We had an interesting chat in one of my Dressmaking classes this week about interfacing and why/how it is used; also the variety of interfacings can sometimes be baffling. Hence this weeks’ top tip – aimed to help you skip through purchasing interfacing – next week I will create a little tutorial about applying it!
Firstly we need to clarify why we use interfacing at all. There are certain parts of a garment that require stabilising or strengthening and commonly this is where we use interfacing; collars, cuffs, button stands, waistbands and pocket flaps often require interfacing. A lightweight interfacing has been used in the collar of this dress and on the button stand to support the fastenings.
Interfacing is available in three forms; woven, non-woven (or bonded) and knitted. Fusible interfacings have a fine layer of heat release glue which bonds the interfacing to the fabric. There are also non-fusible or ‘sew-in’ interfacings.
Fusible bonded interfacing is most commonly used and applied to woven fabrics. It is easy to use (look out for next week’s top tip) and is widely available.
It is important to use a knitted fusible interfacing on knitted fabrics as it allows the fabric to stretch and return.
There are also non-fusible or sew-in interfacings which are more frequently used for tailored items. You can see the inside layering of the lapel of a tailored jacket I made using traditional techniques for applying the canvas.
Commercial dressmaking patterns will tell you what kind of interfacing to use for the garment which will match the recommended fashion fabrics for the garment. However there are a few little additional tips I would like to impart….
To avoid ‘shadowing’ use a white interfacing on pale fabrics and black/grey on darker hues.
Here we have a very beautiful open or loosely woven fabric. Using a fusible interfacing on this could cause problems with the glue seeping through when applied. In this case it would be wise to use a woven sew in interfacing or mount the whole piece with silk organza to stabilise it before constructing the garment.
I do hope you have found this useful. Keep your eyes peeled for applying fusible interfacing next week. If you fancy learning more about different types of fabric I am running the ‘getting to know your fabrics’ workshop. Spaces are only available for the morning session being run on Wednedsay, 19th July. You will have a take home swatch book filled with samples to refer to when buying on-line or at a market/shop. The costs of the session is £25.00 all inc. You can book on-line via the website www.felixstowesewingschool.co.uk/courses