The last post I was talking to you about interfacing, and what it can do for a particular type of garment that you’re working on. It’s all well and fine if you know how to use interfacing, but if you aren’t able to tell the differences between the varieties, than how are you supposed to know what interfacing you’re supposed to use for what design? You won’t!
We now know that interfacing is a fabric that is designed to help give a garment structure, support and shape. It’s often used in shirt collars to keep them looking stiff, and it’s used in waist bands for the same purpose. When you start getting really proficient at your sewing, and you want to take it to the next level, say, fashion design, interfacing will be something you’ll use quite often to ensure that a particular part of your garment can hold its own. So to ensure that you accomplish this, you need to understand that interfacing comes in a variety of different weights. Understanding the weight to fabric ratio isn’t rocket science, for a thicker fabric, you’re going to use a slightly thicker interfacing material, and for thinner, more delicate fabric, you’re going to use something much lighter. See, simple! If you’re having some difficulty in the beginning with determining the right weighted interfacing for whatever it is that you’re working on, take a swatch of the fabric that you’re using into a fabric shop, and have a chat with a professional, they’ll be happy to help!
You are also going to come across another difference, and that is woven and non-woven interfacing. Again, these are pretty simple concepts. Woven interfacing is just that, it’s woven in the same way fabric is woven or knitted. You’re actually able to see threads that are woven in both a horizontal as well as vertical direction. Obviously, this interfacing will cost you a bit more, but is necessary for certain projects. Unwoven interfacing far more common, and less expensive, so if you’re on a budget, or you don’t have time to run all over town looking for a woven option, you might just want to consider unwoven.
Now we get to the difference between fusible and sew-in interfacing. I’ve had a few adventures, shall we call them, with both fusible and sew-in interfacing! I once sewed interfacing into the waist band of my skirt, and then had to try and remove it because I had sewn it in the wrong place. So frustrating. But don’t worry, you probably won’t make the same mistakes I did, and if you do, it’s no big deal! Designing and sewing is supposed to be fun, so let’s talk about these two different types of interfacing.
When you’re standing in the aisle with the interfacing fabric, make sure you touch all of them, because this is first how you will determine weight, and second, determine whether or not you’re looking at fusible or sew-in interfacing. The fusible interfacing will be spotted on side, it will look like hundreds of little holes. This is the side that you’re going to fuse to the fabric with an iron. On the other side, it will feel soft, and somewhat waxy. Sew-in interfacing is exactly the same on both sides, so it doesn’t matter which side you sew it on. Just remember when you’re working with the fusible variety, you’ve already washed your fabric. Pre-washing the fabric ensures that there won’t be any shrinkage after you’ve fused your interfacing, and everything will keep its shape.