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Interfacing

By Di, Sep 3 2020 03:23PM

This is a piece I wrote for Sew Over 50 on Instagram. It's a brief look at different types of interfacing,

When someone asked if they could leave the interfacing out of a shirt collar as the one they'd just made was too stiff I said I felt she'd be disappointed if she left it out & it might be better using a lighter weight, softer interfacing.


Interfacing is a layer of fabric that goes between two layers of fashion fabric to add strength, support & helps to stop edges from stretching. Interfacing is available by the metre; however it’s fine to use cotton poplin or another layer of your fashion fabric.


There's different makes of interfacing, many without a brand name and the quality varies significantly. You need to choose one that adds the qualities you want without significantly changing the characteristics of your fashion fabric. It's worth keeping off cuts of interfacing to experiment fusing them to your fabric before making up to be sure it's the best one for the job.


Interfacing can be:

Woven or non-woven

Fusible or sew-in

Weight/thickness, light, medium or firm

White or charcoal.


Woven interfacing has a selvedge so pattern pieces need to be cut on the grain & will have some movement along the bias.

Non-woven is a web of fibres bonded together which means pieces can be cut in any direction. Both types can be fusible or sew-in.

Fusible interfacing is popular for home sewing as it has heat activated glue on one side that sticks it permanently to the fabric. Sew-in interfacing will give a softer finish and is good for fabrics that don't press well.

Silk organza is a lovely alternative when working with shear fabrics & also makes a brilliant press cloth.


For stretch fabric you can buy knit interfacing for stability with stretch.

You should use a weight of interfacing similar to your fabric. I've included a chart from Burda of which Vilene interfacings should be used with different fabrics & the instructions for fusing it. I keep H180 soft/lightweight and G405 soft/Medium in stock and use them for most garments. I do like woven fusible in different weights for men's shirts.

I don't think there's a definitive answer to whether you use a dry iron or damp press cloth, pressing or gliding or how long for. Instructions vary depending on the specific interfacing you're using, even from the same brand .The website @vlieseline_UK has a wealth of information.


For tailored garments you can buy fusible tailoring canvas, however there's a wide range of different types and weights of sew-in canvases.


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