Interfacing Discussion: How does it wear (over time)?

Let me say this right off the bat–I still don’t know too much about interfacing.

My first experience with interfacing was walking into the Jo-Ann’s to find some for my first dress. I looked at the array and picked one at random, one that seemed light and stable for a woven dress. It was a Pellon interfacing. I asked for help at the desk, but the person said that she could not help me pick it out. (That’s a discussion for another day.) When I look at my first few garments made with Pellon interfacing, I wince. The fusible interfacing rips off of the facing in little balls and wisps, as if a cotton ball were falling apart. The sew-in interfacing is not much better.

Pellon fusible interfacing. almost a year later
This is Pellon fusible interfacing after almost a year of washing cycles.

After reading a lot of sewing blogs, I started noticing that a particular brand of interfacing was praised, while another was vilified. Everyone loves Fashion Sewing Supply’s interfacing! Everyone hates Pellon interfacing. Now, I know why. I ordered some interfacing from FSS and, to no one’s surprise, the interfacing was much better. It felt better to the touch than the Pellon, not plasticky at all. The glue was more evenly distributed on the fusible lengths; when I went to fuse, the interfacings bonded quickly and strongly to the facings with no bubbles. I’ve washed the garments I made with the FSS interfacing (and hung them to dry, as I do all of my handmade garments), and the interfacing has held up well, with very little wear.

Superior interfacing
Here’s the Fashion Sewing Supply fusible interfacing in action. This dress is about 6 months old and has been washed a few times.

I ordered more from FSS in a variety of weights and colors. I am looking forward to seeing how it wears.

I also have used muslin as interfacing. I saw the suggestion on a few blogs; Sewaholic is the main one that comes to mind. I like how it uses up bits and bobs that otherwise wouldn’t get used, and how the muslin is a breathable, natural fabric. It also wears well, even with all the friction from washing and wearing. On the other hand, I feel like it gets a bit poofy when I use it as a sew-in interfacing. I do like it as an underlining, though, especially with a synthetic fashion fabric.

I think I will continue to use muslin as interfacing, whenever the garment seems to warrant it.

What kind of interfacing do you use? How did you learn about the different kinds of interfacing?

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3 thoughts on “Interfacing Discussion: How does it wear (over time)?”

  1. Great post, like you I learned via sewing blogs. I have used FSS and need to reorder, its been awhile. Also have used Palmer Pletsch interfacing, which is good too. Of course, I have some no names, that I like to use for sleeve cuffs and/or collars.

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  2. Interfacings have changed a lot over the years. Pellon makes some good woven fusibles like ShapeFlex. But the non-wovens are not good like you’ve learned. I love using the knit fusibles for soft shaping and the weft insertion ones are terrific for tailoring. The knit ones used to be made of nylon and would shrink a lot, even if you tried the preshrink method in hot water it was never as hot as the iron gets to be when fusing. Today they are polyester with less trouble. I always compare my pattern tissue to the fused piece to see if any changes occurred. Recently a piece shrank 1/4″ in length on a jacket facing which doesn’t sound like much but will have a definite effect if sewn that way. You can remark a new seam line if that happens. Keep up the good work.

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