttonholes, and other structural components will need to be strengthened. When using delicate fabrics like cotton, this is especially true. Nothing is worse than finishing a garment only to rip out a snap the moment you try to put it on.

Even if it is advised, it might not always be necessary to reinforce the more adorning parts of clothing. This holds true for shirt collars and pockets, for example.

When To Use Interfacing?

When working with thin fabrics that require extra strength, interfacing is what you should use. The purpose of interfacing is to provide shape to a piece of fabric, so it is added to your fabrics during assembly rather than after.

In general, interfacing is helpful when making clothing. The use of interfacing is sometimes required for clothing such as jackets, bags, shoes, hats, and even curtains for the home. Even everyday clothing’s straps, ties, collars, and buttonholes have it added to prevent tearing while being worn.

What Interfacing Should You Use For Your Project?

what is interfacing

Fabric Type

What kind of interfacing you should use depends on the fabric you’re working with. When working with knit fabrics, in particular, you should first consider whether you need interfacing that stretches. Choose a knit option that will be sewn in if you need stretchy interfacing.

Choosing a fabric that can withstand the heat of an iron is important if you don’t need a stretch. Any type of fusible interfacing should be avoided if it cannot.

Although fusible interfacing is probably the simplest option if the fabric is heat-resistant, it is not always possible.

Weight Or Thickness Of Interfacing

You should pick the weight of interfacing that is best suited for your project from the wide variety available. A good rule to follow is to attempt to match the interfacing’s thickness to the fabric’s thickness. That rule might not, though, always hold true.

For fabrics that need to be able to move and drape freely, lightweight interfacing is advised. It will function best with loose-fitting clothing, such as flowy dresses and skirts. Fabrics that need a little reinforcement but won’t see a lot of use benefit from lightweight options.

Medium-weight interfacing is useful for strengthening clothing parts that get a little more wear. It is typically the best option for collars, buttonholes, and other structural components of a garment.

The fabric will gain strength from this type of interfacing while still remaining flexible to keep the clothing comfortable.

When a more rigid structure is required for a project, heavy-weight interfacing is used because it is significantly stiffer and thicker than the other options. Typically, only clothing items like coats, jackets, and even shoes use this type of interfacing. It won’t necessarily be cozy for your standard, everyday clothing requirements.


Because it gives your fabrics more strength and stability, interfacing can be intimidating to work with at first but is worth the effort.

Now you have all the information on the types of interfacing, all you need to do is try out the suggestions in your “material world” and watch the finish of your work rise to new levels of professionalism.

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