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Interfacing is an extra layer of fabric that provides shape and support in detail areas of the garment. Interfacing is frequently used in collars, cuffs, lapels, necklines, pockets, waistbands and opening edges.
The two basic types of interfacings are sew-in and fusible. Both are available in woven, knitted and nonwoven versions, and in a variety of weights, ranging from heavy to sheer weight. The rule of thumb is that the interfacing should always be slightly lighter in weight than the fashion fabric.
Choosing between a fusible and a sew-in interfacing is really a matter of personal preference. In general, fusibles provide slightly crisper results. Because fusibles "set" the yarns, they're an excellent choice for fabrics that fray. However, some fabrics do not react well to fusibles. This group includes metallics, beaded, sequined or re-embroidered fabrics, rayon and acetate velvets, most brocades, fake furs, leather, vinyl and openwork fabrics, such as lace and mesh. Always test the fusible interfacing on a scrap of the fashion fabric before you begin to be sure it works and that you like the results.
Most people think of fusibles as easier to use and they are, as long as you take time to follow the manufacturer's fusing directions carefully.
A successful bond is the result of the optimum combination of steam, pressure and time. Start by reading the instructions that come with your choice of fusible interfacing, then test-fuse, using scraps of interfacing and fashion fabric:
Once the interfaced fabric is cool, check the bond. First, try to pull the layers apart. Next, roll the interfaced fabric over your hand, then fold it half. When you do this, make sure you are satisfied with the way it looks and the way it feels.
The bond between a fusible interfacing and the fabric is intended to be a permanent bond. We recommend test fusing to be sure you will get the result you want in the completed garment.
First, remember this all important combination of elements for successful fusing:
Iron setting - Wool and Steam (irons vary - you may need to set yours higher or lower to find the proper fusing temperature.)
Use downward pressure for 10-15 seconds each position. Do not glide iron back and forth, but lift and press.
Effect of heat and pressure squeezes softened resins into fashion fabric.
Some moisture is needed, never soaking wet. Press cloth dampened or misted only.
Cooling time is as important as fusing time - Let cool completely before handling.
Record and file your test results - even the rejects - for future reference.