Beth Bradley

The Difference Between Interfacing and Stabilizer

Beth Bradley
Sign in
Duration:   19  mins

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.

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!

Have something to add? Leave a comment or email


Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

Make a comment:
characters remaining

4 Responses to “The Difference Between Interfacing and Stabilizer”

  1. Kathi Robinson

    She said that the interfacings must be pre-shrunk. Wouldn't that effect the bonding properties of the fusible interfacings? And she said putting it in COLD water would be sufficient. I don't understand how cold water would shrink it.

  2. R

    If you use wash-a-way Thread to baste your project; all you need to do is wash it to remove your stitches.

  3. Grace

    Hi! This is a really informative video. I do question the accuracy of the title of the video being The Difference Between Interfacing and Stabilizer. The video does not describe this and with the exception of a little description below the video, there is no mention of stabilizer at all. As a novice to sewing and quilting, I would like to see a video on the actual differences and applications of stabilizer and interfacing, not just the differences in interfacing. Thanks so much and love your videos!

  4. Dania

    Did she say you can wash fusible interfacing?? How do you do that? Will it really still iron on?

Get exclusive premium content! Sign up for a membership now!