The Difference Between Interfacing and Stabilizer

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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!

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