How To Use Fusible Interfacing

Fusible interfacing is an indispensable tool in sewing, quilting, and various craft projects, offering a way to enhance fabric with additional support, structure, or durability. Understanding what fusible interfacing is and how to use it effectively can significantly improve the quality and finish of your sewing projects.


What is fusible interfacing?

  • Definition: Fusible interfacing is a fabric layer that’s applied to the wrong side of another fabric to provide extra support or structure. It has an adhesive on one side that bonds with fabric when heat is applied.
  • Variety: Comes in various weights and structures, compatible with a wide range of fabric types.
  • Applications: Used to stiffen or add body to fabric, such as in collars, cuffs, and facings in garments, or in parts of quilting projects.

How to Use Fusible Interfacing

  1. Identify the Fusible Side: The fusible side is typically rougher due to the adhesive. This side goes against the wrong side (non-visible side) of your fabric.
  2. Pre-Wash Fabrics: Pre-wash both your fabric and interfacing (if necessary) to prevent shrinkage after application.
  3. Cut to Size: Cut the interfacing to the size and shape needed for your project.
  4. Position Correctly: Place the interfacing on the wrong side of your fabric, ensuring the adhesive side is facing down.
  5. Use a Pressing Cloth: Lay a pressing cloth over the interfacing to protect your fabric and iron.
  6. Iron Carefully: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for temperature and duration when applying the iron. Use a pressing motion rather than gliding the iron.
  7. Cool Down: Allow the fabric to cool and set before moving it. This ensures a strong bond.

Why Use Fusible Interfacing?

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  1. Reinforcement of Garment Parts:
    • It’s commonly used in areas like collars, cuffs, and waistbands, providing structure and helping garments maintain their shape over time.
    • Interfacing in these areas prevents sagging and deforming, ensuring a sharp, tailored look.
  2. Improving Professionalism and Durability:
    • It adds a professional touch to homemade garments, creating finishes that resemble store-bought quality.
    • By reinforcing high-stress areas like buttonholes and hems, interfacing extends the life of the garment.
  3. Preventing Fabric Fray:
    • Interfacing is excellent for preventing fray in delicate fabrics, ensuring clean edges and seams.
  4. Versatility in Crafting:
    • Beyond clothing, interfacing is used in bag and purse making, providing the necessary stiffness and shape.
    • It’s also great for appliqué work, helping fabric patches adhere smoothly and flatly to the base fabric.
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When to Use Different Types of Fusible Interfacing

  • Lightweight Interfacing: Ideal for delicate fabrics like silk or chiffon, where you need a gentle support without altering the fabric’s drape.
  • Medium-Weight Interfacing: Suitable for most cotton and synthetic fabrics used in everyday garments.
  • Heavyweight Interfacing: Best for structured items like coats, bags, or belts where strong support is needed.
  • Knit Interfacing: Used for stretchy fabrics, as it provides elasticity and prevents distortion.
  • Non-Woven vs. Woven Interfacing: Non-woven is suitable for fabrics that don’t require drape, while woven interfacing is used when maintaining fabric drape is important.

Choosing the Right Interfacing

  • Match Weight: The interfacing should match the weight of the fabric – lightweight interfacing for lightweight fabrics, and so on.
  • Test First: Always test the interfacing on a scrap of your fabric to check compatibility and the iron’s heat settings.
  • Consider the Fabric Type: Be mindful of the fabric’s properties; for example, use knit interfacing for stretchy fabrics to maintain elasticity.

Types Of Fusible Interfacing: When To Use Which Type

The different types of Fusible Interfacing and when to use each is crucial for achieving the desired outcome in your sewing projects. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right type of fusible interfacing:

1. Non-Woven Fusible Interfacing

  • Characteristics: Typically does not have a grain and can be cut in any direction. It’s made from bonded fibers and is generally not stretchy.
  • Best Used For: Ideal for most woven fabrics. Not recommended for knits unless you aim to restrict the fabric’s stretch.
  • Grain Consideration: In rare cases where it does have a grain, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cutting.

2. Woven Fusible Interfacing

  • Characteristics: Made by interlacing warp and weft threads, similar to regular fabric. This type usually has a grainline and may have some stretch.
  • Best Used For: Best matched with woven fabrics, especially when you want to maintain the fabric’s natural drape.

3. Knit Fusible Interfacing

  • Characteristics: Mimics the properties of knit fabric, offering stretch and flexibility.
  • Best Used For: Essential for stretch knit fabrics, as it provides the necessary elasticity without restricting movement.

Categories of Fusible Interfacing by Weight

  1. Lightweight Interfacing:
    • Usage: For delicate or light fabrics, adding strength without bulk.
    • Examples: Suitable for silk, chiffon, or lightweight cotton.
  2. Medium-Weight Interfacing:
    • Usage: Versatile, works with a broad range of fabrics.
    • Examples: Ideal for most standard garment fabrics.
  3. Heavyweight Interfacing:
    • Usage: Provides structure and support to thick or heavy items.
    • Examples: Great for handbags, belts, or heavy jackets.

Choosing the Right Weight

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  • Match the Fabric: Generally, the interfacing should be the same weight or slightly lighter than the fabric you’re using. This ensures that the interfacing supports the fabric without overpowering it.
  • Consider the Project’s Needs: The choice also depends on the stiffness or flexibility you need in the finished project.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Fusible Interfacing

When you observe how other people use the interface, it appears to be a really simple process. The following is a common method for fusing interfacing to fabric; however, it is not always the most effective method:

Step 1: Not Sticking When Used With Fusible Interfacing

  • Problem: Interfacing not adhering properly.
  • Solution: Increase the iron’s temperature, preferably to the wool setting. If using a pressing cloth, you may need to apply the iron for a longer duration.

Step 2: Ironing the Wrong Side of Interfacing

  • Problem: Difficulty in determining the fusible side of interfacing.
  • Solution: Look for tiny glue particles or a slightly rough texture, indicating the fusible side.

Step 3: Adhesive on the Iron or Ironing Board

  • Problem: Fusible interfacing sticking to unintended surfaces.
  • Solution: Use a pressing cloth to avoid adhesive transfer. Place a spare fabric piece under the project on the ironing board for additional protection.

Step 4: Incompatible Fabrics

  • Problem: Certain fabrics can’t handle fusible interfacing.
  • Solution: Avoid using fusible interfacing with fabrics like velvet, fur, vinyl, sequined fabrics, lace, mesh, and some sheers. Opt for sew-in interfacing for these materials.

Step 5: Fabric Becomes Wrinkled or Distorted

  • Problem: The iron temperature is too high for the fabric type.
  • Solution: Use a lower temperature setting suitable for the fabric type, and press for a longer time if necessary.

Step 6: Puckering of Fusible Interfacing

  • Problem: Fabric or interfacing shifting during application.
  • Solution: Press, don’t glide the iron. Apply even and firm pressure without moving the iron back and forth.

Step 7: Interfacing Catches Fire or Damages Fabric

  • Problem: Iron is too hot, causing damage to the interfacing or fabric.
  • Solution: Lower the iron temperature to a safe level, such as the wool setting, and use a pressing cloth.

Additional Tips to Use Fusible Interfacing

Some Useful Advice and Suggestions Regarding the Process of Interfacing

Using fusible interfacing effectively can significantly enhance the quality of your sewing projects. Here are some additional tips and suggestions to ensure a successful interfacing process:

1. Test Everything First

  • Test on Scrap Fabric: Always conduct a test on a scrap piece of fabric with the interfacing. This helps you check for compatibility and the right iron settings.
  • Iron Temperature and Time: Adjust the iron’s temperature and pressing time based on the test results. Different fabrics may require different settings.
  • Check for Adhesion and Fabric Damage: Ensure the interfacing adheres well without damaging the fabric.

2. Fusible Interfacing Should be Pre-Washed

  • Prevent Shrinkage: Pre-washing interfacing can prevent shrinkage after it is fused to the fabric, especially important for natural fibers.
  • Remove Finishes: Washing can also remove any finishes on the interfacing that might hinder adhesion.
  • Method: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying the interfacing.

3. The Process of Stitching Through Fusible Interfacing

  • Needle Choice: Use a sharp needle when sewing through fusible interfacing to prevent dragging or gumming.
  • Thread Selection: Opt for a thread that matches the weight and type of your fabric and interfacing.
  • Sewing Machine Settings: Adjust your sewing machine’s tension and stitch length accordingly. Fusible interfacing may require a slightly longer stitch.
  • Avoiding Gumming: If the adhesive from the interfacing gums up the needle, periodically clean the needle or use a needle lubricant.
  • Practice on Scrap First: Before sewing your actual project, practice on a scrap piece with interfacing to adjust your machine settings and get a feel for how the material feeds and behaves.

How to Take Off and Replace Fusible Interfacing on Fabric

Removing and replacing fusible interfacing from fabric can be a challenging task, as it’s designed to create a permanent bond. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to correct a mistake, here are some steps and considerations to guide you through the process:

Removing Fusible Interfacing

  1. Use Steam and Heat: Set your iron to a steam setting and gently heat the area where the interfacing is fused. The steam can help loosen the adhesive.
  2. Peel Carefully: While the fabric is still warm, carefully try to peel the interfacing away from the fabric. This works best if the interfacing hasn’t fully set or if the bond isn’t too strong.
  3. Repeat if Necessary: You may need to reapply steam and heat several times to fully remove the interfacing.

Replacing Fusible Interfacing

  1. Cut New Interfacing: If the original interfacing is damaged or unusable, cut a new piece of interfacing.
  2. Fuse the New Interfacing: Follow the standard process for fusing interfacing, ensuring the adhesive side is correctly placed against the wrong side of the fabric.

Choosing the Right Fusible Interfacing

  1. Consider Fabric Weight: The weight of the interfacing should generally be the same as or lighter than the fabric. Heavyweight interfacing for heavy fabrics, and lightweight for lighter fabrics.
  2. Rigidity Desired: Decide on the level of stiffness or flexibility you need in the finished project.
  3. Testing: Test different types of interfacing on scraps of your fabric to see how they affect the drape and feel.
  4. Follow Pattern Instructions: If you’re using a commercial pattern, it may specify the type of interfacing to use.
  5. Match Color When Possible: While interfacing typically comes in standard colors like white or black, some manufacturers offer colored options. Choose one that blends well with your fabric to avoid it showing through.

How To Use Fusible Interfacing For Quilting

Using fusible interfacing in quilting, especially with stretchy or knit fabrics like those from t-shirts, can greatly enhance the stability and appearance of the final quilt. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use fusible interfacing for quilting projects:

Step-by-Step Guide for Using Fusible Interfacing in Quilting

Step 1: Choose the Right Interfacing

  • Select Lightweight Interfacing: For quilting with knit fabrics, lightweight fusible interfacing is ideal as it adds stability without excessive stiffness.
  • Size Appropriately: Cut the interfacing pieces slightly smaller than your quilt squares. This prevents the adhesive from reaching the edges and potentially sticking to your iron or ironing board.

Step 2: Prepare Your Fabric and Interfacing

  • Pre-Wash Fabrics: If necessary, pre-wash your t-shirt or quilt fabric to prevent shrinkage after the interfacing is applied.
  • Cut Fabric Squares: Cut your fabric (e.g., t-shirt material) into the desired square sizes for your quilt.
Fusible Interfacing

Step 3: Arrange the Interfacing

  • Place Fabric Correctly: Lay the fabric square with the right side facing down on your ironing board.
  • Align Interfacing: Position the interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric, ensuring the adhesive side is facing down onto the fabric.

Step 4: Fusing Process

  • Iron Setting: Set your iron to the appropriate setting for the fabric type. For most lightweight interfacings, a medium to low heat setting is sufficient.
  • Use a Pressing Cloth: Place a pressing cloth over the interfacing to protect your iron and fabric.
  • Press Firmly: Apply the iron to the interfacing, pressing down firmly for the time recommended by the interfacing manufacturer. Usually, this is around 10-15 seconds for each section.
  • Overlap Ironing: Move the iron over the entire area of the interfacing, slightly overlapping each press to ensure complete coverage.
Fusible Interfacing

Step 5: Check the Adhesion

  • Cool Down: Allow the fabric to cool down before handling. This ensures the adhesive sets properly.
  • Inspect the Bond: Check that the interfacing is fully adhered to the fabric. If any areas are loose, reapply the iron to those sections.

Step 6: Assemble Your Quilt

  • Sew Squares Together: Once all squares are interfaced, you can sew them together as per your quilt design.

When it comes to fusible interfacing, choosing the right brand and type can make a significant difference in the quality and finish of your sewing projects. Here’s a guide to some of the popular brands and special types of fusible interfacing, along with recommendations for interfacing with silk fabric.

Popular Brands of Fusible Interfacing

  1. Pellon: Known for a wide range of interfacing options, Pellon offers products for various fabric types and applications. Their interfacing is reliable and widely used in both apparel and quilting.
  2. Bosal: Another well-regarded brand, Bosal provides high-quality interfacing options, including some made specifically for crafts and home décor.
  3. HeatnBond: Famous for its strong adhesive properties, HeatnBond is excellent for projects that require a firm bond.
  4. Steam-A-Seam: Ideal for appliqué and crafting, Steam-A-Seam offers a unique bond that can be repositioned before final pressing.

Fusible Interfacing Specialties

  • Printed Fusible Interfacing: Some brands like Quiltsmart offer printed fusible interfacing with patterns for quilts, making it easier and more accurate to piece together complex designs.
  • Grid or Dot Printed Interfacing: Useful for tracing and piecing, this type of interfacing can aid in precision sewing.
  • Perforated Interfacing: Allows for easier tracing and can be helpful in specific crafting applications.

Best Fusible Interfacing for Silk

  • Lightweight Knit Interfacing: When working with silk, it’s best to use very thin, lightweight knit interfacing. This type of interfacing provides a slight stretch, which complements the natural drape of silk without adding bulk or stiffness.
  • Test First: Always test the interfacing on a scrap piece of silk to ensure it adheres well and maintains the fabric’s desired qualities.

This video will help you learn more about how to use fusible interfacing:

This video is taken from Elsabe Hurn YouTube channel

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Fusible Interfacing

1. What is fusible interfacing and how is it used?

Fusible interfacing is a fabric used in sewing to provide additional stability and structure to fabric. It has an adhesive on one side that bonds with fabric when heated with an iron. It’s commonly used in collars, cuffs, and other parts of garments that require reinforcement.

2. How do you apply fusible interfacing to fabric?

To apply fusible interfacing, place the adhesive side against the wrong side of your fabric. Then, using a hot iron, press down firmly for the time specified by the interfacing’s instructions, typically 10-15 seconds. Use a pressing cloth to protect your fabric and iron.

3. Can fusible interfacing be washed and dried?

Yes, most fusible interfacing can be machine washed and dried. However, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care guidelines, as some types may require special handling.

4. What types of fusible interfacing are available?

There are several types, including lightweight, medium-weight, and heavyweight fusible interfacing, as well as knit, woven, and non-woven varieties. Each type serves different purposes based on the weight and flexibility of the fabric.

5. How do you choose the right fusible interfacing for your project?

Select fusible interfacing based on the fabric’s weight and desired stiffness. Lightweight interfacing is suitable for delicate fabrics, medium-weight for general fabrics, and heavyweight for sturdier fabrics. Also, consider if the fabric is woven or knit to choose the corresponding interfacing type.

6. Can fusible interfacing be removed once applied?

Removing fusible interfacing can be challenging as it’s designed to be permanent. However, gentle steaming and careful peeling might work for partially set interfacing. For fully set interfacing, removal is often difficult without damaging the fabric.

7. What’s the difference between fusible and sew-in interfacing?

Fusible interfacing has an adhesive on one side and is ironed onto fabric, whereas sew-in interfacing is sewn into place. Fusible is quicker and easier to use but may not be suitable for all fabrics, especially those sensitive to heat.

8. Is fusible interfacing suitable for all fabric types?

Fusible interfacing works well with most fabrics but may not be ideal for very textured, heat-sensitive, or stretchy fabrics. In these cases, sew-in interfacing or specialized fusible types like knit interfacing are better options.

9. Does fusible interfacing add bulk to fabric?

Fusible interfacing can add some bulk, depending on its weight. Lightweight interfacing adds minimal bulk, suitable for maintaining fabric drape, whereas heavyweight interfacing adds more structure and stiffness.

10. Can you iron fusible interfacing directly?

It’s not recommended to iron fusible interfacing directly as the adhesive can stick to the iron. Always use a pressing cloth or parchment paper between the iron and the interfacing.


fusible interfacing is a versatile and essential tool in sewing and fabric crafting, providing structure, stability, and shape to a wide range of projects. Whether you’re reinforcing garment parts like collars and cuffs, working with delicate fabrics, or embarking on creative quilting projects, choosing the right type of fusible interfacing is crucial for achieving professional and durable results. Remember to always consider the fabric’s weight, the project’s specific needs, and follow manufacturer instructions for application. With the right selection and application, fusible interfacing can significantly enhance the quality and appearance of your sewing creations.

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