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Conversational Threads

Interfacing and lining

Sancin | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am considering remaking a lovely (printed) velvet jacket I have. My front has grown to what I wish it had been when a teenager! It is simple jacket so think I can do it without damaging or crushing the velvet – I believe it is rayon. I think I need to interface it to give it some body. It is currently interlined with flannel, which I do not like as it is too firm and the velvet drapes a bit in few places, like the hems. It is already lined with? but good weigh. I think I may use a new type of lining, perhaps a silk of some sort. I am looking for suggestions for the interlining and the lining.

Every now and then someone suggests silk as a lining but I keep forgetting what it is. I am heading for Montreal on Sat and will be hitting the fabric district so should have lots of choices – and will probably come home in debt! Will take any hints of hard to find things I may find there. I live in Northern BC where all our fabric stores, except quilting stores and Walmart, have left town. I am not fond of Walmart for lots of reasons. Further, I will be in Vancouver for several days and hope to visit a wonderful notions shop – again, suggestions please.


  1. beo | | #1

    I'm sorry I didn't read this before you headed out shopping.  However, I would suggest using silk organza as an interfacing to give the jacket body.  You can order it from http://www.dharmatrading.com.  As for the lining, I would go with Bemberg rayon lining.  It is available at most fine fabric stores---runs about $8.00 U.S. dollars a yard.  I've ordered it by phone from http://www.kaplansfabric.com.  When I do order fabric like this, I simply give them the color number of the thread I'm using so they can match it for me.

    1. KharminJ | | #2

      ~ "When I do order fabric like this, I simply give them the color number of the thread I'm using so they can match it for me."What a terrific "I coulda had a V8!" idea!! Thank you so much!Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

      1. beo | | #3

        You are so very welcome!

        1. tzipi | | #4

          dear Beo
          About ordering silk organza- Sandra betzina always recommends silk organza as a pressing cloth, I think. Do you know if that's true? Do you have any idea how much it costs and are you suggesting it here as a lining or as an underlining? If I buy some as a pressing cloth- do they have it in clear color so I can see what I am pressing through it?
          Thank you

          1. jjgg | | #5

            Silk organza comes in all sorts of colors, it is very sheer so yes, you can see through it to use as a pressing cloth. Probably the cheapest place to order it would be through Thai silks, or someplace like Denver Fabrics.

          2. tzipi | | #6

            Thankscan I use it as a pressing cloth on wool? Cotton? It won't burn the silk?

          3. beo | | #7

            Sorry I didn't see your question earlier.  I use silk organza exclusively as a pressing cloth.  You can see thru it, and it doesn't burn, even on high heat.  I also use it to underline...earlier this spring I made a pair of linen slacks, underlining them with the organza, then lining them with rayon lining, which cut down the wrinkling problem by about 70 percent.  And they are COOL to wear.  I could never figure out putting a cool breathable fabric with a hot synthetic lining.   As for the cost...I buy the organza from Dharma.  They have it in 45' and 55', white only and it costs about $5 to $6 a yard

          4. tzipi | | #8

            thank you. I'm going to order some.

          5. cat42 | | #9

            Sounds like a very fun project!I'd like to second the silk organza for underlining, especially for rayon velvet. it's very light weight and yet helps to hold shape. and it's not that expensive - not like silk charmeuse. don't be tempted to use cotton organza instead - it's too stiff. However, if you like the idea of cotton, you could use cotton batiste (not the part poly kind, but the real deal).For the lining, I'd suggest China silk. It's very light weight and is a dream to sew. And also not as expensive as, say, silk charmeuse. Another option would be a lightweight bemberg rayon, such as Ambience. One issue with these linings is that they shift around easily on the cutting table. I recommend cutting each piece individually, and using a cutting wheel, as you have more control. Takes longer but worth it.

          6. jjgg | | #10

            Cotton is organdy not organza. This has to do with the type of thread going into the process - filament - long, spun threads such as silk or polyester, rayon, and - Stapel - shorter threads such as cotton, wool. linen. ( I don't know if they make an organdy out of linen or wool)it is a combination of the weave and the type of fiber that gives you the name of the fabric (in most instances).Velvet is another one of these - Velvet refer to the long filament fiber such as poly, rayon and silk. Velveteen is from staple fibers such as cotton, wool, etc. While rayon falls into the cellulose category (made from plant fiber like cotton -- it's actually from wood), it is spun into long continuous threads like silk so it is a filament fiber. Enough textiles for today

          7. cat42 | | #11

            There is truth in what you say, but there really is cotton organza, as well as cotton organdy. I know this because I have some cotton organza in my stash, as well as organdy.

          8. jjgg | | #12

            I did a google search and yes, I found cotton organza at Martha Pullen, but it really is a misnomer in the traditional technical term/definition of organza. Organza and organdy are woven in the same manner - a plain weave, often with a stiffening of some sort, sheer fabric. The difference was the fiber type.People can give whatever 'brand' name they want to a fabric. You see this quite frequently in manufacturing to make the customer think they are getting something extra special when in reality it's the same fabric as everyone else is using. I don't know if this is how Martha Pullen is calling it Cotton Organza.For instance, the fabric I make my tents out of is a silicone coated nylon ripstop. I could give it a trademark name of 'siliconessence' and put the TM sign after it. I would never have to tell anyone its just plain old common silicone coated nylon ripstop. This is very frequently done in the Bridal industry to give the poly satin a fancier name.(I think this is textile lesson No. 3 today - I did a bit on wool on another thread)

          9. cat42 | | #13

            Well, I come from a textile background, and I've always understood that the same fabric or weave type can be made from different fibers. In other words, the fiber type (cotton vs silk, for example) does not necessarily define the name given to a fabric type. Even though many sources support the idea that the fiber type defines the differences.For example, velvet and velveteen are not differentiated by what type of fiber was used, but rather the technique by which the pile is created.
            -- For velvet, the pile is created by cutting loops of WARP pile;
            -- velveteen (and corduroy) by cutting loops of WEFT pile.
            You can find cotton velvet and cotton velveteen. They are different -have a different feel and sheen. You can also find velvet made of silk warp (pile) and cotton weft (ground). Very stable and rich fabric. Or the reverse: cotton warp (pile) and silk weft, for a more drapey and soft hand.In the case of organdy and organza, while they are very similar, and organdy is USUALLY made from cotton while organza is USUALLY made from silk (or synthetics), that is not the only difference. The difference lies in the yarn used to make the fabric, as indicated in this quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organdy (The capitalization for emphasis is mine): "Organdy ... is the sheerest cotton cloth made. COMBED yarns contribute to its appearance. Its sheerness and crispness are the result of an acid finish on greige (unbleached) lawn goods. Because of its stiffness and fiber content, it is very prone to wrinkling. Organza is the FILAMENT yarn counterpart to organdy. Organdy is a balanced plain weave."I agree with the wikipedia definition, as that is what I was taught early on.

          10. sewingkmulkey | | #14

            I, too, use silk organza as well as cotton batiste for underlinings and as pressing cloths with great success.  Bemberg rayon is my choice for linings but I also use china silk.  Straight polyester fabrics just don't work for me as I live in a hot, humid climate.

            I've been fascinated with the discussion on cotton organdy/organza.  This is the kind of stuff I love hearing about on this blog.  Give me more ladies!


          11. jjgg | | #15

            My textiles class was my favorite class in school. Most people hated it and thought it was boring. We spent lots of days looking at fibers under a microscope, doing burn tests as well as others, learning about the different weaves etc. Then you get into knits and the different knits etc. great fun

          12. sewingkmulkey | | #16

            Jjgg, you always bring such knowledge to this blog.  I attended business school and always wished I'd gone with my heart and entered the textile world so I thank you for sharing!

          13. Sancin | | #18

            Well, I am back from my sewing shopping spree in Montreal. Add Sams to your list of great fabric store in Montreal. I hit a number of stores and did indeed get some silk organza to interline my velvet jacket as well as a soft silk charmeuse for lining and some plain black velvet to restyle my jacket. I did not find the organza cheap at $18/M. I also purchased some wrinkled (?) silk to have on hand for lining. I purchased a great piece of Italian wool to make a pencil skirt - since I retired I only have one skirt left in my wardrobe. I found some silk noile to make a dress - apparently not a common silk. Unfortunately I will have to dye it as I could only get in neutral and neutral is not a colour I wear well. Now please do not ask me when I will ever finish these projects!!I asked about but no one knew what China silk is - thus the wrinkled silk. Where does one find it? I do use Bemberg for most lining but often want something lighter. I have a stash of cotton batiste but have not used it yet for interlining as I am not sure how moveable it is under other cotton fabric. I originally purchased it to make summer dresses but found it too sheer. Hints, anyone?Edited 11/13/2009 7:13 pm ET by Sancin <!-- SANCIN -->

            Edited 11/14/2009 8:52 pm ET by Sancin

          14. cat42 | | #19

            China silk is a very lightweight & lustrous silk with a thin hand traditionally used for underlinings and linings. It is a plain weave that may have irregularities in the threads, and is very similar to habotai silk, and they are interchangeable. Comes in many colors, and either 36" or 45" wide. It is much more lightweight than Bemberg rayon.Denver Fabrics sells china silk online. And many fine fabric stores also sell it. I buy mine at Josephines Dry Goods in Portland OR, even tho I now live in Montana. (http://www.josephinesdrygoods.com/) They do phone orders. Silk noil was very common in many colors in the late 1970s and into the '80s, then fell out of favor. Very sad, as I love to sew with it.I use cotton batiste to underline cotton or linen slacks and suits, and also for interfacing of lightweight fabrics, as I abhor non-woven and iron-on interfacings. I used to make a lot of period costumes from velvet, and used batiste for underlining the velvet.

          15. sewluving | | #21

            Wow, that was a long way to go shopping for fabric.  :) Glad you had a good time.

            Heather in Calgary

          16. Sancin | | #22

            Well.... the real reason was to visit my son and his wife, but one can only talk and play so much in 5 days! Fortunately my DIL was the one I went shopping with. She has minimal interest in sewing but likes fabrics and is Canadian French. My son is a patient man but ... We hit the Botanical Gardens and the Japanese lattern display as well - breath taking, indeed.
            I also visited my daughter in Vancouver and hit a phenomenal notions store. I am still unpacking and sorting all. However, I am a more than a bit like those on the procrastination discussion - when I get done when I plan, I shall be 110+ years old!

            Edited 11/14/2009 12:38 am ET by Sancin

          17. sewluving | | #26

            Was the notions store called A GREAT NOTION?  They put out a little booklet and were also at the Calgary Sewing show.  One of the best booths there actually.

            Heather in Calgary

          18. Sancin | | #27

            It was DRESSEWS which is on Hastings Street in Vancouver - barn like place. Apparently has been there for years. I don't know how I missed it before as Vancouver is my old stomping grounds. However, it is not in the best part of town. A Great Notions is a wonderful shop, not in Vancouver, but accessible in Surrey or Abbortsford if one has a car. I buy most of my notions on line from them (which now is my only access to notions). They have wonderful products, great and fast service, especially if one phones them. I would urge all Canadian's to try them. They put out a catalogue several times a year and can be accessed on line (http://www.agreatnotion.com). Their prices are Canadian, which may be a bit of a shock, if one is used to using American sites like Nancy's Notions or others but the products are the same. AND one doesn't have to keep a calculator nearby to calculate exchange rates, border and postal charges.

          19. sewluving | | #28

            Have only driven through Vancouver once on way to the Island so am not familiar.  Just know of the Great Notion from the sewing show here in Calgary and then their booklets.  For years could not remember the name and didn't get the booklets but found them this year again at the sewing show. Their prices were the least expensive at the whole show.

            Glad you enjoyed it.

            Heather in Calgary

  2. User avater
    lovetosew66 | | #17

    Hi beo and others,
    I am a newbie here and am wondering if someone can teach me :1. The difference / usefulness in/of "linings" and "underlinings"? 2. Also, may I ask how the slacks can be "cool" to wear with --? three layers of fabric ? Am I understanding correctly? I have such a heat intolerance and trouble with this with my clothing. 3. Lastly, how does this lining/interlining decrease "wrinkling" ---of the slacks--the actual "slacks", may I ask?Thanks so much!

    1. cat42 | | #20

      Underlinings are cut identical to the outer fabric and are sewn with the outer fabric as tho they were one layer, not two.
      Linings are sewn separately from the outer garment, then sewn to the outer garment at the edge of the garment, or inside, to the facing.Underlinings are used to stabilize the outer fabric, and may also be used for warmth. For example, using cotton flannel to underline a winter coat.I think I was the one who used 'cool' in reference to underlining linen slacks with cotton batiste. Linen is a good fabric for warm weather because it breathes and absorbs moisture from sweat. The batiste underlining is used to stabilize and support the linen, and minimize wrinkling. Because it's very lightweight and breathes like the linen, it doesn't make the garment more warm. I intend the style to be stovepipe legs - a loose fit that allows for movement of air. Thus the slacks can be worn on a warm day without overheating my body (but then, I don't have a heat intolerance). I don't plan to line the slacks, just underline, so there will only be the two layers.I'm not sure how underlining decreases wrinkling. Perhaps by providing a cushion to the outer fabric, and also, when the outer fabric is bent back on itself (to form a wrinkle, the underlining is between those bent-back layers, preventing a sharp crease.

      1. User avater
        lovetosew66 | | #23

        Thank you so very much to take the time to explain this to me! You are a great "teacher"--I understood very clearly your descriptions/reasonings.
        Again, Thanks so much,
        ~Kathy :-)

    2. KharminJ | | #24

      Lovetosew66 ~ Welcome! Welcome! I hope you will enjoy sharing your love with the rest of us, too! (We all 'love to sew', or we wouldn't keep coming back! -grin-)When you wonder about '3 layers of fabric' being cool, imagine the Sheik of Araby and his harem, swathed in their flowing robes - you know that traditional clothing wouldn't be uncomfortable in the daily desert, or it would never have *become* traditional! Many more than three layers of loose natural fabrics: absorbing sweat, shielding from the sun, and allowing air flow, all at the same time. Happy learning and teaching! Kharmin

      1. cat42 | | #25

        I love your description of cool layers in desert costume!
        It's even more unbelievable in Greece, where the summers can be quite hot, yet their traditional costume is WOOL! They just wear loose layers of the wool. You may wonder why wool is traditional there: it's because their rocky, hilly ground is not suitable for growing cotton, so they raise sheep.I have a question for you: I notice you underlined the word natural. How did you do that? Did you edit the html version? What is the tag for underline? I learned html about 12 years ago, but have forgotten most of it, now that there are so many tools that turn normal text into html for you...Cat

        Edited 11/14/2009 12:49 pm ET by cat42

        1. KharminJ | | #29

          Hi Cat! I guess that the underlining, bold and italic tricks are sort of mini-HTML. I don't remember where exactly the instructions were (I seem to recall a forum section called "Sandbox" or something like that, possibly under the Start section - may have been Gatherings, maybe somewhere else)...It looks like you know how to make a paragraph break: "shift-comma, p, shift-period". (Those two shifted characters won't show up if you type them, because they're read as part of the "code" rather than part of the "message".) Using u, b or i instead of p will begin the corresponding change. When you come to the end of whatever you want to emphasize, insert a slash before the letter-code, thus: "shift-comma, slash, (u,b or i), shift-period".It can make your copy in the "Type in your message" box hellish to read, but when you check the "Check here if HTML tags are in the message" box, and then "Preview" your post, it should all become clear. You'll see ^b^I want this BOLD^/b^ (with the carets tipped to one side or the other) in the Type box and I want this BOLD in the Preview. If you end up with 3 lines of underline when you wanted just one word, it means you missed something in the close code. Click Revise and find it, fix it, and you're good to go.I hope this is better than "clear as mud" - it certainly took a while to figure out how to say what I actually meant! Please tell me if anything doesn't make sense ~

          Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

          1. cat42 | | #30

            Thanks for this. It does make sense to me since I once learned html. I just kinda forgot.

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