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Underlining vs interfacing

Deeom | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I have had so many quetions answered by this wonderful group!  Thanks!! Now I have another question.  I know the difference between  underlining and interfacing, but when do  y ou use each of them?  Would you ever use both?   The purpose of each is to change the firmness of the fabric, right?  I am making a simple jacket with princess lines and a zipper down the front.  The center front does not seem to support the zipper correctly.  Which should I use here?  Deeom 


  1. HelgaPataki | | #1

    I would use an interfacing for the zipper area (and neck area as well) because it sounds like the zipper is too heavy for your fabric.

    When I use an underlining, I like to use this to give my overall garment body without stiffness.  I don't think you should feel you have to choose one over the other.  Sometimes you can use both underlying as well as interfacing because they both serve a different  purpose.  Good luck with your outfil.  I know my post is sort of late because I just signed up. 

    1. jp32 | | #3

      I just got the May issue of Threads and they have a great article on underlining along with pictures on how it affects fabric. 

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    specific vs general support

    Hope you haven't given up without a lot of responses to your question--this new format is vexing to a lot of us oldtimers!

    Basically, interlining is general support for the entire garment, while interfacing supports certain areas of extra stress.  Thus, you might want to interface near a zipper to give it support, and interface the jacket front (and maybe back, sleeves, and collar) to provide more support for the entire garment.

    If you interface the zipper, and that's the only support on the front of the jacket, you may find that that zipper weight drags down the front.  If you interface the front of the jacket, the zipper won't sag, and the jacket will have a crisper, cleaner line and will resist wind chill better.  If the fashion fabric has good body and holds its shape, you won't need interlining, but interfacing will give zippers (or buttonholes & buttons) the support they need.

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