In sewing, you will find that many fabrics do not stand on their own. They need help to be strong, stiff, and to perform their duties. Finding the right interface to help those fabrics is a must. Not every interface fabric will work for every material.
There are at least 5 different types of interfacing- knit, fusible, woven, sew-in, and non-woven. You should choose the style that is easiest for you and fits the fabric you are working with. Interfacing can make or break a great sewing project.
To learn all about which is the right interfacing to use with which fabric, just continue to read our guide. It matches up the components so you save time and energy. The right interfacing will help your project look more professional.
There are a few characteristics you should look at. First, the color. Interfacing comes in black or white so choose according to the light or dark color of your fabric. Next, you should use fusible interfacing with those fabrics that can handle ironing.
Next, you need to consider weight. This element affects the drape of your main fabric and never go heavier than the fabric you want to put it in. Then finally, you need to determine how stiff the fabric should be. Knits are the most flexible and non woven is the stiffest.
The best way to choose the weight of your interface is by looking at the weight of the fabric you want it to marry. Also, the rule of thumb is not to put in interfacing that is heavier than the fabric.
Lightweight interfacing is for delicate and lighter fabrics. The heaviest interfacing is usually reserved for hat brims, purses, and similar projects. The middleweight has a wide range of applications and gives you the most versatility. There are some specialty interfacing but they are for those special projects you undertake.
To handle this project you want to go with lightweight interfacing. There are several good brands on the market you can choose from. This allows you to find the type you want at the price you can afford.
Besides looking for lightweight interfacing, make sure you do not get one that stretches a lot. The less stretch the better. The last thing you need is to have your interface material stretch out of shape. If you can find that combination then your project has the green light.
We mentioned that there were those exceptions to the rule for interfacing. Waistbands are one of those exceptions. When dealing with this part of your sewing project you want to use the pre-cut variety.
Another name for this type is waistbanding and you would want to use a fusible non woven version. Along with a little stretch you want some stiffness in the waistband so it does not stretch too far. Plus, this version can be premarked so you line it up just right
You are going to have a lot of leeways when working on bags and totes. The type of interfacing you should use will depend a lot on the fabric you are making the bag. Also, the purpose of the bag will help determine which weight of interfacing you will use.
Just remember the rule of thumb and you should not have any problems. The style of interfacing will be up to you as well. There are no set rules to guide you when working on bags or totes.
The applique designs may call for one of the exceptions to the types of interfacing you can use. The exception here is called Quiltsmart and it is made to handle those designs you want to use on your quilts, etc.
Again, the rule of thumb will apply and make sure the interfacing provides with as much or as little stretch as you need. If you are experienced you may know some tricks to do if the Quiltsmart option is not available or too costly. Just have the interfacing fit the [project and embellishments.
The rule of thumb is the best guide you have in this situation. Face masks are made from light delicate materials so you need to opt for the lightweight interfacing to make them stiff and hold up.
The key here is to choose the type of interfacing that lets you breathe easily while filtering out those airborne contaminants. It is a difficult combination to match up but it can be done. Try to use interfacing that can filter particles out 2.5 micrometers or less. That allows your lungs to have as pure air as possible.
In these sewing projects, fusible interfacing is the style you should be considering. These items are easy to work with, have straight lines, and those components make using the fusible version easier and faster.
In addition to that, make sure to pre-shrink the interfacing or you may ruin your project after the first wash. The reason why you are using interfacing on these items is to help them have more body. Getting that body does not mean you ignore the rule of thumb and use a heavier weight than the fabric.
For this style of clothing, you should go for the middleweight instead of the lightweight or heavier interfacings. That is because the fabrics for the suits are not that light or that heavy. With the broad range of fabric weight, you should have no problem finding the right interfacing.
Next, the toughest decision will be the style and if you choose a fusible option do a test first to make sure the two will work together. In the end, it will be up to your preference which style and the weight you use.
Wallets are similar to totes and bags. There are no special rules to guide you except the rule of thumb. The interfacing you use will be up to your preference but it will also be up to the design of the wallet.
If you want a flexible fit wallet, made from cloth, then go lighter weight. If you want stiffness, go with a heavyweight interface. You have a lot of freedom here but make sure you choose wisely. The interface you decide on will affect the use of the wallet.
The fabric you decide to use to make your jacket will determine the type of interfacing you will use. Heavy weight is not really recommended here as it may be too stiff for practical use.
Of course, if you want a stiff jacket then, by all means, use heavier weight interfacing. Most likely you will want to use a middleweight. The style is also up to you but make the style fit the fabric so your jacket looks good all the time.
Most pockets use a light delicate fabric to create them. That fabric tells you that you should go with the lightweight interfacing. The style will be up to how the fusible, sew in or woven, etc., interfacing matches up with the material.
The key here is in attaching the interfacing correctly as you are not always dealing with tough firm fabrics that can take a beating. Sew carefully or iron without scorching. Don’t forget to make sure the interfacing is lighter than the pocket fabric.
If any manufacturer’s recommendations accompany the wool fabric you are using, go with those over any other piece of advice. Other than that you can use any of the 5 styles mentioned above if they fit the fabric and pattern for your clothing item.
If you choose the fusible it is okay to use the team option as that will help the interfacing to adhere to the wool. For weight light to medium are the best options and try to stay with a wool-like fabric.
The best option for this sewing situation would be a woven interface. It is stiff, does not have any stretch and it works well with any woven fabric you are using. That versatility is essential when you want the collars to be just right.
It is possible to try a non-woven but that option may make the collars too stiff and very uncomfortable. The key is to make sure the collars do not lose their shape after many uses and washes. Keep the weight under the weight of the fabric.
For buttonholes, you want to add strength to the fabric. These are high use areas so the stronger the buttonholes are the longer they last. To find the best interfacing for this difficult task, check your pattern.
Usually, the pattern has the information on interfacing and the pattern maker selects the best option for you to use. Of course, you can always overrule what the pattern maker says and go with one of your own. Follow the rule of thumb if you are going on your own and select according to style.
It has been said that there are many tutorials out there on how to make a great bib for your child. Yet none of them used fusible interfacing. There are two chief concerns when it comes t making bibs.
The first is absorbing power and the second is the body. Find the interfacing that supplies the solution for both elements without resorting to fusible interfacing. Most sewers seem to choose to go with cotton batting stuffed between the two exterior layers. Go with what you think will produce the best results.
This sewing project falls into the bags ad totes category. The type of interfacing you will use will depend a lot on the type of fabric you want to use to create your fabric basket. Keep to the rule of thumb and you should be okay.
As to the style, that will depend on how much stretch or stiffness you want. Again the fabric will determine the style for you. If it can’t be ironed then you will want to go with a sew-in option.
Usually, the pros try to avoid using interfacing when they make corsets. But some corsets do need it and a lot will depend on the fabric you are using to make that corset. You may want an interfacing that has a little stretch to it.
If you are not making a fashion corset the type of interfacing you need will depend on the construction of the item and the layers being included in the design. A sew-in lightweight version may be your best bet here but check the pattern to see what it says to use.
The knit interfacing is the best stretching option you have available. Of the four types we mentioned earlier, this version has the competition won hands down. The closest competitor will be fusible.
The reason for that is once you fuse the interfacing to the fabric, it will stretch as the fabric stretches. It is hard to beat that flexibility. Stay away from the heavyweight interfacing as those do not have any stretch in them at all. Match the interfacing to the fabric and you should be okay.
One item we have not mentioned so far and it can be applied retroactively is that the best interface material is usually the exact same fabric as you are sewing with. This is especially true when you are working with cotton.
The advantages you have include the same weight, the same drape, the same look, and more. This means you will be sewing in your interfacing and not taking the easy route of ironing it in place. Cotton is the best interface for cotton no matter which style you choose to use.
The top hem for curtains can be strengthened by fusible interfacing. That is a good rule to follow no matter if you are making curtains for windows doors and other places. The type of interfacing you will use will change from curtain design to curtain design.
Using the same fabric you have on hand for the curtains is a good choice here as well. At least you won’t have to worry about weight or draping. Just make sure to buy extra fabric so you have enough to handle the interfacing chore.
Pillows are an easy sewing project to take on. The dimensions are fairly straight and there usually are no curves involved in making pillows. The type of interfacing that is best to use would be the same material you are making the pillows out of.
Barring that, a fusible would be good as well. The ironing will go smoothly and there should be no tricky parts to maneuver around. The problem area will be the zipper and at that spot, you should follow the rule of thumb and not go heavier than the zipper fabric.
This will depend on the type of hat you are making and its purpose. A floppy hat can get away with a fusible or sew-in type of interfacing Then the weight should be equal or less than the fabric you are working with.
On the other hand, if you need a stiff brim like a baseball cap, then a heavy interface that is woven would do the trick. You might want to use one of the exceptions in this case. The Pellon or Quiltsmart interface may come in handy if you are adding a design or appliques. Read more about interfacing for hats in our post What interfacing to use for hats.
Like cotton, using the same fabric you are making the dress, skirt, or pants from is usually the best and easiest option to choose. But if you want a different type of interfacing then a sew-in works well. It is possible to use a fusible but keep to the middleweight class unless the fabric is very delicate.
The key to follow is the weight. Do not go heavier than the fabric you are working with. We have said that before but it needs to be repeated.
Believe it or not, leather has some stretch to it. One option would be to turn to a fusible tricot interfacing. Others have used a cool fuse interfacing material so what that tells you is that you have lots of options available.
Use your judgment here and experience so that you find the best interfacing for your project. Different projects should require different types of interfacing. Leather is also not an exception to the rule of thumb so let that be your guide as you work on this area of your project.
As good as using denim is for interfacing you may want to go with the woven option when working with denim. That is because the woven variety of interfacing acts just like the fabric it is attached.
A woven fusible has excellent drape and is very easy to use while the sew-in woven is great for the sewn-in seams you have to do. You are going to find that you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing interfacing. The only set rule is the rule of thumb.
As has been mentioned a few times, polyester works well with polyester. You have the same color, pattern, texture as well as drape and weight. That cuts your sewing time down making your project more fun to do.
If you want to go with a different type of interfacing then a knit will provide the stretch you need. But that may be a little too stretchy in some cases. If you have several different kinds of interfacing on hand do some tests to see which one works for you.
This is a fabric that doesn’t handle the iron very well. That means that fusible interfacing is not to be used with this fabric. The best option, in this case, would be the sew-in variety. It doesn’t take a lot of extra time to sew the interfacing into place so it is a viable option to go with.
Then the silk organza version is very good for collars and any waistbands you are including in your design. Velvet is a pretty fabric so don’t ruin it by using your iron.
Fusible interfacing is not always good for bags, totes, and pouches. They seem to have a high rate of failure. You can see evidence for the failure because the fabric begins to pucker or peel away.
A sew-in type would be the best to use in this instance. It gives you better security and a better hold. Fusible may be easy to use but it is not always practical.
Knowing what type of interfacing to use will save you a lot of work and a lot of headaches later on. The key is to remember and follow the interfacing rule of thumb. The fabric cannot be lighter than the interfacing.
As for picking the right interfacing to use, have several styles and weights on hand to see if they will work with the type of fabric you have chosen to use. A little test may save you from a lot of frustration.