Lining in Garments: Function, Types and Uses

What is Lining?
A lining is a separate, but attached, supportive or inner garment fabric or fabric construction that conceals or covers the inside garment construction. Lining is one kind of trimming used on the underside of garments and next to the skin. It is usually a functional part of a garment rather than a decorative one, being utilized in various shapes. Lining fabrics are usually slippery and silky, though other types may be used for effect. Linings are constructed separately from the garment and attached at facing or hem areas by hand or machine. Linings prevent the garment from stretching and reduce wrinkling. Garments may be fully or only partially lined; completely or partially attached to the fashion garment.

lining in garments

Linings are used in most tailored garments; however, they are not confined to use in these garments alone.

Aims and Objectives of Linings:
Linings make the garment beautiful on the inside as well as functionally covering the interior of the garment, adding warmth and comfort.

The main objectives of lining materials in garment construction are:

  • To maintain the shape of garments.
  • To improve the comfort as well as drape (hang) of the garment by letting it slip over other garments.
  • To add insulation.
  • To conceal the inner side of a garment panel of intricate construction to make it neat.
  • They are selected to match the garments to be inconspicuous.
  • To add to the design of garments.

Linings are used to help hide the inner construction details of a garment, and also to help it slide off and on over other clothing with ease. Lining material could be utilized for small garment sections like in pockets and for complete garments, that is sewn down all the way round. In case of small sections like patch pockets or pocket flaps, it is essential for the lining material to remain concealed. For coats, jackets, and raincoats, the outer garment should not be inhibited in any way by tightness in the lining and in these garments there is normally extra lining fabric in the body and the sleeve. In skirt and trouser linings, the stability of the outer garment in wear may be aided by the lining being slightly smaller than the garment panel.

Types of Fiber Used in Lining and Their Properties:
Natural fibres are seldom used to make lining materials owing to their high cost and complicatedness while applying a specific finish to fabrics. Synthetic fibers are presently commonly used material for garment linings.

1. Viscose: Linings developed from viscose fibers have sufficient strength, softness, luster, and affinity for dyes.

2. Rayon: Rayon linings have properties like those of viscose but are weaker.

3. Polyamide: Polyamide linings give exceptional tensile strength and a comparatively high degree of elongation, and good affinity for dyes. Some solvents used for dry cleaning have harsh effects on the fabric which is the main limitation of polyamide fibers.

4. Polyester: Polyester fibres are like polyamide linings with respect to their properties. Apart from a few lining materials made of polyamide, lining material from other synthetic fibers are not affected by dry cleaning and can be pressed up to a temperature of 170°C.

Function and Consumer Appeal of Lining:

The vital objective of lining materials used in garments is to cover all or a portion of the interior surface of a garment. Other functions of lining materials are

  1. It aids to protect the shape of garments especially in skirts and trousers, which are made from loosely woven or stretchy materials.
  2. Garments that are made from very transparent material in skirts and trousers need ‘cover up’ areas where linings are utilized.
  3. Several kinds of outerwear garments have an inclination to adhere to the body, which could spoil the outline of the garment. A layer of lining fabric kept between the body of the wearer and the main garment cloth could resolve this problem.
  4. Linings are frequently used to aid in the development of design features on garments.

Consumer appeal:
The luster and surface characteristics of the lining materials have a significant influence on consumer appeal. The main characteristics for linings most commonly used are

  1. Taffeta: It is a crisp woven fabric with a faded warp pattern that yields a shiny surface.
  2. Crepe: It is generally produced from specially processed yarns, usually from viscose acetate; the finished surface of this lining material has a uniformly crinkled form.
  3. Satin (sateen): This lining is distinguished by the highly lustrous and smooth face surface and dull back surface.

Selection of Lining for Garments:
There are diverse mixtures of fabrics appropriate for use as a lining. The deciding factors for the selection of lining include

  • Type of fashion fabric
  • Style of garment
  • Type of lining; whether it is partial or complete

Lining fabrics could be woven or knitted but should be capable to provide and recover as essential to accommodate the body movement. It must be durable, color fastness to perspiration and the same care method as the main fabric. It is vital that the lining material should be the same weight or lighter weight and softer than the main fabric so that it does not dominate the garment. Lining fabric should be preshrunk prior to use.

Making Up and Testing of Linings:
Lining fabrics normally unravel easily and should be secured or stitched with a four-thread safety stitch machine though the thread consumption is higher. Regardless of whether lining materials are pressed or not before setting of seams, all vertical seam pieces should be pressed to one side. The shrinkage of lining fabric and base fabric with respect to length as well as width of fabric should be matched with each other. The wash-n-wear garment should be washed in a washing machine with correct programme settings and the results should be confirmed after the garment has been dried and pressed.

Lining Component Patterns:
Follow-up of grain line markings for lining materials is equally important as like base fabric since they are for top cloth and fusible. The grain line of lining materials should match with the grain lines of the base fabric panels, even though this could be disregarded for components such as linings for skirts, trousers and sleeve linings. The number of nips on the lining patterns should be kept to a minimum since every nip is a probable weak point on the seams. Further, if the nips fray out prior to sewing, the stitching operator will have to skirt around the frayed areas by sewing wider seams than those called for.

Why Use a Lining in Garment?
If the only contribution a lining made was to cover the inner construction, we might not be bothered to stitch a lining at all. We could decide to serge or neaten the seams with a Hong Kong seam finish instead. However, there are many more reasons for adding a lining into a garment than just to cover the inner construction. The following list outlines several reasons why lining a garment is so beneficial.

A lining:

  1. Helps the garment to slip on and off the body with ease.
  2. Gives the garment a smooth, luxurious feeling of comfort.
  3. Prolongs the life of the garment
  4. Adds a quality finish to the garment.
  5. Adds warmth.
  6. Helps the garment retain its shape.
  7. Prevents the garment from stretching.
  8. Prevents the garment from clinging to the body.
  9. Reduces wrinkling in the outer fabric.
  10. Adds oomph to limp fabrics.
  11. Helps the garment hang with smooth, flattering lines.
  12. Protects the skin. Some textiles, such as wool, and the inside of leather have coarse textures that can irritate the skin. Lining garments made with these fabrics will protect the skin.

Applications / Uses of Lining in Garments:
Lining in garment are used for various functional and aesthetic purposes. It enhances the structure and drape of a garment, providing it with shape, stability, and a polished finish. Lining also help to the overall comfort and wearability of clothing by preventing the outer fabric from clinging to the body and minimizing irritation caused by seams or rough materials. It is important that the lining be the same weight or a lighter weight and softer than the fashion fabric so that it does not dominate the garment. Lining fabric should be preshrunk before using.


  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, and D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
  3. Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers by Julie Cole and Sharon Czachor
  4. Guide to Basic Garment Assembly for the Fashion Industry by Jayne Smith

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