How to Apply Fusible Interfacing to Fabric*
When applying fusible interfacing, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
But sometimes the instructions are missing. Perhaps they got lost, accidentally thrown out, or maybe you never
received them in the first place.
So here are some general guidelines that should work for most fusible interfacings:
First, test your interfacing
Apply the interfacing to a scrap of your fabric following the "How to apply fusible interfacing" instructions below.
After your fabric piece has cooled, check the bond by trying to peel the layers apart. If the bond doesn’t feel
secure, try another application using more heat, time, or pressure. Also, make sure the adhesive hasn’t seeped
through to the right of your fabric. And make sure the interfacing has produced the degree of stiffness you want.
After testing, cut your interfacing pieces out. Your pattern should indicate which pieces to cut interfacing from.
Then trim the seam allowances to about an eighth of an inch to reduce bulk.
How to apply fusible interfacing
- Ironing board
- Press cloth
- Spray bottle
In order to form a proper bond with your fabric, fusible interfacing needs four things: heat, steam, pressure, and
For lightweight fabric and interfacing, set your iron temperature a little higher than what’s appropriate for the
fabric – your press cloth will protect it from the extra heat. For medium to heavyweight fabric and interfacing, set
your iron to “wool.” Let your iron heat up for about 15 minutes to make sure it’s nice and hot.
Place your fabric piece on your ironing board wrong side up. Center your interfacing on top of it, adhesive side
down (the adhesive side has the raised bumps on it). If you didn’t preshrink your interfacing prior to cutting it
out, steam shrink it now by placing your iron over the interfacing piece (but not touching it) and steaming it for a
Steam-baste the interfacing in place by touching it in several places with the tip of your iron. This will bond the
interfacing lightly to your fabric so it won’t shift during the fusing process.
Dampen your press cloth using your spray bottle – making it evenly damp, but not soaking wet. Place your press
cloth on top of the interfacing.
Place your iron straight down onto one section of your fabric piece and apply firm, even pressure. You may want
to use both hands. Do not slide your iron.
For lightweight fabric and interfacing, press and hold for about 10 seconds. For medium to heavyweight fabric
and interfacing, press and hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
After the appropriate time has elapsed, lift your iron. Your press cloth should be dry. If it’s not, raise your iron
temperature or leave the iron on your fabric piece a few seconds longer. Then place your iron straight down onto
the next section to be fused, overlapping some onto the first section. Press and hold for the appropriate time.
Lift your iron and repeat this process until your entire fabric piece has been pressed. Then turn the piece over
and iron it on the right side.
Leave your fabric piece in place until it has cooled completely. Moving the piece while it’s still warm can interfere
with the bonding process.
If you don’t have enough interfacing for a large piece, you can make a whole piece by joining several smaller
pieces of interfacing together. You can slightly overlap the edges of lighter pieces of interfacing, but with heavier
interfacing, butt the pieces together.
If you’re finding it difficult to press down on your fabric piece, try lowering your ironing board. Your body weight
will help you exert more pressure with your iron.
|Sewing Information, Advice, How-to
Fusible interfacing isn’t appropriate for all fabrics. Non-fusible interfacing is a better choice for highly textured fabrics, napped fabrics,
fabrics that can’t take the heat of an iron, and open weave fabrics.