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Keeping an Eye on Interfacings

Interfacing is a common tool used in many sewing projects. It can be your best friend when you need a bit of stiffness. There are many types of interfacings out there, and so many ways to use them. 

What is interfacing?

Interfacing is used to add stiffness to fabric used in apparel, crafts, embroidery, and quilting. Most interfacing you’ll find today is fusible, meaning it has heat-activated glue when applied to fabric with an iron. There is also non-fusible interfacing (aka sew-in interfacing) which is sewn in just around the edges. Non-fusible is best used on fabrics that do not tolerate heat or are too loosely woven to be glued. Because sew-in interfacing is attached as a separate layer only along the edges, it can “float” within each piece. Sew-in does not require seam allowances, which can reduce bulk within the garment. Fusible interfacing has been known to change a fabric’s properties when glued down over the entire fabric surface.

How to choose the correct interfacing?

The way that interfacing is constructed will determine how it will behave. Most interfacings are non-woven. This means they do not have a grain and are made from fibers bound together rather than woven, like the Intra-Face Medium Weight interfacing. While a woven interfacing, like the Armo Weft, will behave more like fabric and therefore be more appropriate in projects where retaining the natural flow of the fabric is desired.

The next factor in choosing interfacing is the weight. Interfacing typically comes in three weights: light, medium and heavyweight. A good rule of thumb is to keep the weight of the interfacing equal to or lighter than the main fabric.

See our selection of interfacings here.