Sewing & Pattern making Terms


Interlining is a vital component in the world of garment construction, serving as an additional layer placed between the fabric and lining or outer layer of a garment. Seamstresses and pattern makers rely on interlining to enhance the performance, warmth, support, and comfort of their creations. In this article, we will explore the purpose, benefits, types, selection, and application techniques of interlining, providing insights into its valuable role in elevating the quality and functionality of garments.

Purpose and Benefits of Interlining

Interlining offers several key advantages that contribute to the overall quality and functionality of garments:

  • Thermal Insulation: One of the primary purposes of interlining is to provide thermal insulation. By adding a layer of interlining material, such as fleece or quilted fabric, garments can offer warmth and protection against chilly weather conditions.
  • Structure and Support: Interlining materials, such as woven or non-woven fusible interfacing, can reinforce specific areas of a garment, like collars, cuffs, waistbands, or button plackets. This reinforcement helps maintain the shape and structure of these components, ensuring they retain their intended form over time.
  • Comfort and Softness: Interlining can enhance the comfort of a garment by adding a layer of soft and cushiony material, such as cotton batting or foam. This not only provides a pleasant feel against the skin but also offers a slight padding effect that improves wearer comfort.
  • Shape Retention: Certain interlining materials, like horsehair canvas or polyester boning, are used to support and shape the garment’s structure. They help prevent sagging or collapsing in areas that require more rigidity, such as bodices or waistlines.

Types of Interlining

Different types of interlining are available to cater to various garment needs and fabric types:

  • Fusible Interlining: Fusible interlining has an adhesive coating that is activated by heat and bonds to the fabric when pressed. It is convenient to use and offers a range of options, from lightweight to heavyweight, depending on the desired level of support.
  • Sew-In Interlining: Sew-in interlining is stitched directly to the fabric, providing stability and support. It is a suitable choice when a more permanent and robust interlining solution is required.
  • Quilted Interlining: Quilted interlining consists of a layer of batting or insulation sandwiched between two fabric layers, forming a quilted pattern. It provides both warmth and structure to garments.
  • Padding Interlining: Padding interlining involves adding a layer of soft padding, such as foam or fleece, to enhance comfort and create a padded effect.

Selecting and Applying Interlining

When selecting and applying interlining, several points should be considered:

  • Fabric Compatibility: Consider the fabric type and weight when choosing an interlining. Ensure that the interlining complements the fabric’s characteristics and does not compromise its drape or hand.
  • Application Technique: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying fusible interlining, including the appropriate heat setting and pressing time. For sew-in interlining, use appropriate stitching techniques to secure it to the fabric.
  • Placement: Determine the areas of the garment that require interlining based on the desired effects, such as structure, warmth, or support. Focus on components like collars, cuffs, bodices, or waistbands that would benefit from additional reinforcement.
  • Test and Experiment: Before applying interlining to the final garment, it is advisable to test the chosen interlining on a fabric scrap to evaluate its compatibility, bonding strength, and desired effect.

Common Uses and Considerations

Interlining finds applications in various clothes and projects:

  • Outerwear: Interlining is commonly used in coats, jackets, and vests to provide insulation, structure, and shape retention.
  • Tailored Garments: Interlining plays a crucial role in tailored garments, such as blazers or suits, where it supports lapels, collars, and pockets, giving them a crisp and polished appearance.
  • Bridal and Formal Wear: Interlining is often used in wedding gowns, evening dresses, and formal attire to enhance the garment’s structure, silhouette, and comfort.
  • Bag Making: Interlining is utilized in bag making to add stability and structure to the bag’s body and handles.

When working with interlining, it is essential to consider its compatibility with the chosen fabric, the desired effect, and the specific requirements of the garment. Proper selection, application, and placement of interlining can elevate the quality, functionality, and overall aesthetic appeal of clothes, making them more comfortable, supportive, and visually pleasing.

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Melissa Villegas
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