What is "Interfacing" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 21-Jan-2023 (1 year, 2 months, 27 days ago)
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Interfacing is a crucial component in the textile industry that plays a significant role in enhancing the structure, stability, and functionality of garments. It refers to a material, typically made of woven or non-woven fibers, that is used between the main fabric layers to provide support, shape, and reinforcement. Interfacing is utilized in various applications, including apparel, accessories, and home furnishings.

History and Origin

The use of interfacing can be traced back to ancient times when fabrics were reinforced using additional layers or stiffening materials. However, the modern concept of interfacing as a separate layer specifically designed to enhance garment performance emerged during the industrial revolution in the late 18th century. As the demand for tailored clothing increased, the need for more structured and well-fitting garments led to the development of interfacing materials and techniques.

Types of Interfacing

Interfacing materials are available in a variety of types, each designed to serve specific purposes based on the desired garment characteristics. The following are some common types of interfacing:

  1. Woven Interfacing: This type of interfacing is made from woven fabrics such as cotton or polyester. It provides stability and strength to lightweight or medium-weight fabrics, making it suitable for collars, cuffs, and waistbands.
  2. Non-Woven Interfacing: Non-woven interfacing is created by bonding fibers together using heat, chemicals, or adhesives. It is available in various weights and densities, offering different levels of support. Non-woven interfacing is commonly used in areas requiring extra reinforcement, such as plackets and facings.
  3. Knit Interfacing: Knit interfacing is made from stretchable or flexible materials, such as tricot or jersey knit. It is ideal for use in stretch fabrics or areas where ease of movement is required, like sleeves or shoulders.
  4. Fusible Interfacing: Fusible interfacing has an adhesive coating on one side, allowing it to bond with the main fabric when heat and pressure are applied. It offers convenience and ease of application, making it popular in various garment construction processes.
  5. Sew-In Interfacing: Sew-in interfacing is not adhesive-backed and needs to be stitched into place. It provides stability without altering the drape of the fabric, making it suitable for delicate or lightweight fabrics.

Tips in Handling Interfacing

Proper handling and application of interfacing are essential to achieve desired garment results. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Choose the Right Type: Select the appropriate type of interfacing based on the fabric weight, desired structure, and intended garment application.
  • Pre-shrink: Pre-shrink interfacing before using it to prevent any shrinkage or distortion that may affect the final garment dimensions.
  • Test Fusibility: When working with fusible interfacing, always test the adhesion on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure compatibility and prevent any damage to the main fabric.
  • Apply Even Pressure and Heat: When fusing interfacing, use an iron set at the appropriate temperature and apply even pressure to ensure proper adhesion across the entire surface.
  • Trim Excess Seam Allowance: After fusing or sewing interfacing, trim any excess seam allowance to reduce bulk and improve the garment's overall appearance.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Interfacing materials are widely used by both small-scale and large-scale textile manufacturers, as well as renowned international brands. Here are some of the top users and manufacturers of interfacing:

  1. Armo Weft: Armo Weft, based in the United States, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-quality interfacing materials. They offer a wide range of options, including woven, non-woven, and fusible interfacing.
  2. Vilene: Vilene, a subsidiary of Freudenberg, is a globally recognized brand that specializes in innovative interfacing and interlining solutions. Their products are widely used by fashion designers and manufacturers worldwide.
  3. Pellon: Pellon is a trusted name in the textile industry, known for its comprehensive range of interfacing and stabilizing materials. They provide high-quality products suitable for various applications, from apparel to crafts.
  4. Fashion Sewing Supply: Fashion Sewing Supply offers a variety of interfacing options for home sewers and professionals. Their products are known for their excellent quality and performance.
  5. Bosal Foam and Fiber: Bosal Foam and Fiber specializes in manufacturing interfacing and stabilizer materials. They provide a range of options, including sew-in, fusible, and specialty interfacings.


Interfacing is a vital component in textile production, providing structure, stability, and reinforcement to garments. With various types available, each serving specific purposes, interfacing enhances the performance and appearance of garments. Proper handling techniques, such as selecting the appropriate type, pre-shrinking, and applying even pressure during application, are essential to achieve desired results. Renowned international users and manufacturers, such as Armo Weft, Vilene, and Pellon, contribute to the development and availability of high-quality interfacing materials in the global textile market.

Interfacing is a common term for a variety of materials used on the unseen or "wrong" side of fabrics in sewing. Interfacings can be used to stiffen or add body to fabric, such as the interfacing used in shirt collars; to strengthen a certain area of the fabric, for instance where buttonholes will be sewn; or to keep fabrics, particularly knit fabrics, from stretching out of shape. Interfacings come in a variety of weights and stiffnesses to suit different purposes. Most modern interfacings are made to be ironed in place, though some must still be sewn by hand or machine.
Fabrics used to support, reinforce and give shape to fashion fabrics in sewn products. Often placed between the lining and the outer fabric., it can be made from yarns or directly from fibers, and may be either woven, nonwoven, or knitted. Some interfacings are designed to be fused (adhered with heat from an iron), while others are meant to be stitched to the fashion fabric.

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