Interfacing 101. Bag Making. {Learn More, Sew More}

When bags (or garments!) need more stability, interfacing is often added to the piece.  But when you go to the craft store, this is what you see:

Interfacing 101 by Crafty Planner

Where do you start?  Which interfacing do you need?

Here’s the 411:

Types of Interfacing

Interfacing comes in woven, non-woven and knit.  Each interfacing type functions like the fabric equivalent.  So woven interfacing has lengthwise and crosswise threads, which need to be cut on the same grain as your project.  Nonwoven interfacing is created by combining the threads together. There is no direction to the interfacing, which means it won’t ravel but it is also not as soft.  Knit interfacing are typically soft and have a crosswise stretch.

Interfacing Preparation

If a project will or could be washed later, interfacing should be pre-shrunk before being applied to a project.  You can soak more interfacing in a bowl or sink with warm water for about 10 minutes.  After soaking, I lay the interfacing on a towel to air dry.  You can also use the steam function of your iron to prepare the interfacings, just be careful not to get too close for fusible interfacings.

Interfacing Application

The two most common ways to apply interfacing is either through fusing or sewing.  Fusible interfacing has an adhesive side consisting of small glue dots.  To “fuse”, the interfacing is ironed onto the project fabric.  Either the interfacing can be directly ironed to the fabric or applied with a damp cloth as a buffer between the iron and interfacing.  For sew in interfacing, the interfacing becomes a layer in the project (similar to quilt batting) that gets sewn in while sewing the seams.  Sew in interfacing is also an option when the project fabric can not take the heat application.  Before you use either interfacing, you should try the interfacing on a sample piece so you know how the project will finish.

Which interfacing is right for my project?

There are many, many, many interfacing choices.  Weight and purpose. You want to look for an interfacing that matches the weight of the fabrics you are using along with the purpose of the interfacing.  So if you are interfacing a sheer top and looking for a bit of support, you would look for a lightweight interfacing.  If you are adding structure to a bag and you’re using a quilting cotton, you could use a fusible fleece combined with a lightweight interfacing.  Color. Interfacing comes in various color so make sure the interfacing does not affect the project fabric.  The color matching is another reason sampling the interfacing with the fabric becomes important.

Do you have any other questions about interfacing?  I’m happy to help!



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  1. Pingback: Garment Fabrics 101. Garment Sewing. {Learn More, Sew More} - Crafty Planner

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