Basic Guide To Interfacings
Interfacings are used to provide shape, stability, strength, durability, and structure in garments, accessories, and household furnishings. In garments it is used in areas such as collars, lapels, necklines, cuffs, waistbands, hems, armholes, and buttonhole and zipper areas.
When it comes to accessories, interfacings are used in purses, hats, and belts. Iinterfacings also come in handy for costumes, and are great for curtains to help them drape better and to reduce wrinkling after washing.
Interfacing is usually applied in between two layers of fabric, and firmly attached to one layer of the fabric.
There are many different types of interfacing such as wovens, non-wovens, knits, fusible, and non-fusible, also known as sew-ins. They also come in different fibers, different weights of light, medium and heavy, and usually come in the colors of white, beige, gray or black.
Woven interfacings have a lengthwise and crosswise grain, and must be cut on the same grain as the fabric to be interfaced. They are stable and offer firm support and add durability. They are usually used with woven fabrics.
Non-woven interfacings are bonded together, are not very strong, and have no grain. Stable non-wovens can be cut in any direction and will not ravel.
Knit interfacings have a crosswise stretch and are great for knits. They usually are lightweight, and are soft and drapeable.
Whether woven, non-woven, or knit, all interfacings are available in fusible and non-fusible.
Non-fusible, or sew-in interfacings are pinned or basted to the fabric, then sewn in with the sewing machine. Non-fusibles will not alter the texture or shape of the fabric, and are great for natural shaping of woven fabrics.
Fusible web can be used to bond the interfacing to the fabric in non-fusibles. It can also be used in hems, and to hold and secure appliques, or patches in place before sewing.
Fusible interfacings have a glue-like coating on one side, so that when steam-pressed, it melts and fuses the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. All fusible interfacings are different and come with instructions on how to apply them; make sure to read and follow these instructions for optimum results.
Fusibles are quick and easy to apply, but not all fabrics are suitable for fusibles. Some delicate fabrics cannot take the heat, and textured fabrics may lose their texture during the application.
Everyone has their own preference on which interfacing to use for different fabrics. The general rule however, is to use interfacing of the same weight or lighter than that of the fabric. To determine which interfacing to use, simply drape two layers of fabric and the interfacing together to see how well they hang. For collars, lapels, and cuffs you will usually need a stiffer interfacing in order to achieve the desired crispness.
For sheer fabrics you can use another fabric as an interfacing to match the color, or use a fabric with a different design for added creativity.