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Do you Steam or Dry Iron for Fusible Interfacing?

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Are you attaching fusible interfacing with steam or dry iron? Interfacing is very simple and convenient to use, particularly for amateur sewers. 

Fusible interfacing comes with an adhesive that bonds permanently to the wrong side of the fabric with a help of iron. It serves the purpose to strengthen and stiffen fabric that is too flimsy, see-through or needs to hold its shape.

Do you steam or dry iron for fusible interfacing? Generally, most interfacing requires a steam iron with a metal iron place. The steam helps the glue to melt properly to adhere the fusible interfacing to the fabric. 

Always test on a scrap of fabric that you will be working on to find the best temperature and technique.

Inserting fusible on the garment helps to support structure when sewn, especially when sewing cotton or denim. Using a combination of heat and steam iron strongly bonds the adhesive to the fabric. 

However, certain fabrics must refrain from the use of fusible interfacing such as napped, heat-sensitive, open weaved, and textured fabrics.

In this article, you will learn about attaching interfacing properly, whether to use dry or steam iron, and also how to prevent problems caused by interfacing. Answered below are frequently asked questions about ironing interfacing the right way, so continue reading to solve your interfacing concerns.

What is interfacing?

To use interfacing properly, it is important to understand what interfacing exactly isbefore you select the correct procedure. 

Interfacing is a non-woven or woven fabric that is employed to stiffen certain garment areas and sewing projects. It is fused on the wrong or underside of the fabric to provide shape and structure to the textile.

Furthermore, interfacing defines shape and design. They are commonly used on buttonhole plackets, cuffs, collars, jacket hems, necklines, pockets, facing and waistbands. 

It provides stability to strained areas and gives shapes with no hanging or sagging of the garment.

Do you use steam with fusible interfacing?

Yes, fusible interfacing is bonded onto the fabric permanently by applying a hot iron using steam. The high heat and steam join the adhesive to the clothing.

Fusible interfacing has to be applied so that there are no bubbles when attached with an iron. Also, you must pre-shrink the fabric prior to adding interfacing. 

The temperature of the iron should be a little lower than the maximum temperature of the appliance, this will help to avoid bubbles forming underneath the surface.

Follow the steps to steam fusible interfacing:

  • Place the fabric on an ironing board face down. 
  • Place the interfacing on the fabric’s wrong side.
  • The adhesive coating on the fusible interface should be facing down side of the fabric.
  • Use a press cloth over the interface to avoid any direct contact with iron.
  • Iron carefully with steam until the adhesive melts and bonds permanently to the wrong side of the fabric.

Steam from the iron or water spray bottle are an unforgettable tool when it comes to attaching interfacing on the garment. 

The heated temperature with water helps to melt the back side of the adhesive onto the garment. To prevent the iron plate from getting stuck with melted glue, use a press cloth to cover the interfacing and prevent the material from burning.

What temperature should I iron interfacing?

A domestic iron employs heat that reaches a temperature from 180 degrees Celsius to 220 degrees Celsius. The temperature setting depends on the type of fabric, but the temperature should not be set to maximum heat but a little lower temperature for the right fusing of the interface.

Set the temperature setting on the iron a little lesser than 220 degree Celsius temperature. Avoid pressing at the maximum temperature as this is essential to avoid bubbles when fusing the fusible interface. 

Apply a little pressure during the fuse and avoid iron movements as dragging the fusing of the fabric can cause it to set improperly or bubble under the surface. 

Place the iron on the interface and let it sit for around 10 seconds to 16 seconds, then move to another area to bond the interacting.

Fusible Interfacing Problem

Fusible interfacing is very easy to permanently adhere or bond to the fabric, however it has to be done right. If not, certain fusing interfacing problems including not sticking correctly, interfacing showing up, bubbles and wrinkled fabric.

Let’s look at some common fusible interfacing problems:

  • Not sticking: A fusible interfacing might not stick right if the iron is too hot and burns the glue or melts the glue totally without causing it to stick on the fabric. Select the right interfacing type as per the fabric for it to fuse appropriately. Another factor is if the temperature is too low to melt, the adhesive may not get the interfacing to stick.
  • Cannot be used on all types of fabrics: A fusible interfacing cannot be used on highly textured fabrics as they do not bond well or napped fabrics like fur or velvet as the fabric gets crushed when pressed with a hot iron for the adhesive to bond on the fabric. It cannot be used on heat-sensitive fabrics like vinyl fabrics, sequins, and metallics. It also cannot be used on open weave or loose-knit fabrics like mesh or lace since the adhesive falls through the holes and will damage the iron and garment.
  • Interfacing showing through: Generally speaking, interfacing shouldn’t show through the fabric. The rule of thumb is to use white interfacing with lighter color fabrics and dark interfacing with darker fabrics.
  • Wrinkled fabric: Avoid using fusible interfacing on fabrics that are wrinkled or puckered. If any fabric has shrunk because of moisture or heat, then do not use fusible interfacing over it as it will not stick appropriately if the fabric stretches back into shape. If the fabric is capable of interfacing, press the iron to remove wrinkled fabric and apply interfacing after the material is smoothed out.
  • Bubbles: Caused by the fabric shrinking once the interfacing is applied. If you prepare your fabric by shrinking it first by ironing with steam, you can easily avoid bubbles from happening.
do you steam or dry iron on interfacing

Ironing Fusible Interfacing: Final Thoughts

There is a huge debate between whether to steam or dry iron interfacing. When you want to apply a quick and easy interfacing method, iron fusible interfacing over a fabric with a correct temperature with steam will do its job. 

Always use the medium-high temperature setting to adhere the fusible so that it sticks properly without burning the adhesive or completely melting it away.

The steam from an iron or simple water spray works well on interfacing fusible. To avoid any damage on the iron plate or fabric, it is recommended to cover the fabric with a pressing cloth.

Steam helps to melt the adhesive on the back side of the interfacing so that it glues smoothly to the wrong side of the fabric. If you are using a dry iron, it may cause static or potentially burn the fusible and the fabric will not be recoverable.

If you are experiencing any bubbling, fusible is not sticking or wrinkles develop on the fabric, adjust the iron temperature under 220 degrees Celsius and use steam. Also, prewash to shrink the material and remove wrinkles prior to interfacing the fabric.

Interfacing is great tool for sewers to add collars, cuffs, necklines and waistbands to make the look sturdy and give a clean finish. Applying the interfacing with the right temperature and steam will help you join the fusible in the right place. 

However, if you are looking for an alternate method by applying fabric as interfacing, there are various solutions while you are sewing. 

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