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A Guide to Lining Fabrics

What is lining fabric?

Now this might seem obvious but we thought it was important to say anyway; a lining within a garment is the part that has contact with the skin and lies between you and the outer fabric. Lining can serve a number of purposes within dressmaking - from adding extra warmth to just making the garment hang better and to elevate it slightly. But if you are thinking more of curtain lining, that is the fabric that is nearer the window, it comes in two varieties - black out or not blackout - and don't worry, we will get to the differences between them later. 

Dressmaking Lining

Advantages of using lining fabric in dressmaking

 

Dress lining fabric white    Navy dress lining fabric anti static

  • A key advantage to lining your clothing is that it opens up all those very pretty and floaty fabrics that might be slightly see-through. No one wants a wardrobe malfunction, it can really ruin a day. If you have a light fabric which you are making into a dress for example, the best lining is one closest to your skin tone. As this won’t be obvious by changing the colour of the fine fabric but will keep you modest, which is important. 

  • But sometimes lining fabric is for the opposite of this, and works to add body to a garment and let the outer fabric hang perfectly. This is especially true in coats and jackets where you can afford to have more fun and spice it up with a bright colour. Our polyester anti-static lining fabrics come in a variety of colours some of which would really pop against the darker traditional shades of winter coats for example. 

  • A great advantage of making your own clothes is that you can make them entirely to your specification. We have all been there where you have bought a piece of clothing and the lining frankly ruins it. Well you can choose exactly what you want, so for example if you have made a pretty light cotton dress and it needs a lining, you can choose to use a light-weight voile instead of polyester so it feels nicer against your skin. 

  • Lining can also expand the range of things you can make from certain fabrics, so if you have a wool which isn’t quite heavy enough to put up with our increasingly cold winters you can add a thicker lining to give it the extra warmth but also to add some structure. Marcela who works at FG has gone as far as to line a bomber jacket in fleece to add a proper cosy layer. 

  • Possibly an important thing to say when talking about lining dressmaking projects too, is that you don’t need to always line the entire garment. For example if a dress has a full skirt, it may not need full lining due to the amount of fabric already in the skirt, so then you just need to line the top and you have slightly more options here. You could even line it with the same fabric you made the whole dress with. 

 

Best fabrics for lining dressmaking projects

  • The best fabrics to use for your project depends really on what the outer fabric is but also what the purpose of the lining is.  Nobody wants an extra layer of warmth in a summer dress. Lining fabrics come in both natural and synthetic fibres, ranging from the super fancy to the slightly more basic. 

  • Natural fibres you can use for lining start with silk which is great as it comes in both matt or shiny which is helpful for not affecting the colour of the overall garment, but it is also expensive and is more difficult to care for.

    Cotton can also be used as it is breathable and easy to look after but it doesn’t have the slinky nature needed for some garments. For warmth you cannot go wrong with a wool lining, however this can be bulky and again difficult to care for. 

  • In terms of synthetic linings these are possibly the most versatile as they are strong, wrinkle free, slinky and machine washable. Our latest anti-static dress linings can be washed at 50 degrees, and are an affordable price whilst having a high quality finish. The other great advantage of polyester linings are the anti-static as this does make a real difference to the comfort when wearing it close to the skin. 

 

Curtain Lining

Cream curtain lining fabric    Blackout lining fabric

Advantages of Lining your Blinds and Curtains

  • Just like with clothing you don’t have to line curtains or blinds but it does have its advantages so it might be worth thinking about. Adding an extra layer to either your curtain or blinds will obviously add an extra layer of insulation not just for warmth but it can also help with keeping out unwanted light and reducing noise pollution.  

  • Not only that, by lining your window dressings you will be adding to their longevity because they will have an added layer of protection from the  bleaching effects of the sun and prevent the carefully chosen outer fabric from fading. 

Guide to curtain lining fabric

  • The first thing you need to know about our curtain lining is that it is 140cm wide just like many, if not all our soft furnishing fabrics. So when you are trying to work how much you need for your curtain or blinds it is simply the same as the project but minus any extra you need for pattern repeats. 

  • At Fabrics Galore we sell two different types of curtain lining. One is a Blackout lining which does what it says on the tin, it keeps out the sunlight which is incredibly important during the summer months as before 5am is not the desired wake up call for many. This is especially important for bedrooms and babies as once you have got them asleep you don’t want to wake them with sunlight. (By the way if you are reading this in the summer months and need a quick fix to keep the sun light out and can’t take the curtains down to replace lining; you can simple cut the lining to the size of your window and attach it to the window with sucker panels. As it is rubberised you don’t even need to hem it.)

  • You may have seen our blackout lining is 3 pass, but you may not know what that means. Well it means that there is a neutral foam layer applied to the back of the curtain fabric, then a black one, followed by another layer. The neutral layers mean that the black colour doesn't disrupt the finish of the fabric while the black layer blocks light and retains heat. Fancy huh?

  • Our Blackout lining can also be teamed with a thermal interlining which is a third layer which sits between the outer layer of fabric, and the lining (a bit like a wadding in a quilt) and it will add body to curtains. Not only that but it also keeps the heat in during the winter months and the heat out during the summer and can also reduce noise that comes through the window. 

  • If you are making curtains or blinds for either a living room or a kitchen and don’t want to keep the sunlight out, you can line it with our standard curtain lining. This is 100% cotton and tightly woven which adds thermal qualities and protects slightly from sun bleaching. This standard lining also means you can still add thermal interlining to curtains without having to use the black out lining. 

  • However if you are torn between using blackout or standard lining, another point to bear in mind is the rubberised coating on the back of the black out lining. This is also helpful if you are struggling with damp in your home as it won’t be absorbed into your curtains. 

 

Need Advice on Lining Fabric?

If you are thinking of lining your dressmaking garments or you are making your own curtains and have any questions on suitable lining fabric, please don’t hesitate to ask us for help.  We are always happy to answer any questions over emails at howdy@fabricsgalore.co.uk

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