What Is the Difference Between Facing and Lining: Understanding the Distinctions

This article aims to shed light on the distinctions between facing and lining, two commonly used terms in the world of clothing construction and design. While they both serve essential purposes in creating a well-finished garment, understanding their differences can greatly impact the final result. Facing refers to a technique where fabric is used to finish the edges of a garment, typically the neckline, armholes, or hems, providing stability and a clean appearance. Alongside this discussion, we will also highlight the importance of using high-quality thread, such as Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger thread, which ensures long-lasting durability and impeccable results for sergers/overlock and coverlock machines, such as the Janome CoverPro family.

What Is the Purpose of Lining Fabric?

Lining fabric serves a specific purpose in garment construction. It’s used to provide structure, support, and comfort to the garments we wear. When a fabric is lined, it means that an additional layer of fabric is sewn into the garment, usually on the inside. This lining fabric can be made of the same material as the outer fabric, or it can be made of a different fabric altogether.

Firstly, it helps to hide the construction details of the garment, such as seams and darts, from the outside. This creates a clean and polished look to the garment, especially when the outer fabric is sheer or prone to wrinkling. Additionally, lining fabric can provide an extra layer of warmth and insulation, making the garment more comfortable to wear in colder weather.

This is particularly useful for garments made of slippery fabrics, such as silk or satin.

By providing an extra layer of protection, it can reduce wear and tear on the outer fabric, thus prolonging it’s durability. This is especially important for high-quality garments or those made of delicate materials.

It provides structure, support, and a polished finish, while also offering insulation and preventing the outer fabric from clinging to the body.

Different Types of Lining Fabrics and Their Properties

Lining fabrics are used in various industries, including fashion and interior design, to enhance the appearance and functionality of garments, accessories, and decorative items. They’re typically lightweight and smooth, designed to be sewn into the inner layer of a garment or an accessory.

There are different types of lining fabrics, each with it’s own distinct properties:

– Polyester lining: This is a popular choice due to it’s affordability, durability, and ability to resist shrinking. It’s often used in the lining of jackets, coats, and dresses.

– Silk lining: Known for it’s luxurious feel and beautiful drape, silk lining adds a touch of elegance to garments. It’s commonly used in high-end clothing items.

– Acetate lining: This fabric is known for it’s excellent draping properties and is often used in dresses, skirts, and blouses. It provides a smooth and comfortable lining.

– Rayon lining: Rayon is a versatile fabric that can imitate the properties of silk or cotton. It’s commonly used in lining jackets, suits, and dresses.

– Bemberg lining: Made from a type of rayon, Bemberg lining is soft, breathable, and highly absorbent, making it ideal for garments that require moisture-wicking properties.

– Cotton lining: Cotton is a natural fabric that’s breathable and comfortable against the skin. It’s often used in lining lightweight summer dresses and blouses.

– Microfiber lining: This type of lining is made from synthetic fibers that are extremely fine, resulting in a smooth and lightweight fabric. It’s commonly used in sportswear and lingerie.

Choosing the right lining fabric depends on the desired appearance, comfort, and function of the garment or item being lined. Each type of lining fabric offers it’s own unique set of properties, ensuring that the final product meets the desired specifications.


It’s important to select the appropriate materials and techniques when incorporating facings and linings into a project to achieve the desired outcome. By understanding the differences between facing and lining and selecting the right tools and materials, you can elevate your sewing projects and create garments that aren’t only visually appealing but also comfortable and long-lasting.

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