The proper application of interfacing can create a polished professional look. Interfacing provides stiffness, support and structure to fabric. It is often found in bags, home dec projects, collars, cuffs and curved areas on knit garments. Discovering the inherent helpfulness of interfacing can take your sewing skills to the next level. Use these tips to master interfacing and get stitching in no time!
1. To Fuse or Not to Fuse: There are two main types of interfacing, fusible and sew-in. The type determines how the interfacing is applied to the fabric. Fusible interfacing is adhered to the fabric wrong side using glue that is applied to the interfacing in the creation process. Sew-in interfacing is sewn to the fabric wrong side and is used primarily when the fabric cannot withstand pressing. In general, fusible interfacing will change the fabric hand, creating a stiffer result.
2. Weigh In: Both fusible and sew-in interfacing comes in several weights ranging from light to heavy. Consider the fabric’s end use as you select the interfacing. If the project is a bag or home dec project a medium to heavyweight interfacing will most likely work best. If the project is a chiffon shirt (or similarly flowy garment) a lightweight interfacing is best. If you’re using interfacing simply to reinforce the fabric for longevity, match the fabric weight to the interfacing weight.
3. Knit or Woven: In addition to all the versions of interfacing listed above, there are also knit and woven interfacings. Knit interfacing should be used with knit fabric; it’s often used to reinforce curved seams. Woven interfacing is best used when working with woven fabric; try to align the interfacing grain with that of the fabric for best results. There’s a third type, non-woven interfacing, this includes fusible fleece, it has barely any drape to it and is best used when fabric needs to be seriously stiffened (such as for a bag).
4. Adhering Advice: When fusing interfacing to fabric, make sure to determine the interfacing side with the glue first. The glue side will have either dots of glue across the surface or it will have a sheen to it. The glue side will also feel different in comparison to the non-glue side. Always place the glue side to the wrong side of the fabric. Use a damp press cloth to adhere the interfacing. Be sure to press down with the iron, pick it up and move to a new spot on the fabric. Never run the iron over the surface of the interfacing while adhering it to the fabric. Check the packaging instructions for additional advice on adhering the interfacing to your fabric.
5. Go for a Test Drive: Adhere a piece of interfacing to fabric the wrong side and send it through the laundering process you plan to use on the finished project. If the interfacing comes unglued or there’s excessive shrinking, either consider a different type of interfacing or choose a more delicate method of laundering (such as dry cleaning).
With these interfacing tips under your belt, you’re ready to stitch something up with a little rigidity. Here are a few projects and resources to consider:
Embroider a handy coupon clutch to keep grocery trips organized and headache-free! The interfacing gives this fun project the stability to hold all your coupons and then some.
Make an interfaced collar with an all-over design and let your creativity shine.
Stitch up an interfaced frame for someone special. This is a great gift for moms, dads and grads!
For an exceptionally thorough look at interfacing, purchase the Feb/Mar ’14 issue of Sew News from shopsewitall.com.