5 Sewing Substitutes: What Can I Use Instead of Interfacing?

There will come a time when you run out of interface and you will be too far away from a store to get your supplies built up again. The good news is that you can make substitutions to make sure you have the right interface for your clothing article.

What Can I Use Instead of Interfacing? One good substitute you can use is cotton. It is thinner and lighter than other fabrics and cotton should be fairly easy to work with. Another option would be muslin. It too is less bulky although you should pre-shrink it before using that material.

To learn about substitutes for interface just continue to read our article. It has the information you need when you come to that time and place where your interface supplies have run out.

What is Interfacing in Sewing Used For?


Interface is usually used when you need to make the fabric more rigid. It is a different style of fabric that is used in a variety of clothing areas. These areas include collars, pockets, sleeveless armholes, cuffs, necklines and a lot more.

Usually, the pattern you are using will tell you in its instructions which is the best interface fabric to use. Then once you get that material ready, you need to cut it in the same pattern style as the clothing piece you are going to adhere it to.

If you are not an experienced sewer or you are using a self-made sewing pattern, you may need a little guidance in what fabric to use for your interface section. Here are some guiding tips to use when you are starting out on sewing, etc:

  • Choose an interfacing fabric that is the same weight as the fabric you are attaching it to.
  • Make sure the interface fabric doesn’t change the color of your dress, shirt or another clothing article.
  • ​Attach the interface before you sew the seams together.
  • ​The interface material is cut just a little bit shorter than the fabric you are going to attach it to.
  • ​Do a test first with a small piece of fabric to make sure the interface meets all criteria correctly.
  • This is optional, you can mark the interface with your neckline markings instead of the fabric you are using.

Can you wait a little bit? Order your sewing interfacing from Amazon here (best sellers selection) >>

Is Sewing Interfacing Important?

Yes it is important to attach interfacing to a variety of clothing articles. What interfacing does is make sure your fabric is reinforced. This reinforcement helps the dress, shirt, etc., look its best and help sit hold up to daily wear and tear.


Also, interface keeps the fabric from sagging and looking like a poor sewing job. It also helps stabilize the fabric so that it is not going anywhere when you move. Then, the interface addition helps give shape to your newly sewn clothing item.

Finally, interface makes your edges look a lot neater and better. No one wants to be seen in a dress, etc., that has bad edging taking attention away from the other fine details you did with your sewing project.

As one expert said, interfacing is the most important part of dressmaking. It helps make the dress look perfect.

Is Batting And Interfacing The Same?

No they are not the same. Interface comes in two styles, fusible and sewn in interface. These pieces of fabric do an important job as they help give shape to your dress, etc. You can get these styles of interface in a number of ways.

First, there is the non-woven and it is the most common style. It may also come with a grain and need careful placement choices. Second is the woven variety and it does have a grain. That grain needs to be cut on the same grain as the fabric you are using for your dress and do on.

Third, is the knit variety and it comes with a slight stretch character to it. Finally, you have the fabric interface. This style is just the same fabric you are using for the outer portion of your clothing item.

For collars and cuffs, you should be using what is called the narrow interface bands. Batting is merely the filler material for quilts and has a totally different purpose than interfacing does.

Do you have some extra time? Order your sewing interfacing from Amazon here (best sellers selection) >>

Using Fabric Instead of Interfacing

You can use a different fabric to make your interfaces but you need to be careful about weight, bulking looks, and other important features that may detract from the look of the dress.

For leather or suede, you can use canvas as an interface. Canvas is as heavy and durable as leather or suede and it helps keep the leather materials from losing their strength.

Or you can use cotton, as mentioned earlier and muslin but with muslin, you may find that some of the cheaper varieties do not wash and dry very well. Also, it is hard to iron out any wrinkles that appear in that fabric. You would need to make sure it is fully pre-shrunk before using it as an interface replacement.

Finally, you can use silk as well. Silk is strong, lightweight and not bulky. When substituting fabric for interfacing, you need to make sure the material doe snot change the hand or the drape of the fabric you are using to create your next fashion masterpiece.

Best Interfacing Fabric Alternative


The best alternative to use when you run out of interfacing may be the same fabric you are using to make your dress, blouse and so on. For example, if you are doing a cotton dress, then the same cotton fabric would work well as an interface replacement.

For leather, you may find that spare pieces of the same leather will work well for you. Or you can just get some canvas cloth and use that instead. Be careful when using synthetic fabrics. They may shrink a lot and ruin your dress, etc. Once you wash it.

If you are working with rayon, you may want to use a piece of the same outer fabric. It has the same weight and it will shrink at the same rate as the outer cloth. Finally, fusibles seem to have improved over the years and these make a good interface no matter what.

One honorable mention is linen. It is supposed to work well when used as an interfacing fabric.

Can I Use Felt Instead of Interfacing?


Yes you can use felt instead of interfacing but why would you? Felt costs a lot more and it is thicker than regular interfacing making it a difficult material to work with. Then you have to be careful not to get the felt style that is used for hat brims.

That material is hard as cardboard and not very easy to work with. But then neither is interfacing. Also, felt may change the look, the drape and other important aspects of the clothing item you are making.

If the fabric you are using is thicker and heavier than normal, you may find certain varieties of felt will work better than other interface materials. There is a special problem that comes with using felt.

It is hard to wash because it pils up very thickly and loses its strength as well as becomes stretched. That makes felt a difficult fabric to use in replacing interface. The best cleaning treatment to try and keep felt from losing its look and strength, is to wash the article of clothing in cold water and let it air dry.

What is The Best Interfacing For Bags

This will depend on your style of making bags. One expert uses a Bosal In-R-Form foam stabilizer. It fuses on quickly and does not leave any creases when fusing the material to your bag. Read more here >>


But of course, her style of making bags is to use a quilting technique. Quilting the bag helps the stitching hold the layers together better. Plus, it makes pressing the bag easier to do.

Another expert uses a variety of Pellon interfaces to make her bags. The types she uses will depend on the bag style and generally ranges from fusible fleece to fusible woven. (More info) She also uses Peltex and Deco brands when she wants to sew in or do other bag designs.

The best interface for bags that you can use can be chosen from these brands or similar. You just need to make sure the interface has the quality construction to have your bag come out beautiful.

One Tip For Using Interface Materials

You should take the time to pre-shrink all interface fabrics. If you are using the sew-in option, then you can pre-shrink through a press steaming method. Or if you have chosen to use the fusible option, you should immerse the interface in a bowl of hot but not boiling water.

After putting the interface fabric in the hot water, you let it stay immersed until the water cools to room temperature. Once that is done, you take the fabric out of the water and gently squeeze the fabric to remove some of the water. Then roll it up in a towel to get rid of the excess.

After that, you just let it air dry till it is ready to use.

How To Choose The Right Interface Fabric

  • If you want to use a fusible interface, make sure your fabric can be safely ironed, has no decorations or texture to it.
  • Always consider the weight of your fabric before choosing the interface material.
  • ​Never use interfacing that is heavier than your clothing item fabric. The interface material should be lighter and stiffer than your outer fabric is.
  • ​Decide how much stiffness you want in your clothing item before choosing interface material. Knit has the least amount of stiffness to it and non woven has the most.
  • Make sure to have several different weights of interface materials on hand and ready to use. That will help you decide which interface you should use.

Don't be without interfacing when you need it the most. Order your favorite sewing interface from Amazon now >>

How To Attach Fusible Interfacing


For those that do not know, this section lets you learn how to do fusible interfacing the correct way. There are only a few steps which tells it is not hard to do or learn. Here are those steps to follow:

1: Lay your fabric right side down and you should be using an ironing board for this.

2: Lay the interface with the fusible side down on the fabric where it will be attached. To tell the difference, the fusible side has a little bumpy feel to it and the non-fusible side should be nice and smooth.

3: Place a pressing cloth over the interface and the fabric. Press down on your iron for about 15 seconds. Do not glide the iron over the interface if you cannot cover the interface fabric in one shot. Pick the iron up and press it down again.

Gliding the iron may cause shifting of the layers and make a mess of your ironing board in the process. The pressing cloth is to protect your iron from getting any of the fusible interface on it.

If by chance you do get the fusible interface on your iron, unplug it and let the iron cool down. Once that is done, you should be able to peel the interface fabric off your iron.

You may want to add a second pressing cloth under your material to protect your ironing board cover. That is an option that is up to you to decide to use.

Some Final Words

Interfacing is kind of hard and tricky to get right. It takes careful work and once it is done, you have a perfect clothing item to wear. But when you run out, you may be hard pressed to get your sewing project done, especially if you live far from a fabric store.

All is not lost as you can use substitute fabrics to get your sewing project looking better than ever. You just have to make sure that the substitute fabric is the same weight or lighter than the outer fabric.

Also, you want to make sure it won’t ruin the way your project will drape. Using interfacing is vital to your sewing project so don’t leave it out or use the wrong material.

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply