Do you appreciate the smooth and luxurious feel, quality finish, custom-made look and comfortable wear of a garment? Credit the interlining, say Dr A K Choudhary and Sheena Bansal.

Interlining, the feature that does the trick, is a trim used in almost every garment. It is a layer of knitted, woven or non-woven fabric between the fabrics of the garment. It prepares its form, reinforces and prevents stretching. Even though interlining is an invisible part of a garment's interior, its construction and the fusion process and shell fabric influence sewability, durability, appearance and mechanical properties of the garment. Interlining is important in building shape into detail areas such as the front of coats, collars, lapels, cuffs and pocket flaps. It stabilises and reinforces areas subject to extra wear and stress like necklines, facings, patch pockets, waistbands, plackets and button holes.

Uses of Interlinings

Interlinings are used for various objectives.

1) For thickness, firmness and extra strength for a formal look to shirt collars and cuffs.

2) To give a firm, thick base to an embroidered logo.

3) Interlining is soft and flexible and is an insulator, so it can be used in winter coats and pants for a thicker layer.

4) Used behind thin fabrics, it gives it a thicker and more appealing look.

5) Used behind embroidery, it makes the piece look thicker and enhances the look.

6) Sewing clothes is easier and faster with interlining.

7) The colour of interlining can be chosen according to the colour of the garment.

8) Interlining affects the comfort of the garment, which is important to the wearer.

Required properties for interlining

Interlining in garments is characterised and assessed by engineering properties like:

     *    Tensile and elastic properties - Tensile and elastic properties of shell fabric influence properties of stabilised garment parts and influence compatibility with the interlining.

       *  Bending - Bending properties of shell fabric and interlining ensure suitable appearance and fall of stabilised garment parts.

       *  Shearing and surface properties - One of the earliest actions of a buyer is to touch a garment to estimate how the fabric will perform. The characteristics of textile surface, determined visually or by subjective estimation of a handle, are important for evaluation of the quality of fused garment parts. Prospective wearers expect smooth surface and comfort especially in the collar and cuffs which touch the skin. So, physical properties like thickness, compressibility, surface friction and stiffness of shell fabrics fused with interlining are important and define usage comfort.

      * Fabric handle and drape of garment - The mechanical properties of fabric or fused fabric assemblies determine their purchase. The fabric handle -- such as soft, plain, rigid - is the psychological perception of a fabric's character. It is measurable and can be defined on the basis of the fabric's mechanical and physical properties.