As a beginner in sewing, it’s natural to have some confusion between batting vs interfacing. These terms sound like complicated subjects, but in reality, they’re just as simple as regular talk.
It’s important to understand these two terms well if you’re someone new in the fabric business or a hobbyist interested to know more about the intricacies of fabric knowledge and want a good foundation.
Before knowing about the differences between batting and interfacing, it would be a good idea to know what these two terms mean specifically, what they act as and what they’re used to making.
Unless you’re someone very experienced in this fabric business, or someone heavily knowledgeable about fabrics in general, it’s natural to not understand what interfacing means.
There are people who have vast experience with fabrics and have identified many different types of fabrics but are still confused about interfacing and don’t know what it means.
But even if you’re a complete beginner in this hobby, one thing you might have not missed to notice is that all fabrics are different from one another. They all serve a specific purpose and are special in their own styles.
Some fabrics are strong, some are flexible, and some will never return to the old form if you fold them. In their own ways, each fabric will be an integral part of a sewing piece. Interfacing is, simply, a fabric to help the cloth hold its shape firmly.
As a general rule, you should use thin interfacing with softer, lower gsm garments, and, on the other hand, use thicker and heavier interfacing with thicker, higher gsm count garments. Otherwise, the cloth will feel imbalanced and heavy on the wearer.
The reason to match your interfacing with the garment you’re sewing is dependent upon the expected feel of the fabric.
If you use heavy interfacing with a soft garment, it will feel heavy, and the top garment will get wrinkled in no time.
If you use light interfacing under a heavy garment, the underpart will not be able to hold the structure for much time, and the top garment will have creases soon.
And it’s not possible to get rid of the garment creases without good interface support.
Also, what a cloth looks to a prospective customer depends heavily on the interfacing. A cheap, firm, solid cloth will look much valuable than a creased, wrinkly yet expensive one.
The general rule mentioned above doesn’t need to be followed all the time. Sometimes it will be required to have a cloth that have a certain level of stiffness.
In those cases, the rule can be tinkered with and changed accordingly.
You have probably heard of the term “quilting” from bed coverings. Quilting refers to the inside part of a warm bed covering.
Batting is almost the same thing, just except batting refers to the idea of using a fabric inside fabrics to create insulation.
Don’t be confused; batting is not exactly a replacement term for quilting. Batting is a generic term that refers to any type of soft fabric used inside two garments — one on the top and the other under, to create cushioning and insulation for a fabric.
Wadding is a popular term in Australia and the United Kingdom. It essentially means the same thing, just in a different language.
Batting is used on a lot of things. From bed coverings to hand gloves to bottle holders, all use batting inside. It gives fabric insulation and protection from both excessive heat and cold.
Batting comes in two different varieties — natural and synthetic.
Wool and cotton are the most popular batting options as they can provide the greatest insulation. Bamboo is also one popular and long-lasting batting ingredient.
Similar to interfacing, the batting you should use with fabric should be dependent upon the garment.
The thicker the garment, the heavier the batting, and inversely, the thinner the garment, the lighter the batting should be.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you’re using a thinner cloth on top of a thicker batting, such as while making a bed covering, it’s common to use a thinner garment as a batting cover. So determine the batting type well beforehand.
The batting you use will be felt just as the texture of the fabric on the covering. If a harsh, polyester batting is used, the texture will not feel good on the touch.
Batting vs Interfacing?
Batting is used the most in bed coverings and quilts to create insulation for fabric or pieces of clothing, and interfacing is used on the back of a garment to provide a firm structure to a fabric.
It doesn’t matter what batting is used under the fabric as long as the texture of the fabric feels okay, the batting can be thick or thin or be made of any material irrespective of the final looks.
This is not the same as interfacing. As interfacing is used under the fabric, and if it’s not cut or colored according to the fabric, the garment will not look or feel good. Depending on the fabric, both interfacing and batting will play a vital role.
Hopefully, you’re not as confused as you were previously after reading this guide. These terms can find you confused initially, but they’re easy to understand if you take some time to study about them.