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Do You Need to Use Interfacing When Sewing? (2023)

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You might have heard about interfacing when it comes to sewing, but do you really need to use it?

Interfacing is a must-have in every sewist’s toolbox as it provides stiffness and shape for your projects. It reinforces fabric areas where there could be any weight pulling, cutting, puncturing, or stressing on the fabric.

Without interfacing and the proper technique, garments will hang and sag instead of having a professional look.

So if you’re wondering whether you should use interfacing when sewing – yes! You most definitely need to consider using it for successful results with your project.

Interfacing can come in different forms such as fusible which has an adhesive side that gets ironed onto the wrong side of fashion fabric; or sew-in which works well with fabrics that cannot be ironed like delicate silks; woven interface goes well with any woven fabrics while nonwoven resembles fleece or felt; knit interface is stretchy so great for knit fabrics etc…

Additionally, stabilizer also provides support during graining/weaving although they are different from each other since one remains fused while the other needs eliminating after the stitching process is complete.

Ultimately, all these options provide stability without compromising on flexibility needed by certain garment pieces making them an ideal choice when working on clothing items like collars & cuffs etc.

Key Takeaways

do you have to use interfacing when sewing

  • Interfacing provides stiffness and structure to sewing projects, reinforcing areas that could be subject to weight pulling, cutting, puncturing, or stress on the fabric.
  • Interfacing comes in different forms such as fusible, sew-in, woven, nonwoven, and knit, and should be chosen based on the weight and type of fabric being used.
  • DIY alternatives like water and wood glue solution, cornflour/starch mix gelatin, and craft stiffeners can be used as substitutes for ready-made interfacing, but may not provide the same results.
  • Interfacing is not required for all sewing projects, but should be used when necessary to achieve the desired outcome and increase the durability of the garment.

What is Interfacing and Why is It Important in Sewing?

What is Interfacing and Why is It Important in Sewing?
Interfacing is an essential component of your sewing project, providing the structure and stiffness that keeps it looking professional.

For example, if you’re making a bag or purse with multiple compartments, interfacing in the bottom and sides will prevent them from losing their shape.

Interfacing comes in many forms, such as fusible or sew-in interfacing, cotton and/or linen alternatives for lighter fabrics like muslin, which should be pre-shrunk before use; nonwoven resembling fleece or felt; knit suitable for knit fabrics; and woven, which works well with any woven fabric without stretch.

Heavyweight interfacing can also provide more stability when needed, but care must still be taken when using it on synthetics, as shrinkage may ruin garments during washing.

Fusible interfacing has one side containing heat-activated adhesive, while double-sided tape is also available.

The pattern indicates how much of each fabric weight is required, so always check beforehand, then steam press accordingly prior to stitching layers together.

How to Choose the Right Interfacing for Your Project

How to Choose the Right Interfacing for Your Project
When choosing the right interfacing for your project, consider the weight and type of fabric you’ll be working with to ensure a professional-looking finish that won’t sag or stretch.

Interfacing is available in different weights: lightweight, medium weight, and heavyweight. Fusible interfacing contains heat-activated adhesive on one side, while sew-in interface is ideal for fabrics that cannot be ironed.

Woven works well with any woven fabric without stretching, while nonwoven resembles fleece or felt. Knit can provide stretchiness suitable for knit fabrics like rayon but requires proper technique when using the same outer garment as an interface substitute to avoid issues caused by shrinkage when washed.

Pre-washing both fabric and interfacing substitute fabric before use, along with pre-shrinking, are important steps to accomplish the best results from your project!

Muslin, broadcloth, and linen make good alternatives if you run out of ready-made fusible or sew-in interfaces. DIY methods such as water and wood glue solution, cornflour/starch mix gelatin, etc.

With all these tips at hand, get creative yet stay careful. Your sewing projects will look perfect every time!

How to Apply Fusible Interfacing

How to Apply Fusible Interfacing
Applying fusible interfacing is like adding a layer of armor to your garment, protecting it from any weight pulling or stress. Heat and steam are key elements used in the process. Pre-shrinking both fabric and substitute fabric before using helps ensure proper results.

Synthetics may be tricky as there is a chance of shrinkage when washing, so rayon should have the same outer garment for its interface substitute for similar effects without ruining the piece! Double-sided tape can also come in handy with sewing projects that need layers of fabrics held together by an adhesive.

Fusible interfacing requires heat activation on one side while sew-in type works better if ironing isn’t possible. Woven interfaces work well with woven fabrics that don’t stretch while knit ones provide stretchiness suitable for knits such as rayon.

Always use proper technique when substituting this option! Muslin, broadcloth, linen are good alternatives too.

Here’s how you apply fusible interfacing:

  1. Cut out your pattern pieces from both main fabric and chosen interlining material.
  2. Lay them right sides together.
  3. Place pressing cloth over top then press firmly at medium temperature.
  4. Allow cooling time.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 until all parts have been fused securely.

Follow these simple steps and watch as your garments transform into something extraordinary. Look professional every single time thanks to sturdy yet comfortable support provided by applying fusing correctly.

Substitutes for Interfacing: When You Run Out

Substitutes for Interfacing: When You Run Out
If you ever run out of interfacing, don’t worry! There are plenty of alternatives that can be used for the same effect. Muslin, broadcloth, and linen make great replacements as they are lightweight yet still stiffen with ease.

If you’re feeling crafty, DIY methods like mixing a cup of water and wood glue or cornflour/potato starch with gelatin can also work wonders! Sew-in interfacing is ideal for fabrics that cannot handle ironing, so if your alternative fabric needs to be prewashed/shrunk, then this could be an option as well.

When substituting fabric, it’s important to remember that using the same material externally requires proper technique to avoid any issues when washing.

Commercial stiffening products such as Elmer’s glue mixed with sugar in some warm water may also do the trick, but having something ready-made on hand is often more convenient. Thankfully, there’s double-sided fusible tape which makes layering multiple pieces easier than ever before without compromising quality results.

All said though, regardless of what type or how much interface is needed, patterns will usually provide guidance, making sure all garments look their absolute best every single time!

Can Stabilizer Be Used as Interfacing?

Can Stabilizer Be Used as Interfacing?
You may be tempted to use stabilizer as an interfacing substitute, but it’s not a good idea. In fact, only about 10% of sewing projects utilize stabilizers! Stabilizers are rigid in all directions and look like paper or film, whereas interfacings resemble fabric.

Interfacing is also loose in one direction while being stiff on the other. This isn’t true for stabilize, which is rigid throughout.

Muslin and cotton make great alternatives to traditional fusible or sew-in interfaces if you ever run out. However, prewashing both fabrics before using them together is important for preventing shrinkage with synthetic materials such as rayon.

When working with craft fabric stiffening products like Elmer’s glue mixed with sugar into warm water, a tablespoon of wood glue added to one cup of water will do the trick instead.

Reader Interactions: Tips and Tricks for Successful Interfacing in Sewing

Reader Interactions: Tips and Tricks for Successful Interfacing in Sewing
Gain expert-level results every time you sew with these helpful tips and tricks for successful interfacing!

It is important to pay attention to thread tensioning, pattern matching, fabric selection, pressing techniques, and seam allowances when using interfacing.

Sew-in interfacing is ideal for fabrics that cannot be ironed, while fusible has a heat-activated adhesive on one side. Be sure to consider not only the weight of the interfacing but also whether or not it will be suitable for your project.

Bags and purses often require heavier interface in the bottom as well as sides to maintain their shape.

When applying fusible interlining, make sure you lay down the fusible side onto your chosen fabric before pressing with a damp cloth. Forgetting this step could result in sticking directly onto your iron plate! If necessary, use double-sided tape rather than pins to avoid pulling on either layer, which may cause unevenness once sewn together.

This is especially important when using knit fabrics where stretch can affect accuracy during the stitching process.

To ensure great results, always pre-wash both the backing material and substitute interface beforehand so no shrinkage occurs post-washing the garment itself upon completion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between interfacing and stabilizer?

Interfacing and stabilizer are both used to support fabric while sewing, but they have key differences. Interfacing is fused with the garment, whereas stabilizer is removed after stitching. Also, interfacing looks like fabric, whereas a stabilizer resembles paper or film.

Lastly, interfacing loosens in one direction while being stiff in another; however, a stabilizer remains rigid in all directions.

What is the best way to pre-shrink interfacing?

Pre-shrinking interfacing is similar to baking a cake: it is important to do it correctly for optimal results. To pre-shrink your interfacing, wash it in warm water with mild detergent, then tumble dry on low heat.

What are some natural alternatives to interfacing?

Muslin and cotton are natural alternatives to interfacing. Pre-washing the fabric before use is important as it ensures a better fit and look when finished. For instance, using muslin for a garment’s cuffs provides structure without too much bulkiness or stiffness.

Is it necessary to use interfacing for all sewing projects?

No, interfacing is not required for all sewing projects. It depends on the type of fabric and the desired outcome. Muslin or linen can be used as an alternative to provide shape and structure, while cotton or synthetic fabrics may require stabilizer for reinforcement.

What is the best way to store interfacing?

To store interfacing, it is best to keep it in a dry and cool place, avoiding direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to prevent any damage. Roll the fabric neatly or fold it flat before storing it away for optimal results.

Additionally, keep the interfacing away from moisture and dust to maintain its quality over time.


Interfacing is an essential part of sewing and is used to provide structure and shape to garments. It is important to choose the right interfacing for your project and to apply it correctly for the best results.

There are alternatives to interfacing when you run out, such as muslin and cotton. However, it is important to pre-wash these fabrics before using them. Stabilizers are also an option when interfacing is not available, but they provide a different effect.

By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure successful interfacing in all your sewing projects.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.