The Difference Between Interfacing and Stabilizer

The Difference Between Interfacing and Stabilizer

Looking to give a project a specific shape? Want to make sure that collar stays crisp? You’re in the market for interfacing or stabilizer. These layers rest behind the fabric and are a handy tool for every sewer to master.

Achieving professional sewing results can be as easy as choosing the proper interfacing or stabilizer. These two different materials will add shape and secure stitches.

Related video: Types of Interfacing Fabric and Interfacing Sewing

What is Interfacing?

This neutral colored material is meant to be permanently added to fabric. Interfacing is either fused in place using an iron or sewn in place.

Different Types of Interfacing

There are several types of interfacing available, each with a specific use. Here are the main types:

    • Woven Interfacing: This type comes in various weights and is meant to be used with woven fabric such as cotton.
    • Knit Interfacing: The noted difference of this type of interfacing is that it is actually a knit, therefore it will stretch slightly. Use this type of interfacing when sewing knits.
    • Fusible Fleece: Soft and lofty, this type of interfacing fuses to the fabric. It adds a thick layer to the fabric making it easier to hold a specific shape. Consider using multiple layers of fusible fleece to create an especially rigid shape.
    • Fusible Web: Adhesive on both sides, this type of interfacing is used mostly for appliqué. It is also known as Stitch-Witchery or Heat ’n Bond.
Related video: How to Use Fusible Web and Other Adhesives

What is Stabilizer?

Unlike interfacing, stabilizer is created to be removed after stitching. Stabilizer helps reinforce fabric when stitching may damage it.

Different Types of Stabilizer

There are three main types of stabilizer to consider:

    • Tear-Away: Very paper-like, this stabilizer works well with lightweight fabric and light stitch work.
    • Wash-Away: This form of stabilizer dissolves in water after stitching. Best used when stitching appliqués or when a bit of stabilizer is needed on the fabric’s right side.
    • Cut-Away: Usually used when working with heavy stitch work, cut-away adds firm support to fabric.

Related video: Creative Uses for Fabric Stabilizer

How have you used interfacing or stabilizer to enhance your sewing projects? Let us know in the comments!

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31 Responses to “The Difference Between Interfacing and Stabilizer”

  1. christine Jess

    Hi Im a novice to using iron on interfacing. Just wondering if the interfacing becomes detached after numerous washes, or does it stay 'glued' to the fabric. Thanks

  2. Margo Berenberg

    I have 100% cotton fabric for my quilt. The print is on the bias so I want to stabilize the fabric so the print looks like it is square. Can I use Pellon SK135 to do this or what can I use that won't add bulk. I will be making HSTs out of this square

  3. Palila

    I want to embroider a design on a t-shirt. I dont have a stabilizer can i use interfacing instead? i don't really care if you cant remove it after it think it'll help support it when it goes through the wash.

  4. Randy

    Hi, I'm just an old guy that found you by accident via google. Would any of these products work to strengthen an old novelty sweatshirt? It's a typical 50% algodon, 50% polyester department store shirt with a "fleecy" inside. I'm reluctant to wear it for fear that it will fall apart. Thanks

  5. Rose

    I want to machine embroider a picture to frame and hang on the wall. What stabilizer should I use and should I press interfacing on the back after embroidering?

  6. Ms otelia

    What can I use to make a panel skirt stay modeled or stick out

  7. Sidney

    What is the difference between Pellon peltrex 72F and Pellon decor bond

  8. Pat


  9. Marie Ford

    I'm desperate to know what interfacing to use on very soft leather to give it more most. Please if anyone can advise

  10. Liane Fleury

    I am making a fleece hoodie for my 18month granddaughter the problem is the fleece is much thinner than I expected. can I use fusible fleece to thicken it but without a lining? I don't want to line the whole thing if I don't need to.