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Stiff interfacing for handbags

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ElenaYDesigns | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I have heard about Timtex. I have never used it but am tring to find something similar, but less costly, to use to stiffen fabric handbags. I recently tried Peltex on a large cotton duck tote bag. I used it as I would any sew-in interfacing and it seemed to work better than some fusible interfacings that I have tried, however I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results. Any suggestions on the best material for stiffening bags and how to use the material.
Thanks for any advice and help.

Ellen Younkins


  1. Teaf | | #1

    Have you tried buckram? Once used primarily for hatmaking, it's still available in most fabric stores, usually stored with the interfacings. For even cheaper stiffening material, I would check stores that carry upholstery supplies.

  2. Elaray | | #2

    I made several tote bags not long ago and I, too, was searching for something to stiffen the sides. I ended up using two layers of Crafters Choice in the sides and one layer of heavyweight interfacing on the lining (all fusible). I used 2 layers Peltex or Timtex only on the bottom. I found this combination to be satisfactory.

  3. sueb | | #3

    I make a lot of bags, the best solution I have found to make the bags stiff enough to stand on their own is to use the crafters choice iron on interfacing and line both the lining pieces and the outside pieces.  Depending on the type of outside fabric I am using I may use an sew in interfacing on the outside fabric instead of the iron on.  I have found that just interfacing the lining fabric doesn't always provide the stiffness that I want.  I also interface any pockets that I'm putting on or in the bag.


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