What Is Interfacing in Sewing?


Quick Answer

Interfacing is a material that is used to add stability and strength to an area of fabric. It typically reinforces buttonholes, collars, hems, cuffs and waistbands, but may be used inside larger items such as bedspreads. Interfacing is used with knit fabrics to prevent garments from losing their shape over time.

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Full Answer

Interfacing material is manufactured with either woven, knitted or bonded fibers and comes in different weights, or thicknesses. The weight of the interfacing needs to match to the type of fabric being used. Heavier interfacing is used for thicker fabrics or when more support is needed, while flexible and lightweight interfacing is appropriate for delicate fabrics such as silk.

Interfacing is manufactured as either non-fusible or fusible. Non-fusible interfacing must be sewn into place, but Simplicity recommends it for heat-sensitive fabrics such as synthetics, stain-treated fabrics and velvets. Fusible interfacing is treated with an adhesive, on one or both sides, that makes it easier to apply. Once it is cut to the necessary size and shape, it is simply ironed to the piece of fabric.

Washing instructions for the interfacing must be compatible with the care instructions for the fabric. Interfacing is sold at fabric, sewing and crafts stores in small packages or by the yard.

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