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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sewing Notions 2 - Interfacing (Basic Info & How to Apply)

I don't know if interfacing is considered as part of sewing notions.. but never mind, I like it this way so that my posts are organised nicely.

For newbie on the journey of sewing:

1) What is interfacing and the different types of interfacing?
Interfacing is either fusible or non-fusible and it is either woven, non-woven, or knit.
It is an extra layer of fabric that provides shape, support, stiffness and reinforcement.

Read more at:

I figured the interfacing I normally bought from the shop here is called fusible non woven interfacing.  They are either light, medium or heavy weight. So far, I have only tried light (RM2.0 per meter) & medium weight (RM2.2 per meter).

It is called Kertas Gam but actually it is not made of Kertas! Before this morning, I thought it is really "kertas yang disapu dengan gam".  hehhe..  I even thought that the gum will dissolve in water so it should stay dry before use though I wonder what happen when we wash the cloths which use "Kertas Gam".   I was ignorant..

I soaked a small piece of the interfacing I have and it is still strong when it is wet and of course no gum came out.  :)

I have also bought non fusible non woven heavy weight interfacing before, used for collars.  I think this is "Kertas Keras", if I am wrong please let me know.   I have cut a strip for my yet to sew Balut (form part of the waistline of the long skirt of Baju Kurung).  This is also available in long strip at the shop sold by meter.  But to save cost,  I cut it from my big piece of Kertas Keras.

But then, these are only 2 types of interfacing material. If you read the above link, there are many types.

At the shop, you will see the different weight of interfacing rolls standing at one corner of the shop.

2) How do you choose which interfacing to use?

As a general rule of thumb, choose one which is lighter than the fabric and with similar care requirement.   Beware that fusible interfacing is not for all fabrics.

Here is a nice chart that categorises the fabrics into weight categories and the type of interfacing to use:

3) How to apply fusible interfacing? 

In the past, I happily slide the iron on the interfacing directly..  erhh...  this morning I learnt that:

(i) Steam the interfacing first to preshrink it.  Assuming you have an iron with steam coming out :) , hold it over the interfacing not touching it for a few seconds.  If you don't have steam iron or you are very hardworking, then prewash, please see here:

(ii) Use a press cloth and spray water to dampen it evenly (not soaking wet).  Put the press cloth on top of the interfacing, use a little higher heat than what is required by the fabric.  Apply pressure for about 10 seconds for light weight and slightly longer for heavier weight.  Other than heat, one other key success factor is pressure.  So, if your ironing board is too high, this can be difficult and tiring, lower down your ironing board.  

(iii) DON'T slide, press and lift... aiyoh should have learnt this long ago, no wonder my piece of fabric that I ironed the interfacing on, become bigger as it was stretched and glued onto the interfacing..  :(

(iv) Baste the interfacing and fabric by touching it in several places with the tip of your iron.  This will bond the interfacing to your fabric lightly so that it won't shift.  BTW, the shining side is the side which will stick.

(v) Patience and don't lift your fabric piece before it is completely cooled, otherwise the bonding process maybe affected.

(vi) For an expensive piece of fabric, better test it with a piece of scrap to avoid an expensive mistake.  :)

(vii) If you don't have a big enough piece,  the smaller pieces of interfacing can be joined and used as a big piece.  See link for instruction under the "More Tips" section.

(viii) Store them in a seal plastic bag.  I am guessing that this is becasue they attract dust easily...

For more details, here is a good link:

For making beg/purse/wallet:
1) Please refer to for recommendation of cutting & ironing interfacing.
2) Interfacing Guide from Amy Butler

I have done this research on request of Meena (Zara).  I hope this meet her needs.  I thank her for making this request, gave me an opportunity to clarify quite a few doubts I have about interfacing.

Thanks to the owners of the above links for sharing this useful information.

Happy experimenting with your interfacing materials...


meena said...


kalau tak silap zana, the one utk guna dibahagian pinggang baju kurung or pinggang seluar dikenali sbg BALKRUM- 1 inchi utk pinggang seluar dan pinggang kain baju kurung dan 2 inchi utk buat awning tudung. terjumpa ni kat, masa google mesin jahit. btw, thanks a zillion for this new entry , tak sangka sungguh cpt memberi input atas permintaan saya.

well, may be kak mila or sifu lain can comment about interfacing. what type suitable to use in tote making or wallet making or any other do and don'ts. KUDOS on your effort dear ANIC.

Lynn Nasir said...


wow! hehe..boleh dapat A+


Anic said...

Hi Zana,
Thanks for the information about Balkrum. I will look it up...

If other sifus share their experiences, then I can update the entry.

I am in the middle of making my first wallet, I prefer light weight interface, but again depends on the pattern of wallet, some pattern uses so many layers, then I think light weight is better, like the one I am currently making, so many layers..

Hi Lynn,
:) Internet & the owners-lah yang dapat A+.. :)
Without it and without the sharing of others, it will be so much harder...

Warmest regards,

Mila@Rimbun said...

Salam Anic... so many good info here..
Just to share, from my knowledge mmg ada 2 jenis interfacing ni, satu mcm kertas (kertas gam), satu lg kain gam. In these 2 type mmg banyak variation, ada tebal n ada nipis, ada bergam n ada yg takde gam. Kalau untuk pakaian (yg selalu dibasuh) better guna kain gam. kalau guna kertas gam, bila selalu basuh ianya akan berbintil2 dan makin nipis. Kalau untuk collar plak better beli kain gam yg jenis tebal tp soft, kalau untuk pinggan guna bole guna yg tebal n kasar skit tuh... hard to explain in words kan... bakrum (bucram) pon ada banyak grade rasanya... opss panjang plak... just sharing apa yg saya tahu jer...

Anic said...

check this out....

Interfacing Guide from Amy Butler

Noelle Kan said...

Hi Anic,

I am from KL and am wondering, where do you get Interfacing? Hope to hear from you soon.

Noelle Kan said...

Hi Anic,

I am from KL and am wondering, where do you get Interfacing? Hope to hear from you soon.

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