What Is Stiff Interfacing – A Comprehensive Guide. Whether you’re working on garments, accessories, or home decor items, stiff interfacing can provide structure, support, and durability to the final product. It’s a versatile material that can be used for reinforcing collars, cuffs, waistbands, and pockets, as well as adding stability to bags, hats, and other three-dimensional items. Stiff interfacing comes in different types and weights, each designed to serve a specific purpose and achieve desired results. It can be sewn or fused onto fabric, depending on the desired outcome and the project's requirements. So, whether you’re an experienced sewist or a beginner, understanding the ins and outs of stiff interfacing is essential to elevate your sewing projects to the next level.
How Do You Stiffen Fabric With Fusible Interfacing?
Stiffening fabric with fusible interfacing is a simple and effective way to add structure and shape to various sewing projects. Fusible interfacing is a type of fabric that’s a layer of adhesive on one side. When heated, the adhesive melts and bonds with the fabric, creating a firm and stable base.
To begin, choose the appropriate type of fusible interfacing for your fabric. Interfacing comes in different weights and can be either woven or non-woven. Woven interfacing has a grid-like pattern and is suitable for fabrics with a looser weave, such as cotton. Non-woven interfacing, on the other hand, has a smoother texture and works well with fabrics that are more tightly woven or delicate.
Next, cut a piece of interfacing slightly smaller than the area you want to stiffen. Place the adhesive side of the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric, making sure to align it correctly. You can pin the pieces together if necessary to ensure they don’t shift during the next step.
Now it’s time to fuse the interfacing to the fabric. Set your iron to the appropriate heat setting for the fabric you’re working with. Place a press cloth or a thin piece of cotton fabric over the interfacing to protect it from direct heat. Press the iron onto the fabric and hold it in place for the recommended amount of time, usually about 10-15 seconds. Avoid using a back-and-forth motion as this can cause the interfacing to shift.
Once the interfacing has cooled down, check to see if it’s adhered properly. If there are any areas that havent fused completely, reapply heat using the same method as before. Be careful not to overheat the fabric, as this can cause it to shrink or become damaged.
Different Methods of Stiffening Fabric Without Fusible Interfacing
There are various ways to stiffen fabric without using fusible interfacing:
1. Starch: Starch is commonly used to make fabric stiff. Simply dilute starch with water and soak the fabric in the mixture. Then, hang it to dry or iron it while it’s still wet to achieve the desired stiffness.
2. Gelatin: Dissolving gelatin in warm water and brushing it onto the fabric can provide temporary stiffness. However, this method isn’t suitable for fabrics that need to be washed frequently.
3. Sugar water: Mixing sugar with water and applying it on the fabric can provide a stiffening effect. Like gelatin, this method isn’t ideal for washable fabrics.
4. Spray starch: Commercially available spray starch can be sprayed directly onto the fabric and then ironed to stiffen it. This method allows for control over the level of stiffness and is washable.
5. Glue: Applying a thin layer of white glue onto the fabric and allowing it to dry can create a stiffened effect. However, this method should be used with caution, as excessive glue can make the fabric hard and uncomfortable.
Experimenting with these different methods can help you achieve the desired level of stiffness for your fabric project without relying on fusible interfacing.
Additionally, investing in high-quality threads like the Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger thread ensures that your seams will withstand repeated washing and strain, particularly when working with sergers and coverlock machines like the Janome CoverPro series. So, by combining knowledge about stiff interfacing with top-quality threads, you can take your sewing projects to a whole new level.