How To Apply Interfacing to Your Projects

Posted by Sarah Wadey
on March 05, 2021

Interfacing creates a professional finish to your projects by adding support and structure to fabrics where you need it

Interfacing comes in various weights and structures, depending on your project's needs.  Adding interfacing adds weight and stability to fabrics to make them easier to sew or create a professional finish on specific areas like collars or waistbands.  

We sell four types of interfacing which we've found suitable for most dressmaking and bag making projects. 

All these products are by Vilene - Or Vlieseline as it is also known. They are experts in interfacings and always reliable for quality. We would strongly discourage using lower quality unbranded interfacings for this reason. 

How to Apply Interfacing

Which side to which side?

The first step is to identify which side of the interfacing has the adhesive on it. The adhesive side normally has a slightly bobbly, raised appearance, and usually you can see a slight shininess from the glue.

If your fabric is very similar on the back and front you may want to mark the wrong side with a heat erasable pen until you have applied the interfacing.


Can you block fuse before cutting you pieces?

If you have large areas to interface it may be easier to apply the interfacing to the whole of the fabric before cutting you pattern pieces out.

If you are working with small pieces that need interfacing, especially when using lightweight interfacing, you can cut interfacing to roughly the shape of the pattern piece, then fuse this on, then cut the necessary pattern pieces from the bonded fabric and interfacing together.

For woven interfacing this isn’t so easy as you have the added complication of having to match up the grain of the interfacing with the grain of the fabric.

If you can block fuse do as this saves time and makes cutting sheer, wriggly fabrics a lot easier.


Test before you storm ahead

Before you apply interfacing to your main fabric, do a test using a scrap piece of fabric and interfacing. This will let you check that the weight of the interfacing is suitable and that it results in the right amount of shaping to the garment. If you find the end result is too “stiff”, you should try a lighter weight interfacing; if the result is too flimsy, try a heavier weight.


Apply to the wrong side of your fabric

Take your main fabric pieces and interfacing pieces to the ironing board. Place the main fabric wrong side up on the ironing board; and then place the fusible interfacing on top, with the adhesive side facing down on to the wrong side of the main fabric.

Cover with a sheer damp pressing cloth and press the iron on to this.

Vilene Interfacings usually have guides on the edge of the interfacing, follow these for the best result.


When applying interfacing remember to press not glide the iron. Press and hold, then lift the iron to move it to the next position, then repeat.

Once finished, try and lift a small corner of the interfacing to check it has adhered properly. If not, repeat the pressing exercise. If the interfacing has bonded well to the fabric, allow to cool and dry before moving – the interfacing may be reshaped or distorted if you move it while it’s still warm.


NEVER skip using the pressing cloth when applying fusible interfacing!

Not only does it protect your fabric from excessive heat but it also helps prevent getting any of the adhesive glue on to your iron plate! You may also wish to place a layer of scrap fabric underneath the main fabric, in between the fabric and the ironing board, to prevent any leaks on to your ironing board cover.


Disaster! I’ve got interfacing stuck to the wrong bit! What can I do? 

First, don't panic; turn off your iron and let it cool a little. Next we're going to assess the damage; if the interfacing is stuck to the ironing board you may be able to pick or peel it off but by bit but beware it will leave a sticky residue which will stick to your fabric next time you iron. So you will need to take a piece of absorbent cloth - cotton ideally - and turn the iron to its highest heat setting and iron over the area several time to remove all traces of glue. If you can't remove all traces, you may need to sew a patch over the affected area of the ironing board cover. 

If the interfacing is stuck to the iron, Prym have a fantastically useful product called an iron cleaner! 


The iron cleaner and descaler is a special cleaning pen for the care of the sole plate of every iron. It cleans and descales all easy-glide sole plates and also increases the irons capacity to glide smoothly.

Apply the cleaner to the sole plate with the iron on at Setting 2; this liquefies the cleaner. A suitable cloth - we like to use some scraps of cotton wadding - can then be used to remove dirt and calcium - and interfacing! Full instructions are included with the pack. 


So we hope we have demystified applying interfacing a little! Do take time to appreciate the difference using a little bit in the right place makes to your next sewing project! 

Happy Sewing!