How to Apply Fusible Interfacing to Fabric? – (Steps & Guides)

Last Updated on May 23, 2023

How to Apply Fusible Interfacing to Fabric? Have you ever stared in disbelief at the mess of gunk that fusible interfacing has left all over your iron and workspace? You may have experienced the frustration of finding this adhesive residue on your next project or, even worse, all over your ironing board.

Whether you’re the one who’s used the fusible interfacing or somebody else was, we’ve all been there. This kind of interfacing chaos can strike anyone at any time but fear not because you’re in the right place to learn how to avoid such a disaster.

Image Source: Doina Alexei, Canva

Here, we’ll guide you through the process of applying fusible interfacing to fabric without leaving a trace of gunk behind. You’ll learn how to make your workspace a ‘safe zone’ for fusible interfacing, reducing the chances of a sticky mess.

We’ll focus on two incredibly important things: the magical use of a piece of muslin at your ironing board and the precise sizing of your interfacing piece to prevent glue explosions. Prepare to step into a world where fusible interfacing and clean workspaces coexist peacefully. Let’s dive in!

How to Apply Fusible Interfacing to Fabric?

Fusible interfacing is a handy tool in sewing that can provide extra body and support to fabric. However, its improper use can lead to messy situations with gunk ending up everywhere – on your iron, your ironing board, or even on your next sewing project. But fear not; this guide is here to walk you through the steps of applying fusible interfacing to your fabric the right way, without the mess.

Materials needed for applying fusible interfacing to fabric

  1. Fusible Interfacing
  2. Fabric
  3. Muslin cloth
  4. Iron
  5. Ironing board

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Preparation

Always have a piece of muslin on your ironing board. This will act as a protective layer between your ironing board and the fusible interfacing, preventing any potential mess.

Step 2: Trimming the Interfacing

Ensure that your piece of interfacing is an eighth of an inch smaller than your actual pattern piece. This will prevent the glue from fusible interfacing from spreading over the edges when you apply heat.

Step 3: Position the Fabric and Interfacing

Place your fabric on the muslin with the right side face down. Then, identify the glue side of the interfacing (it’s more textured with visible dots), and place it face down on the wrong side of your fabric.

Step 4: The Muslin Sandwich

Now, fold the muslin cloth over your fabric and interfacing it. This effectively sandwiches your fabric and interfaces between two layers of muslin, protecting your ironing board and the iron.

Step 5: Fuse the Interfacing

Set your iron to hot and place it on top of the muslin, applying pressure for a few seconds at a time as you move it along the project. Avoid applying too much force or moving the iron around too much, as this could stretch your fabric. Adding some steam can help ensure a secure attachment.

Step 6: Unveil the Result

After ironing, remove the top layer of the muslin. Your fabric should now be securely attached to the fusible interfacing without any glue residue left on your muslin or iron.

Why is my fusible fabric not sticking?

Your fusible interfacing may not be sticking to your fabric for a couple of reasons:

  1. Unwashed Fabric: One of the most common reasons for fusible interfacing not sticking is that the fabric still needs to be prewashed. Fabric often has a finish on it when purchased, which can prevent the interfacing from adhering properly. Prewashing your fabric can help remove this finish and improve the adhesion of the interfacing.
  2. Iron Temperature: If your iron is not hot enough, the glue on the interfacing may not fully melt, preventing it from sticking to your fabric. If you suspect this might be the case, try increasing the heat setting on your iron or leaving it on the fabric for longer.

Why is my fusible interfacing bubbling?

Fusible interfacing may start to bubble if either the interfacing or the fabric shrinks after the interfacing has been applied. This typically happens when the material has yet to be pre-shrunk before the interfacing application.

To avoid this issue, you should pre-shrink your fabric before attaching the interfacing. This can be done by hovering your iron over the fabric and applying as much steam as possible. This steam treatment will cause the fabric to shrink to its smallest size, ensuring that when you later apply the fusible interfacing, the fabric won’t shrink and cause the interfacing to bubble.

Also, consider the care instructions for both your fabric and interfacing. If one is prone to more shrinkage under heat than the other, this could lead to bubbling. Matching fabrics and interfacings that have similar care instructions can help mitigate this issue.

Can you iron directly on fusible interfacing?

Yes, you can iron directly on fusible interfacing, as it is designed to be applied to the fabric with heat. However, it is recommended to use a press cloth, such as a piece of muslin, between your iron and the interfacing to avoid any potential damage to your iron from the interfacing’s adhesive.

Can you iron directly on fusible interfacing
Image Source: Youtube

Also, it’s important to note that fusible interfacing may not be suitable for all types of fabrics. For fabrics that cannot withstand heat or are woven so loosely that the glue can seep through, it is advisable to use non-fusible interfacing, which is sewn into place.

Does interfacing need to be ironed on?

Yes, the interfacing needs to be ironed on. Fusible interfacing is designed to bond with the fabric permanently when a hot iron, usually with steam, is applied. The heat and steam activate the adhesive on the interfacing, attaching it securely to the fabric.

Applying the interfacing carefully is crucial to avoid any bubbles and ensure a smooth finish. It’s also important to pre-shrink your fabric before applying the interfacing to prevent any size discrepancies or distortions later on.

Does fusible interfacing make the fabric stiff?

Yes, fusible interfacing does make the fabric stiffer. It is specifically designed to provide extra body and support to fabric, often resulting in a stiffer feel. The level of stiffness depends on the type and weight of the interfacing used. Light interfacing might give a slight rigidity, while heavier interfacing can firm the fabric.

Examples of this are visible in parts of a garment that need to hold their shapes, such as a shirt’s collar and cuffs. However, the goal is often to help the fabric maintain its shape rather than making the entire garment rigid. Interfacing is used strategically in certain garment parts to provide shape and structure where needed.

Is fusible interfacing washable?

Yes, fusible interfacing is washable, but following the correct process is important. The manufacturer advises not to put fusible interfacing in the washer or dryer on its own as this might loosen the adhesive.

fusible interfacing washable
Image Source: Home Sew

However, once the interfacing is properly fused to fabric with an iron, it can be machine washed and dry cleaned according to the interfacing’s instructions. So, when the selvage edge says the interfacing is machine washable and dry cleanable, it’s referring to the interfacing after it’s been attached to the fabric, not before.

Do you wash interfacing before sewing?

Yes, interfacing should be prewashed in the same manner as your fabric before you cut and sew. This is a crucial step as it helps ensure that the interfacing and fabric behave similarly when they are washed in the future, preventing potential issues like puckering or misshaping. So, remember to prewash your interfacing just like you would with your fabric.


To further help, here are some answers to questions you may have about Fusible Interfacing to Fabric.

What is the purpose of using muslin in this process?

Muslin acts as a protective layer between the interfacing and the ironing board and between the interfacing and the iron. This prevents the fusible interfacing from leaving glue residue on either the iron or the ironing board.

Why should the interfacing be smaller than the fabric piece?

The interfacing should be slightly smaller than the fabric to prevent the glue from seeping out and potentially making a mess when heat is applied.

Why is it important to identify the glue side of the interfacing?

Identifying the glue side is important because it should face down towards the fabric. This is the side that will fuse with the fabric when heat is applied.

How hot should the iron be when applying fusible interfacing?

The iron should be set to hot. Different interfacings might require different heat levels, so always check the interfacing instructions.

Why can’t I move the iron around when fusing the interfacing?

Moving the iron around too much could stretch your fabric and displace the interfacing. It’s better to apply pressure in one spot for a few seconds before lifting the iron and moving it to the next spot.

Can I use steam when applying fusible interfacing?

Yes, using steam can help ensure a secure attachment between the fabric and the interfacing. However, some types of interfacing might not require or recommend steam, so it’s always best to refer to the interfacing instructions.

Video: Sewing Hack- How To Apply Fusible Interfacing

Say goodbye to sticky messes! Learn How to Apply Fusible Interfacing with the brilliant Sew Anastasia. This must-see tutorial will guide you through the simple process of fusing interfacing to fabric cleanly and confidently. Enhance your sewing prowess with this invaluable hack!


And there you have it! With these easy-to-follow steps and precautions, you can apply fusible interfacing to your fabric without the infamous gunky mess. Always remember the lifesaving role of a piece of muslin at your ironing board and the importance of sizing your interfacing slightly smaller than your fabric piece. These simple measures can significantly improve your crafting experience and free your tools and workspace from unwanted residue.  

Remember, always have a piece of fabric on your ironing board and trim your fusible to be slightly smaller than your fabric piece. Happy sewing!

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