Sewing & Pattern making Terms


Interfacing is a crucial element in the world of garment construction, providing support, structure, and stability to various parts of a garment. Seamstresses and pattern makers rely on interfacing to achieve clean lines, professional finishes, and garment longevity. In this article, we will explore the purpose, types, and application techniques of interfacing, shedding light on its indispensable role in creating well-constructed garments.

Introduction to Interfacing: Adding Strength and Shape

Interfacing is a material, typically made of woven or non-woven fibers, that is used to reinforce specific areas of a garment. It is applied to fabric sections like collars, cuffs, waistbands, button plackets, and pocket openings to add strength, shape, and structure. Interfacing helps these components maintain their intended form and prevents them from stretching, sagging, or losing their crisp appearance over time.

Types of Interfacing

Different interfacing types are available to accommodate various fabric weights, garment styles, and desired outcomes. Here are some common types:

  • Fusible Interfacing: This type of interfacing has a heat-activated adhesive on one side, allowing it to bond to fabric when pressed with an iron. Fusible interfacing is convenient to use and offers a wide range of options, from lightweight to heavyweight, depending on the desired level of support.
  • Sew-In Interfacing: As the name suggests, sew-in interfacing is stitched directly onto the fabric. It is often used when a garment requires a more stable and permanent interfacing solution, or when working with delicate fabrics that may not tolerate the heat of fusible interfacing.
  • Knit Interfacing: Specifically designed for knit fabrics, knit interfacing has a stretchy composition that allows it to retain the fabric’s elasticity while providing added stability. It is ideal for knit garments, as it ensures the interfaced sections maintain their shape without compromising comfort.
  • Woven Interfacing: Woven interfacing is made of tightly woven fibers and is suitable for a wide range of fabric types. It provides moderate support and structure, making it a versatile choice for various garment components.
  • Non-Woven Interfacing: Non-woven interfacing is created by bonding fibers together rather than weaving them. It is often lightweight and flexible, making it suitable for lightweight and delicate fabrics that require subtle support.

Applying Interfacing: Techniques and Considerations

When applying interfacing, it is important to consider fabric compatibility, the desired outcome, and the specific garment section being reinforced. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Preparation: Before applying interfacing, it is recommended to pre-shrink both the fabric and the interfacing to avoid any potential distortion after laundering.
  2. Cutting and Marking: Interfacing is typically cut to match the shape and size of the fabric section it will reinforce. It is essential to follow the pattern instructions or create a template for accurate cutting. Marking the interfacing to align with fabric markings can aid in precise placement.
  3. Fusible Interfacing Application: For fusible interfacing, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding heat settings, pressing time, and use of pressing cloths. It is crucial to protect the fabric and iron from excess adhesive by using a pressing cloth or silicone release paper.
  4. Sew-In Interfacing Application: Sew-in interfacing is stitched to the fabric using appropriate stitching techniques such as basting, stay stitching, or edge stitching. It is important to ensure even tension and secure attachment throughout the seam lines.
  5. Customization: Seamstresses and pattern makers may opt to trim or grade the interfacing seam allowances to reduce bulk and achieve a smooth and even appearance.

Interfacing Tips and Troubleshooting

To achieve the best results with interfacing, consider the following tips and troubleshoot common issues:

  • Test and Experiment: When working with new fabrics or unfamiliar interfacing types, it is recommended to test a small piece of fabric and interfacing first to ensure compatibility and desired results.
  • Avoid Over-Interfacing: Applying too much interfacing or using a heavier weight than necessary can result in a stiff, unnatural appearance. It is important to select the appropriate weight and quantity of interfacing for each garment component.
  • Delicate Fabrics: When interfacing delicate fabrics, use lightweight options and handle them with care to prevent distortion or damage.
  • Seam Allowances: Consider the seam allowances in the garment construction process. Trim or grade interfacing seam allowances to reduce bulk and achieve smoother, more professional-looking seams.

In conclusion, interfacing is a fundamental tool in garment construction, providing support, structure, and stability to specific areas of a garment. By selecting the appropriate type of interfacing, applying it correctly, and considering fabric compatibility, seamstresses and pattern makers can enhance the overall quality and longevity of their creations. With interfacing as their secret weapon, they can achieve beautifully structured and professional-looking garments.

Video Tutorial: How to Choose a Matching Interfacing

In this informative tutorial, I will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect interlining to achieve the desired finish for your fabrics. With three real-life fabric examples, you’ll learn how to make informed choices and ensure a seamless match. Discover the art of selecting suitable interlining based on fabric types and desired outcomes. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to professional results. Join me as we explore the world of interlining in three practical scenarios. Let’s get started on your path to flawless finishes!

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Melissa Villegas
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