Interfacing is a sewing notion that is used to stiffen fabric or help a part of a garment hold it's shape. A shirt collar and cuffs is one of most common ways to understand what interfacing does. It is also used in facings to help a garment edge hold it's shape but not stiffen the viewable area of the garment. Interfacing comes in a variety of forms and weights.
More About Interfacing
- Interfacing Weights
All interfacing is available in a variety of weights to achieve different results and to work with different weight fabrics. For example a lightweight silky blouse will need a light weight interfacing to shape the collar but a jacket or blazer will need a stiffer interfacing in order to have a sharp edge to the lapel. A Dracula cape with the tall stand up collar behind the head will need extremely stiff interfacing or layers of interfacing to stand up on its own.
- Woven and Non-woven Interfacing
Woven interfacing is woven the same way fabric is woven or knit. You will see threads running horizontally and vertically. Non-woven interfacing is a more widely available interfacing. The choice is yours unless the pattern specifies a certain type of interfacing for you to use. Test the fabric and the interfacing together by laying them over your hand together to see how much stiffness the combination will create.
- Fusible and Sew In Interfacing
Fusible interfacing will have a glazed look or a spotted look on one side of the interfacing. The side with the spots or glazed look is the fusible side that when used with the heat of an iron, the interfacing will permanently adhere to fabric. Before a fusible interfacing can be used, the fabric should be pre-washed in order to remove the chemicals that are used in processing. The sizing in the fabric will prevent the fusible from staying attached to the fabric.
Sew-In interfacing has no finishing on either side of the interfacing. It is sewn to the fabric just inside the seam line so none of the stitching will show on the outside of the garment or costume.
- Pre-Shrinking Interfacing
You preshrink your fabric and you forgot to check the end of the bolt of interfacing to see if it was labeled "pre-shrunk". You can preshrink interfacing but not in a washing machine! Simply soak the interfacing in cool to tepid water. Do not use hot water with fusible interfacing. Do not wring out the interfacing. Towel dry the interfacing by rolling it in layers of towel. Line dry without causing any shaping or misshaping to happen.