Choosing an Interfacing

There are a wide variety of fusible interfacings available to today’s sewer. Use them to provide support to the hems and closings of a jacket, dress or blouse, at the neck and shoulders of a jacket, dress or blouse which requires more structure, and to equalize fabrics of different drape and weight when mixing fabrics in any type of garment. For pants, use interfacing to support hems and slits or other details in hems, pocket edges, waist treatments and the opening where the zipper will be inserted.

Soft fusible tricot interfacing with two-way stretch, such as Bosal’s Soft Stretch, HTC’s Sofknit and Pellon’s Bi-stretch Lite, provide support to the fabric with very little change to the hang or drape of the fabric. If you want support that allows plenty of give in all directions, choose one of these interfacings.

Fusible tricot with one-way stretch, such as French Fuse or Pellon’s Fusi-Knit, add a little crispness in addition to supporting the fabric. You can apply the interfacing so that the non-stretch runs in the direction that needs stability and the soft stretch runs in the direction where you want ease of movement.

Weft insertion interfacing, such as Armo Weft, Pellon Ultra Weft and Bosal Weft Insertion, are very stable; when fused, they limit the fabric’s stretch on both the grain and the cross grain. They stretch a little on the bias, but overall give significant support to the fabric year after year.

Use the fabric scraps left over after cutting out your garment to test the interfacing you think you want to use. Follow the fusing directions that come with the interfacing. A mix of steam, heat, and pressure are required. A press cloth will keep the fusible interfacing residue from sticking to your iron. Silk organza is a great choice for a press cloth; it can take the heat but is see-through. Choose a scrap large enough to observe the change to the fabric’s drape and to test the interfacing’s effect on the fabric when it is folded and pressed (as it will be at the hems). Does the fusing material adhere well to your fabric? Does it shows through on the right side of the fabric? If you are not satisfied, continue to experiment with other fusible interfacings.  If you are looking for others to try, an Interfacing Sampler of three of our favorite fusible interfacings is available in black or white from our store.

If no fusible interfacings respond well to your fabric, use a traditional sew-in interfacing. A variety of sew-in interfacings are available for purchase, but sturdy fabrics such as cotton batiste, broadcloth, and silk organza can also serve as an interfacing.

Let your samples be your guide and you will have a well supported jacket ready for life’s bumps and curves.

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