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When you first start, the term fusible interfacing or interlining might sound more at home on the space shuttle than a fashion house. However, it’s a simple and useful technique for all sorts of items (curtains, clothes, upholstery, textile, etc.).
Whether it’s to reinforce the fabric, to stop material from stretching, to give it more thickness, it’s an essential step when it comes to making a lot of products.
So what’s it for and which material should you use with it?
Whether you want to customise or add some padding, here’s some advice to help you make some quick progress with your sewing.
What is Fusible Interlining Fabric?
More and more people are starting to learn how to sew in order to breathe new life into their old clothes and to also make their own. If you’ve started by learning how to sew, you’ve probably heard about fusible interlining.
If you haven’t, you’ve come to the right place to learn about it.
Fusible interlining is used in a lot of garments as well as other textiles like curtains. It’s quite a revolution when it comes to sewing. If you’ve started teaching yourself how to sew, you’ve probably already come across the main terms like viseline.
"A material used as an extra lining between the ordinary lining and the fabric of a garment, curtain, etc."
Whereas fusible interlining is:
“a base fabric coated on one side with a thermoplastic adhesive resin which can be bonded to another fabric by the controlled application of heat and pressure.”
There are several types available depending on what you’re trying to do. Some are very thin and lightweight and can be used to join delicate cloth. In terms of colours, it's very popular to bond black and white at the moment. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll find it in the supermarkets.
Did you know that fusible interlining is even used in haute couture?
You’ll often have to go to specialist stores in order to pick some up and then you’ll probably need to ask for advice on it. If you’re an absolute beginner, it’s better to let the expert tell you which type of interlining is right for your project.
How much should it cost?
There’s quite a broad price range when it comes to this type of textiles. As we explained before, there are several types of layers and also several types of adhesives. For a basic fusible interlining, you can pay anywhere between £2 and £10.
If it’s for patching up a hole on a garment, the surface you’re using won’t be as important. However, fusible interlining is sold on rolls. Of course, that doesn’t mean the rest will go to waste!
You don’t need a serger!
Why Should You Use Interfacing Fabric?
Fusible interlining is a very specific material. You’ll soon see how many different roles it can play.
So what role can it play when it comes to making your own apparel?
Fusible interlining is used by both professional and amateur designers in order to reinforce certain parts of garments in the same way that a stitch or a seam using fibre or yarn would. Generally speaking, you can use it in several different ways. Each designer can use it how they see fit for the pieces they’re making. In almost every case, it’ll take a bit of time.
This will allow the piece to fuse cleanly. This is even more important during a manufacturing process where the piece will eventually end up on the shop floor to be sold.
So when it fusible interlining usually used?
You’ve probably wondered why shirt collars and cuffs are more rigid than the rest of the fabric. This is usually the interlining. Of course, you can understand why they do this. A shirt without fusible interlining won’t hold its shape as well. Stitches can also be reinforced by fusible interlining so they can support more weight or pressure. It can also be used to just increase the quality of the garment.
While a shirt is a great example of how fusible interlining can be used and what the effects of it are, the material is also used a lot for repairing clothing. It can be used to get rid of holes without having to sew.
Fusible interlining can also be used for a wide range of projects like curtains, wallets, purses, bags, etc. You can have a lot of fun doing up your wardrobe.
Did you think that sewing was just for women?
The Different Types of Fusible Interlining
It’s quite easy to get lost with all the different types of fusible interlining available. There are lots of different types available and plenty of people who manufacture it. If there’s no-one around to give you any advice, choosing the right one can become a bit of a nightmare.
So let’s try to separate the wheat from the chaff a bit.
You can either buy online from the comfort of your own home or go into a store. Do some research and find some good Pinterest accounts for inspiration.
You can get synthetic materials that stretch like polyester or nylon or natural woven or knitted fabric like cotton or wool depending on what you want to use it for. Keep an eye out for different suppliers and what they're offering.
Non-woven Fusible Interlining
This type of fusible interlining is great for bags and purses. As the name suggests, this isn’t a woven fabric but rather like sheets of paper or cardboard.
It’s therefore quite rigid and useful for reinforcing the bottom of a bag, for example. Of course, this means that it’s not really suitable for clothes. You can get versions of it that are as thin as paper.
Woven Fusible Interlining
Unlike the former example, this is much more like actual woven fabrics. If you're familiar with weaving, you'll be able to see how this material is put together.
This type is really useful for varying and finishing your wardrobe. It’s flexible and light and is really good for reinforcing other fabrics. It’s often used by designers in different ways to avoid waste, too.
Waterproof Fusible Interlining
This is a really useful material with a waterproof coating on it. As the name suggests, it can help make any piece of fabric waterproof or water resistant. Be careful, though, as it is quite rigid and stiff.
Double-Sided Fusible Interlining
Double-sided fusible interlining is often used to get rid of holes in clothing, especially jeans.
It’s very easy to use as you can use the bonding on both sides of the material just like you would with double-sided tape.
Decorative Fusible Interlining
This is often used for adding badges, patches, and can also be used to discreetly hide a hole while making your wardrobe more stylish. Dress for success in no time!
Quilted Fusible Interlining
This type of fusible interlining can help to add quilting a piece. You won’t need to add any foam and sew it in, you just have to fuse the interlining and you’re done. If you don't have a warm material like fleece or flannel, why not use interlining to quilt your clothing.
You can now choose the right fusible interlining depending on your needs. You just need to choose the right type for each project. Keep in mind that there are also other types of fusible interlining. We’ve only mentioned a few of the main ones.
How Do You Use Fusible Interlining Fabric?
Fusible interlining is very easy to use as long as you choose the right type. Once you’ve worked out what you need it for and have bought the right interlining, you need to then learn how to apply it to get the right results.
Don’t worry! Here are the main steps you need to follow:
- Firstly, work out of the size you’re going to need, leaving some extra space if you’re repairing a hole.
- Cut the area needed and then place the fusible interlining where you need it. No need for French seams here!
- The fusible interlining will act like glue under heat. Use your iron to make the glue melt so that the interlining sticks to your fabric.
- Place your iron on each part of the fabric for around 30 to 40 seconds before moving on. Don’t hesitate to press down for better results.
- Leave it to sit for a bit before moving it to make sure that every part has stuck together correctly.
- To make sure the glue doesn’t end up on your ironing board, feel free to place some cotton underneath to protect everything.
- You can also use some cotton fabric to protect the iron itself. It can be very tricky cleaning an iron covered in glue.
If you want your fabric to be in a particular shape, it’s often easier to cut it after you’ve fused the interlining.
Given all the different uses for those types of material, different designers have come up with different methods and techniques. Don’t forget to take your time with it. If you rush, you could end up reducing the fusible interlining’s effectiveness.
The most important thing, however, is to have fun! Why not launch your own brand?
Get out your sewing kit and prepare your needle and thread!
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