Interfacing – Choosing the Right Type and Weight
Interfacing is a material used to give additional strength,
support or shape to sewing, quilting and crafts projects. It
is not intended to be visible in the finished project but is either
sewn or fused to the wrong side of a fabric. It is commonly used in
sewing to reinforce button holes, stiffen collars and cuffs, and
strengthen waistband. Interfacing can be used in quilting to apply
an applique, stabilize a lighter fabric, and prevent fraying.
Types of Interfacing
Convenient to use as they there is a
heat-activated adhesive on one side. This can be ironed to
the wrong side of your fashion fabric, giving complete
Is ideal for fabrics with textures or that can't be ironed.
It is meant to be sandwiched between layers of fabric and sewn
Created from warp and weft fibers interwoven together. This type
doesn't have any stretch, and will work well with any woven
Resembles fleece or felt. There isn't a grain line, and you can
cut it in any direction.
A stretchy interfacing to use when you are using a knitted
fabric, such as jersey, ribbed, double knit, etc.
Interfacing typically comes in white
so it won't show through the dark or light fabric for your sewing
Feather or Lightweight is meant to be used with lightweight or
delicate fabrics to add strength and durability.
Mid-weight works for a wide
variety of projects.
Heavy is great for adding structure to purses or brims of hats.
The thickest interfacing we carry is
Generally, the heavier the fabric you are using, the heavier the
interfacing you need. However, your interfacing should be slightly
lighter weight than the fabric you are using.
How to Choose the Right Interfacing for Your
- If your fabric is one that can be safely ironed, and does not
have decoration or texture that would be ruined by pressing, then
you can use a fusible interfacing.
- The most important thing to consider when choosing interfacing
is the weight of your fabric.
- Never use interfacing that is a heavier weight than your
fabric. It should always be a slightly lighter weight, but stiffer
than the fabric that you are using.
- Another thing to consider when choosing interfacing is the
amount of stiffness you want and how big the area is that you are
hoping to stiffen.
- Knit interfacings have the least stiffness and nonwoven
interfacings have the most.
- It's a good idea to have on hand a few different weights of
interfacing and make test samples to see which works best.
All interfacings should be preshrunk. Sew-ins can
be preshrunk through a press steaming process. Fusible can be
preshrunk by immersing in a bowl of very hot (not boiling) water
and allowing to sit until the water cools to room
temperature. Gently squeeze, then roll in a towel to remove
excess moisture and allow to air dry.
How to use Fusible Interfacing
- Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for applying
- Make sure your fashion fabric is wrong side up and it is
fusible side down. Usually you can tell the fusible side by
the bumpy texture of the adhesive.
- Apply firm, even pressure with your iron for the amount of time
- Use steam or not, as recommended.
- Lift the iron and place back down in a new position, slightly
overlapping the previous areas. Do not slide the iron across
the fabric, as this can cause distortion.
- Once you've pressed from the interfacing side, it's a good idea
to flip the piece over and repeat from the fashion fabric side to
ensure a good bond.
- Be careful to protect your ironing board and fabrics from
any excess fusible adhesive.
Projects & Techniques
For projects and tutorials using interfacing, visit ThinkCrafts.com!
About the author, Sandy Huntress
With over 30 years of sewing experience and more than 20 years
of crafting I've rarely met a craft I didn't like, and have all the
gadgetry to prove it. You'll often find me in my
sewing and crafting room where I design and make garments, quilts,
scrapbooks, cards, paper crafts, dolls, home decor and
jewelry; just to name a few. I'm always interested in trying
the next new thing and love to share my knowledge with
others. For great sewing and crafting inspiration, ideas and
tutorials, check out Keepsake Crafts.
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