Different types of interfacing and when to use them

Very useful to see all the different types of interfacing on video so I could really see how they each affected the fabric. I have a better understanding of what does what now.

Whether you sew bags or clothes, from time to time, you’ll need to use an interfacing on your projects and it can often be difficult to choose which one works best with which project.

Many sewing patterns usually will make a suggestion, but not list an essential interfacing product, because availability varies so widely that what is available in one area or country, can not be found in another area, making a person in that area reluctant to buy a pattern when the stipulated interfacing can’t be used.

So let’s take a look at a few examples today and you can see in the video how they change the structure of the fabric in each case.

Comparison of different types of interfacing

 

 

Fusible versus Sew in

 

Very useful to see all the different types of interfacing on video so I could really see how they each affected the fabric. I have a better understanding of what does what now.

Fusible interfacing has a fabric ‘glue’ on one side.  You can usually see this quite easily as a shiny glow on the interfacing or feel it as rough tiny dots.  Mostly the fusible glue is on the one side, but it can sometimes be on both.  Always take care to read the instructions that come with the interfacing as methods can vary, and try not to get the glue on your iron – it makes a nasty mess and can transfer to other projects or your ironing board next time.

Sew-in interfacing can come in many varieties and can have much the same features as the fusible – but without the glue.  You’ll normally secure the interfacing to the fabric before sewing the project by basting it within the seam allowances, although sometimes you may just layer up the fabric and interfacing and sew together.  Check what is called for in the pattern instructions.  Ideal when you have a fabric that cannot be ironed or have texture.

Pros and cons – Sew-in interfacing can be a little more tricky to work with because you need to keep an eye on all those layers, but it can give a nicer result on light weight fabrics because it will still allow them to show their original fabric properties.  You may also find the project is less likely to crease with a sew in (although that depends on your fabric).  Using a sew-in product also will allow you to trim excess bulk from your seam allowances if the project would benefit from that.

Using a fusible interfacing can be easier to keep track of and you simply fuse and then have the one layer to deal with in your sewing = less shifting.  Sometimes if you use a sew-in without a fusible, the outside fabric of the project can look loose and floppy even if the bag itself has enough structure.  Leaving a fusible interfacing still on your seam allowances can give your project a lot of structure to stand up on their own and make the seams stronger – like a frame for the bag. It basically makes your fabric thicker, stronger and easier to work with.

But, sometimes a fusible doesn’t work well with your fabric and you can get little creases or stretches when it is cooled.  To avoid this, always ‘press’ rather than iron your interfacing on, and make sure to leave it to cool completely before lifting it up to use it.

Woven versus Non-woven

Very useful to see all the different types of interfacing on video so I could really see how they each affected the fabric. I have a better understanding of what does what now.

In a nutshell, a woven interfacing is just like a fabric – it’s woven and has a grain line.  A non-woven interfacing can be used in any direction, and is more like a paper.

Woven interfacing – your fabric should still look, feel and move like fabric, albeit a thicker one.  A typical woven interfacing may take your quilting-weight cotton up to more the feel of a decor weight fabric.  But it still feels like fabric.

You can also get a knit interfacing, called tricot, which can be used on stretch fabrics and may be used to prevent or restrict stretch in areas of the garment to prolong life and shape.

Non-woven interfacing – no grain line, like a felt or fleece.  Can range from thin and wispy, through crisp and papery, through to stiff almost like card, or even lofty like a fleece or foam.

Pros and cons – the woven can be expensive and is typically only available in a much smaller range of weights, properties and thicknesses.  It leaves your fabric feeling and behaving like fabric and usually fuses well without the wrinkles you can sometimes get from a non-woven.

The non-woven is available is a MUCH wider range and is much more affordable, and more easily available.  However it can wrinkle or crease more easily.  It can also tear (like paper) and makes the fabric feel less like fabric – which can be a plus depending on your project.

Examples used in the video

Other resources:

Pellon Interfacing Guide download from the JoAnn site.

Pellon Interfacings – Pellon Site

Amy Butler International Interfacing Guide – other country equivalents to the Pellon products shown

Pellon Crafts and Home Decor interfacing guide

Craftsy Blog – How and When to use Interfacing

Want to learn more about Interfacing and what goes on underneath your project?  Check out this Craftsy class – Underneath it All: Guide to Interfacings, Linings and Facings.

titleCard

Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Different types of interfacing and when to use them

  1. I am working on a quilt for a friend who gave me all of the material & interfacing. However I have never seen interfacing like this before. I did cut a small piece and tried to fuse it and it did work. It is not woven, but almost like paper on the one side and a thin plastic almost on the other. It does separate too. Can you enlighten me? There was not a label, directions etc.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      What you got there is called wonder under I believe, it is used to make appliques, have a look at this post where I use a similar product and let me know if that is what you got.

  2. Thomas says:

    I am a uniform manufacturer for Hotels in Dubai U.A.E. I am facing problems with the collar fusing as it becomes bubbly in few washes. Can you recommend a proper fusing interface material and company so i could import the same. Thank you.

  3. Juiceman NYC says:

    The best explanation and demonstration I have seen on the web. Thorough and even-handed. Thank You!

  4. TERRI says:

    What a great video – so very organized and informative. Appreciate all your work.

  5. myra michie says:

    Fantastic turorial. I have muddled through with what I could get at the local shop [which is closing in 2 months] never though to get something on the internet and now I know what I should be getting for which project. THANK YOU

  6. Ashley says:

    This was such a helpful post, thank you! I have so many of your posts printed or bookmarked. I wanted to add that I recently took a class on http://www.patternreview.com that focused exclusively on interfacing that came with a kit with samples of 24 different types of interfacing taught by Sarah Veblen. The class was a bit pricier than the Craftsy one (which I’m also enrolled in) but way more in depth and the kit alone made it worth the cost. I think it was initially priced around $100 (including the kit and shipping) but I bought it at a sale price shortly before the class ran and it came to $65 and I definitely think it was worth it, especially for the kit. It is a scheduled class but I believe PR offers it periodically. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is interested in using interfacing to step up garment making. I don’t get anything for recommending this, just wanted to share something I felt was definitely worth the money.

  7. Deborah B. Morgan says:

    I cannot tell you how much I love your projects and information. This video has given me the exact information I need for making the hat that I have been wanting for so long. I now can purchase the appropriate interfacing without my usual “trial and error” way of doing things. Thank you so much!

  8. Good information about interfacings!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post that links to your post here:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/types-of-interfacing-and-how-to-choose-the-right-one-for-your-project/2015/02/22/
    –Anne

  9. Ginger Bennett says:

    I love reading your newsletters, its become a Sunday habit. I work at a local shop in the US and also teach, your video on interfacing was awesome. I have a sample swatch set up I take with me when teaching, but I loved the idea of headliner, I have used my leftover fleece, but I would never have thought about using the headliner to make a quilted fabric. Thanks for all you do.
    Ginger

    • Thanks so much Ginger, that’s really kind of you. I always struggle to know what types of interfacing to recommend because I usually stick to just the couple I can get here locally, so this was as much a learning experience for me too!

  10. Lisa Clark says:

    I needed that. Too many different kinds to know what too choose, so this helps. Thanks for all of your hard work.

  11. Becky M says:

    As usual you did a great job covering this subject. The video was well done and helped me to know which interfacings to choose especially for working with bags. I really appreciated seeing the draping qualities of each one. Thank you as always.

What do you think?