Interlining in Garments: Types, Function and Application

What is Interlining in Garments?
To retain the shapes of various garment panels, a type of fabric secured between the two ply of fabric in a garment by means of fusing or sewing is known as interlining. It helps to give desired shape or to improve the aesthetics and/or performance. Interlining is an important accessory in garments. It provides insulation and also adds a luxurious weight and softness, improves the drape of the fabric, and protects fragile fabrics. Interlining is similar to batting, a thick layer of fiber designed to provide insulation, loft, and body to quilts, pillow toppers, and heavy winter jackets. Generally, interlinings are soft, thick, and flexible fabric made of cotton, nylon, polyester, wool and viscose or their blends, which may be coated with some resins.

Interlining in Garments
Fig: Interlining

The interlinings are carefully selected so that they can withstand the conditions during the fabric care and maintenance without any damage during the useful life of a garment.

Aims and Objectives of Interlining in Garments:

  1. To make sewing easier and to increase production
  2. Retaining shape and improving material appearance
  3. Making a functional, lasting, easy-to-wear product

Functions of Interlining in Garments:

  • To support the garment.
  • To retain the contour of the garment.
  • To strengthen the garment components.
  • To make the garment stronger and more attractive.
  • To enhance the overall performance of the garment during wear.

Types of Interlinings in Garments:
Different types of interlining in garments is shown in below Fig.

Types of interlining
Fig: Types of interlining

A. Sew-in interlining:
The interlining that is placed between two layers of fabrics and secured by means of stitching them along with the fabric layers is known as sew-in or nonfusible interlining. Before attaching the interlining material with the layers of fabric, the interlining material should be treated with starch and dried.

The applications of sew-in interlining are given below:

  1. Used as interlining material in flame retardant garments especially for fire service people.
  2. Protective garments for people working in rerolling mills.
  3. Specially used in embroidery machines.

Merits of sew-in interlining:

  • To make flame retardant garments.
  • Simple and easy technique.
  • No specialized machine is required.

Demerits of sew-in interlining:

  • Quality is not good as compared to fusible lining.
  • Not appropriate for bulk production.
  • No availability of interlining in the market.
  • Time-consuming process.
  • It involves higher work load and labor cost.

B. Fusible interlining:
In case of fusible interlining, the interlining material is kept between fabric layers and are attached to them through fusing by applying pressure and heat for a particular temperature and time period. In this system, the base component fabric is coated on one side with a thermoplastic resin, which is then bonded to another fabric by means of application of heat and pressure. These kind of interlinings improve the look of finished garments through the following:

  • Control and stabilization of critical areas.
  • Reinforcement of specific design features.
  • Least change in handle of the base fabric.
  • Conservation of a crisp and fresh look of fabric.

Inspection and Testing of Fusible Interlinings:
Fusible interlinings, before going into a mass-scale production process, should be assessed by a trial run. At least three pieces of the fabric are cut and subsequently fused following the procedure recommended by the manufacturers. The appearance and feel of the specimens are then checked. The appearance of the fabric will be impaired (bubbled appearance) in the case of excessive differential shrinkage.

Advantages of Fusible Interlining:

  • To get resemblances amongst the apparel.
  • Application process is very easy.
  • It has high productivity.
  • Fusing time is less.
  • It is cheap.
  • Superior performance compared to sew-in interlining.

Disadvantages of Fusible Interlining:

  • High temperature is required.
  • Special attention is required during attachment of interlining material.

How to Apply Interlining in Garments?
Interlinings are used to support, reinforce and control areas of garments such as collars, hems, facings and the fronts of jackets and coats. They can be sewn into the garment or attached by fusing.

Interlining patterns should not include seam allowances. Interlining should be applied to the garment parts colored yellow in the following garment types.

Interlining in shirt
Fig: Interlining in shirt
Interlining in Skirt and pocket
Fig: Interlining in skirt and pocket
Additional interlining on the lapel, shoulder, end of dart and pocket locations
Fig: Additional interlining on the lapel, shoulder, end of dart and pocket locations
Interlining in Tailored jacket
Fig: Interlining in Tailored jacket
Interlining in sleeve
Fig: Interlining in sleeve

Applications / Uses of Interlinings:
Interlinings are materials that are fused or sewn to specific areas on the inside of garments or garment components. They may provide shape, support, stabilization, reinforcement, hand, and improved performance for garments.

Interlining materials are generally used in collar, waist band, cuffs, jackets, outerwear plackets, blazers, etc. It can be used to protect fabrics, especially those used in drapes and consequently often exposed to direct light. The intricacy of interlinings used differs largely between tailored wear and other kinds of garments. Delicate fabrics like silk and velvet can suffer from sun damage if hung with a liner alone, and most drapers recommend the use of an interlining for the life of the fabric. In the nontailored garments like blouses, dresses, skirts and lightweight jackets and coats, interlinings are occasionally laid into a garment panel such as a collar or cuff and sewn around the edges when the part is constructed. In tailored garments, interlinings play a very crucial role in creating the profile of the garment and smoothing out the contours of the body.

Interlinings are available in a wide range of weights and constructions to match the characteristics of the base fabrics they will support. It can be woven or nonwoven construction, both of which can be constructed to give a different softness or resilience in different directions. Woven interlinings are generally of plain weave construction. In the lighter weight interlinings, they may have a cotton warp and weft yarns which will give a soft handle in both directions, or a cotton warp and a viscose weft to give better crease recovery and retention of shape.

Nonwoven interlinings are made from fibers and are bonded using mechanical, thermal or chemical means or by a combination of these methods. The fibers utilized for nonwoven interlinings could be polyester to provide supple handle, viscose rayon to give a harder handle, nylon to give resilience and bulk, or some other combination of these fibers to give specific physical and mechanical properties. Nonwoven interlinings have diverse characteristics based on the direction in which the fibers are laid in making the material. The fibers may be laid at random fashion for all-round stability of a product, parallel laid to give stability in one particular direction with extensibility in the direction at right angles, cross laid to give extensibility in both directions, and composite direction to give combinations of properties for general purpose interlinings.

An interlining is a layer of flannel fabric sewn in between the face fabric and the standard lining. An interlining provides insulation and also adds a luxurious weight and softness, improves the drape of the fabric, and protects fragile fabrics. Interlinings, also called interfacing, are generally nonwoven fabrics that add more structure and body to garment components like collars, button plackets, waistbands, and cuffs. Interlining durability is important for garment construction. Interlinings have to test for compatibility and shrinkage. Compatibility indicates good drapability, bulk, and support of the fabric at the attachment point. Shrinkage can cause puckering of the attached point and bubbled appearance. The three parameters such as temperature, pressure, and time should be appropriately selected to avoid improper interlining attachment. Interlinings are positioned incorrectly, twisted, cockling, too tight, or too full; linings may be too tight, twisted, incorrectly pleated, projecting beyond the bottom of the garment, which can lead to fault in the final garment.


  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, and D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
  3. Guide to Basic Garment Assembly for the Fashion Industry by Jayne Smith

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