Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fusible Interfacing

Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers

Fusible Interfacing

The pattern for one of the first purses I sewed called for fusible interfacing.  At the time I had no idea what fusible interfacing was!  So I just found something in the store sewing section that said, "fusible".  I will not tell you what I used, but it was not interfacing. ;) 

Now, many years later, I know what fusible interfacing is and how to use it!  And let me tell you, it is wonderful stuff!

Most fusible interfacing you will find all together in the store.  Pellon is the most common brand name you will find in your local stores.  

There are all kinds of fusible interfacings as well.  
  •  Some are meant for knits.
  •  Some are meant for silks.
  • Then there are all kinds of weights.  Starting from very very light weight interfacing to thick and heavy weights. 
  • Fusible fleece is great for adding padding or thickness to an item. 
  • There is even fusible batting out now!
It comes with directions on how to use it.  The directions are wrapped around the entire yardage so that when you get your yardage cut you will be able to take these instructions with you. 
Typically fusible interfacing is soft on one side and then has rough bumps on the other side.  The rough bumps are the adhesive that fuses to your fabric.  There are some double sided fusible inter-facings now as well. 
Most fusible inter-facings are safe to sew through.  Double check the manufacturer instructions before trying for the stiffer versions like pellon peltex.  I have sewn through peltex, but some pattern designers recommend that you do not. 
Most patterns will tell you the weight or specific number of pellon interfacing you will want to use.  
When in doubt consider what you are using the interfacing for before choosing. 

Interfacing is mostly used to give a project one of the following:
  •  Stability
  • Body
  • Shape

I always use fusible interfacing on t-shirt quilts to provide stability.  It keeps the knit squares from stretching and distorting.  In this case I look for a light weight interfacing.

I also use it on lightweight silks when making into accessories or quilts to help keep shape.  Again a lighter weight interfacing is appropriate.

When making a men's dress shirt I use a stiffer, closer to a medium weight interfacing to keep the collars and cuffs crisp. 

For say a men's tie you want a thicker, sturdy, yet flexible interfacing.  Something akin to fusible fleece but with a little less puff.   

For a yoga bag or shaped purse you would want some pellon peltex or stacy flex.  Both offer a solid, sturdy interfacing option that give your item a very specific shape. 
Finally, if you get some cotton fabric that is stretching all over the place and just seems to light weight to really use for a project, try some light weight interfacing! It will stop the stretching, distortion, and fraying.  Leading to a happier sewing experience and a happier you! :) 

Experiment with fusible inter-facings to figure out which one you like best and when to use it! 


manybooks said...

this is VERY informative - thank you so much!

SoSarahSews said...

Great information.
I was just at my store the other day asking about which interfacing to use. I've used it for the first time and sewed my first zipper.
I'm bookmarking this page and if it's okay, linking back to your post in my little blog I've started.
Thank you so much!

Jennwith4 said...

Great info!

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