woven interfacing used for a cuff
heavy interfacing called Hair Canvas used for a wool jacket
Interfacing: fabric used to create structure in clothing. It is placed between the lining/facing and clothing piece. Interfacing is mostly used for collars, cuffs, button bands, jacket fronts, waistbands, and some yokes.
There are many different types of interfacing:
- Woven interfacing: Interfacing has a plain weave and is structurally more stiff.
- Knit Weft-Insertion interfacing: Interfacing has a structured knit form and is more soft.
- Non-woven interfacing: Interfacing made by fusing threads together. It is very stiff and does not conform to the fabric. Some non-woven interfacings have threads that lie generally in one direction. This is preferable as it flows with the fabric better.
- Fusible interfacing: Interfacing with a type of glue on one side. The seam allowances are meant to be trimmed off, and the interfacing is fused (using an iron) to the piece of fabric.
- Sew-in interfacing: Interfacing meant to be basted onto the piece of fabric. Once the fabric is sewn to the lining/facing, the edges of the interfacing are to be trimmed off.
There are six rules to follow when choosing interfacing (numbers 1 and 2 are most important):
- Use an interfacing that matches the type of fabric. If your fabric is woven, use woven interfacing, if your fabric is knit, use knit interfacing. You generally won't sew with non-woven fabric, so you want to avoid that if possible.
- Match the weight of your interfacing with your fabric. You do not want to have heavier interfacing than your fabric as the interfacing will overpower the fabric, and the area the interfacing was used will look stiff and unnatural. You want your interfacing to compliment your fabric.
- Make sure the color of your interfacing doesn't muddle the fabric. Place the interfacing behind the fabric to check to see if it makes the color of the fabric change.
- Be aware of the washing directions of your interfacing. If the item your making is meant to be machine washable, don't use a dry-clean only interfacing.
- Pre-shrink your interfacing.
- Follow the grain of the fabric with your interfacing. If your cuff or yoke is on the bias, cut your interfacing on the bias as well.
- Note: Sometimes you won't be able to apply all the rules-- especially with the options our fabric stores give us now-a-days. I have often used knit weft-insertion interfacings on very light-weight wovens just because the options on woven interfacings are too stiff and I want a softer look.
Fun Fact: My favorite interfacing to buy at basic fabric stores?