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kellyinla | Posted in General Discussion on

Newcomer alert. . .not to Threads, but to this forum.  Not sure if I should send this question to the magazine or post here, so here goes!

I’ve sewn fast-and-casual garments for several years, but I’m gravitating toward more intricate tailoring techniques, especially on jackets.  After reading Kenneth King’s interlining article (Threads #135), I’m trying to determine when to interline and when to use modern, high-quality fusible interfacings.  Does it depend on the fashion fabric, or is it primarily personal preference?   Are there times and places to use both — such as a jacket lapel?  Would you ever apply a fusible to the interlining if you can’t or don’t want to fuse directly to the fashion fabric?


thanks so much!




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Edited 12/30/2007 11:31 pm ET by kellyinla


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    I would answer yes, yes, yes.
    There are times to do one and not the other technique, there are personal preferences, and fabric considerations. If you are unsure, do a trial piece. You might want to invest in a good book on couture techniques (Claire Shaeffer's "Couture Sewing Techniques" She has a chapter on jackets and coats... 23 pages!) Post questions here any time (middle of the night and you might get answers from the other side of the globe!)Becky

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Although I'm a big fan of fusible interfacings for simple cotton camp shirts and children's clothes, I have stopped using them on high quality fabrics or classic tailoring--they just don't seem to hold up over time and usually cause more problems than they solve.

    On several jackets, even good quality fusibles bunched and twisted after a year or so of use, destroying all the time and effort I put into fitting and finishing a garment I loved.  On heirloom-quality cottons and linens, the fusibles yellowed, leaving sad shadows beneath my careful embellisments.

    Fusibles are great time-savers, but if you're tailoring with traditional methods, speed isn't the highest priority anyway.  That's my two-cents' worth!

    1. kellyinla | | #3

      Becky and Teaf5, thanks for the so-different replies.  I've used fusibles in most of the jackets I've made thus far -- and I have found one fusible that I have confidence in, but only one (am I allowed to say the brand here, Palmer-Pletsch?).   I'm interlining an experimental jacket right now, just because of Kenneth King's article; maybe this is the time for my first try at using hair canvas as well, at least in the lapel.  Wish me luck.


      1. LindaG | | #4

        I've made a few tailored jackets. Some patterns call for fusing every piece. I have had the most success with soft fabrics that have some sort of visual interest, such as a multicolor weave, or some texture, like a silk matka. Soft, supple solid color, lightweight wool gabardines and wool flannels seem to end up with odd bubbles no matter how carefully I try to fuse each piece. I wonder whether my iron maintains the right temperature over the time that it takes to fuse all the pieces of a jacket.I have had really excellent results with hair canvas. But one caveat: This stuff is really itchy and seems to work its way through even good wools. It is definitely not good for linen or silk (including matkas and silk blend tweeds). I have started using woven poly-cotton interfacing again as an interlining for the jacket front as well as the lapel.If you are going to the trouble to sew in the hair canvas with those little stitches that look like herringbones when they are all in, also consider taping the roll line. This is a piece of narrow twill tape or fabric selvedge that is sewn to the roll line with more tiny stitches. It gives the lapel something to bend over. Making the tape a tiny bit shorter (1/4 or 3/8") than the actual length of the roll line helps hold the lapels against the chest and prevents gapping. Your jacket will look so much better than anything you can buy!

        1. kellyinla | | #5

          Linda, thanks for the suggestions.  When you've used cotton/poly interlining and no hair canvas, has the interlining alone provided enough stability for all parts of the jacket, or did you further stabilize the lapel, collar, front facing, etc?  If so, what did you use in addition to the interlining?

          I've yet to tape a roll line, though I've lots of books and magazine articles about it -- that's next on my list of things to try!  My experimental interlining is on a simple shawl collar jacket of very inexpensive fabric (the cotton batiste cost more than the fashion fabric!), and I wanted a little more body in the collar than just the interlining gives.

          thanks again -- kelly

        2. solosmocker | | #7

          I have found the cost of hair canvas prohibitive. Would you care to share the name of the woven poly cotton intefacing you are using? Perhaps a resource? Thanks so much, solo

          1. LindaG | | #8

            Hi,I'd love to be able to say I'd "discovered" something fabulous but the truth I'm using whatever I find at the local fabric store. It's woven poly, stiffened, looks a lot like the poly-cotton broadcloth that comes in a lot of colors. Even when I prewash it, there is still a little stiffness there. This worked very nicely on my summer jackets -- linen and polished cotton.

          2. solosmocker | | #9

            Thanks so much. I will go looking for it. solo

  3. sewingkmulkey | | #6

    I agree with most of the posters and do not like fusibles in my finely tailored items.  Instead I prefer to underline with silk organza, cotton batiste or other natural fibers.  I also agree that hair canvass can be "itchy".



  4. CathyDSews | | #10

    Similar Interlining Question

    I am making a hunt coat for my equestrian daughter and I kept Kenneth King's Article on interlining from 2008 thinking I might need it someday. I will be using a 100% wool suiting, I made my shoulder pads using directions in a Threads Master Class article from 2007. I will be using hair canvas for interfacing. I want to interline the jacket, but I'm not sure which pattern pieces would be interlined. Just the body (front, side front, back, side back); the body and sleeves (sleeve and undersleeve); what about the front facing?

    Thanks for any insight and I hope I'm not inappropriately highjacking an old post.

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