It’s important to use the correct combination of temperature / moisture / pressing motion / pressing time / cooling time for the specific product, to get a good lasting fuse.
Pellon (US) products listing
download product pdf for instructions.
Vilene Vlieseline (Europe) products listing
click on product name for instructions.
Product name printed on selvedge.
Small interfacing companies
These often have no on-line information, so keep the packaging for the instructions.
If you have to use interfacing without instructions :
make samples using a 2-dot iron, press for 10-15 seconds, and try pressing dry, with steam, and with a damp pressing cloth, to see which works best.
It may be boring to follow the timing instructions, but they’re important as time is needed for the glue to melt and move around, then to rest the piece flat so the glue solidifies, it cools and dries and links between fabric and interfacing don’t get broken while the glue is still warm and wet.
There are hundreds of big company and small specialist company interfacings.
Most of us experiment a bit and then choose a small range of ones used in the types of item we usually make.
If you have not used a particular fabric-interfacing combination before, do make a sample to check that the result has the ‘hand’ you want. Using interfacing heavier than the fashion fabric is not recommended when making clothes. Does your sample feel and hang as you want it to ? How well will it stand up to stretching ? to compression ? on grain ? on the bias ? Would you prefer to use a lighter or heavier, thinner or thicker, softer or stiffer product ? The answers will depend on your personal style, as well as on what you are making.
Fusibles are much loved by people who wear structured clothes, crisp blouses and tailoring.
My style is soft and casual, so for clothes I just use interfacing at specific points where fabric needs extra support. ‘Light’ interfacing can be good for the same ‘hand’ with more stability. I usually prefer sew-in or fusible woven and knit for clothes, and mainly use fusible fibrous-texture for bags.
In the UK, MacCulloch & Wallis probably has the widest selection of tailoring support materials. Gill Arnold has the basics.
Choosing and applying fusible interfacing when making clothes
Fusible interfacing in clothes making is pressed from the interfacing side, best done using a pressing cloth which is just used for fusing – to protect from the glue.
If you just want the minimum basics, here’s a photo tutorial from Tilly and the Buttons.
Using fusible fleece and foam in bag making
You can fuse fleece/foam without crushing it, if the iron is not too hot and you don’t press heavily.
Here’s a video about using fusible fleece from Pellon (content 1.20-2.45), which tells you to spray water onto the fabric, and press from the fabric side.
While this video from Vilene/ Vlieseline says to press from the fleece side.
Some Vilene instructions tell you to use a damp cloth over the fabric, but I get a very distorted result if I do.
This photo tutorial from Sacotin is about adding stiffness.
She recommends using 2 layers, a ‘regular’ interfacing (not batting, fleece, foam) fused on before the fusible fleece. So for the layer added to the fleece – try light and medium, woven and non-woven fusible, and see which gives the effect you want.
If you would like an even stiffer result, here’s a video from Australian bag pattern designer Nicole Mallalieu, showing the result of using ‘pelmet’ interfacing as the extra layer with fusible fleece.
Note for Pellon users :
Vilene/Vlieseline S320 is a light-weight, soft and flexible fusible ‘pelmet’ interfacing.
Vilene/Vlieseline H640 is fusible volume fleece.
Foam has more structure, so is inherently more supportive and does not need extra interfacing.
Here’s a video about using fusible foam, from Poorhouse Quilt Designs.
And here’s a photo tutorial from Stina’s Quilt & Sewing Supplies.
Bosal and ByAnnie (sew-in only, matt surface so it sticks without fusing) are companies with specialist foam products for bag making. Foam is also available from the big interfacing companies.
This is a product which it’s good to explore, and make notes for future reference on what you’ve learned from your samples. Worth continuing with sampling until you get the result you feel is ‘just right’ 😀
Fusing is easy enough, but if you want a good result it’s not a quick process that doesn’t need any thought !
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Links available November 2021
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