Do you have an old t-shirt that you love and can’t bear to part with?
We all do! T-shirts hold a lot of memories and can be hard to throw out.
However, they can still be put to good use in a t-shirt quilt.
To get a professional result, interfacing might need to be used during the quilting process.
If you’re a first time quilter, finding the right products on a website can be overwhelming. But once you get the right one, you’ll be doing it just like the pros!
To help you out and consolidate your search, I’ve found the top five interfacing for tshirt quilts on the market today to help answer all of your quilting questions.
In this article...
Which interfacing for t-shirts is the best?
Before we head into the full line up,
I’ve rounded up my top interfacings further into some subcategories.
Delve into them to find the best one for your t-shirt quilt.
A lightweight, 100% cotton interfacing for tshirt quilts that have been woven.
If I had to choose one product to use for t-shirt quilting, the top pick would be the Pellon SF101.
I like that it’s made from 100% cotton instead of artificial tissues.
It’s lightweight, so it’ll be suitable for almost every t-shirt quilt and customers can choose from black or white. It’s affordable and easily dry cleanable, which is always a risk when using cotton interfacings.
The Pellon SF101 won’t shrink during any type of cleaning process if you follow the pre-shrink instructions on the packet.
The best value for the money is the Pellon 906F t-shirt interfacing.
It’s really affordable with cheap postage. It’s non-woven, meaning it can be cut in any direction without fraying – could be great for making t-shirt quilts!
The 906F is called sheer because it gives wonderful stabilization results on sheer and lightweight fabrics.
This is available by bolts, which will easily back 30 t-shirts.
It’s a generous package, and for the price I think you get a high quality product without the huge price tag.
It takes just a small amount of time to apply, with quilters reporting attachment in just 10 seconds.
Best Iron On Interfacing For T-shirts
Heat n Bond is the best iron on interfacing for tshirt quilts.
It comes with a simple to use peel away paper and can be used for attaching appliques and for interfacing for t-shirt quilts.
It’s easy to attach and will fuse in no time without any ripples in fabric.
A quick heat press with the iron gives a knit t-shirt fabric stability, which can result in perfect quilt squares.
On another note, it’s also easy to cut in layers with a rotary cutter and doesn’t get stuck around the blade.
Top Tshirt Quilt Interfacings
A lightweight, 100% cotton interfacing for t-shirt quilts that have been woven.
Pellon SF101 is a lightweight, 100% cotton interfacing for t-shirt quilts that have been woven.
It is suitable for light to medium weight fabric.
Pellon SF101 can give a t-shirt the weight of a canvas fabric, giving it a permanent stability when sewing.
Often, interfacings can shrink or not bond, but customers report that this one attaches well and provides excellent support for light materials.
It’s fused with an iron at medium heat and with steam.
If you wanted more stability in your t-shirt quilt, you can double up the material for a stronger finish.
You’ll be pleased to know Pellon SF101 is washable and dry cleanable, although you may have to pre-shrink it first by soaking it in warm water.
It can be machine dried once fused to fabric a medium setting, and ironed later on a wool or steam setting.
It won’t leave any residue on the sewing machine needle and takes around 10 seconds to attach itself to the fabric.
- Material: 100% cotton
- Type: Woven
- Size: Sold per 36” (1 x yard)
- Color: white / black
- 100% woven cotton
- Can use this as a stabilizer for embroidery, hole punching and quilting
- Shipping can be expensive
Best Iron On Interfacing For T-shirts
Heat n Bond is a web adhesive that comes in two different styles. The ultra hold is used when no top stitching is required, and the light hold is used when top stitching on a sewing machine is necessary.
It adds a thick layer of material, making it easier to hold a specific shape.
Heat n Bond is suitable for thicker textiles such as denim and canvas – a bonus, as lots of interfacings are lightweight.
Heat n Bond can also be used as an interface for appliques, holding patterns stationary before top stitching.
Customer reviews tell me that this fuses well, and it’s long lasting after many washes without crumbling between the layers of t-shirt quilts.
It is sewing machine safe and won’t gunk up your sewing machine needle.
- Material: 100% synthetic
- Type: Fusible web
- Size: 17” x 180”
- Color: White
- Good for use for applique and t-shirt quilts
- Easy to follow instruction steps
- 100% synthetic
An interfacing is soft, flexible, and sewing machine ready for quilting.
The Heat Press Batting T-Shirt Quilts stabilizer comes in a package containing a generous 15, 12” x 12” sheets of interfacing batting material.
By applying heat and steam from the iron, this interfacing is soft, flexible, and sewing machine ready for quilting.
It can be purchased in different sizes, in either rolls or in sheets for the perfect edges of a t-shirt quilt.
Users say a wool setting on an iron works well, and they offer one tip – use weights on either side to hold it in place during application.
Heat Press Batting holds through washings and dry cleanings, and won’t gum up your sewing machine needles.
The packaging comes with easy to follow instructions.
Place the batting with the glue side up, and use a press cloth with the iron – do not move the iron around as this could cause damage to the fabric.
It will last the life of your t-shirt quilt, with the fusible web holding frays and damages to t-shirts together.
- Material: 100% polyester
- Type: Fusible web
- Size: 12 x 12” sheets
- Color: White
- Easy to use for beginner quilter
- Affordable for quilting
- Interfacings can stretch during application, be mindful when making t-shirt quilts
Best For The Money
The Pellon 906F is a white sheer weight interfacing material made of 100% polyester.
It’s used for lightweight t-shirts and sheer fabrics, whilst you can use it on knits, voile, and linen. It’s the brand’s most popular interfacing for apparel and also a popular choice for quilts, bags, and pouches.
Pellon 906F is ideal for a t-shirt quilt made of sheer to lightweight fabric, but also has a stretch that is unlike other fusible web interfacings.
It can be used for slightly stretchy t-shirt quilts, but be careful to follow the instructions on the packet for an optimal final result.
The material doesn’t need to be pre-shrunk and can be washed safely on a warm machine wash, it can be dry-cleaned or tumble dried.
Quilters report using this on all types of materials, from denim to linen.
Customers have used Pellon 906F to make a t-shirt quilt and t-shirt pillows.
It’s a real sheer weight and has lightweight backing with a good weight to it.
For these reasons, comments state it’s easy to work with.
- Material: Polyester
- Type: Fusible web
- Size: 60" x 360"
- Color: White
- Reliable bonding for your quilt
- Quick postage
- Interleaved instructions can bleed onto light colored textiles on a quilt top when washed
Suitable to be used for all kinds of materials, including velvet, A safe option for a t-shirt quilt for younger learners to use.
The MistyFuse Black is suitable to be used for all kinds of materials, including velvet.
It’s available in different colors and in rolls or sheets for easy quilting.
MistyFuse is completely solvent free with no added adhesives, making it a safe option for a t-shirt quilt for younger learners to use. It will stay soft no matter how many washes your quilt goes through – it will never go hard and crisp!
The product was developed with a chemist so as to create a green product with a low carbon footprint and good for a t-shirt quilt.
In use, it has one shiny side so you know exactly which one you have interfaced. Without the shine, it can be hard to see.
If there is leftover material, you can let it dry out after being heated and leave it for days, months or even years and it will still work the same on your tees.
- Material: Polyester
- Type: Gossamer fusible
- Size: 20” x 90”
- Color: Black
- Ages well in a quilt
- Company has a small environmental footprint
- Very thin
You may be wondering what a t-shirt quilt is, or how to make one.
I’ve rounded up some important information to help answer any question (or questions!) you might have.
What is interfacing for t-shirt quilts?
Interfacing is a textile that is used between fabrics to give it structure and strength before sewing.
It can be fused on using a steam iron, or sewn either on a sewing machine for quilting or by hand.
It’s one of the key factors to achieving a professional look on products and t-shirt quilts.
Imagine the cuffs, collar, and buttonholes on a shirt.
Interfacing would have been used, because without it clothes would be limp and buttonholes would rip.
Interfacing is used when making memory quilts to hold the material taut when sewing, as tees are made from a variety of materials.
Trying to sew these together without using a backing could be tricky if the textiles pucker and don’t hold together well.
What type of interfacing is used for t-shirt quilts?
It depends on the type of quilt you want to make and the desired feel of the t-shirt quilt.
The interfacings should match the weight of your t-shirts e.g. flannel shirt – use thicker backing.
There are different types of interfacing made from different materials. For most t-shirts, an interfacing that is a fusible knit or 100% cotton material could be a great choice.
Which fusible interfacing to use for t-shirt quilts?
Interfacing can be sewn, but most interfacings are fusible.
They have small dots of glue on the wrong side that could fuse to your fabric with heat and steam from your iron.
Sew in interfacings are useful if you cannot apply heat to your fabric because of pattern or texture.
Using fusible interfacing in the sewing process can be much easier to use for a first time quilter.
There are many different types of fusible interfacing, and each has a specific use:
This has adhesive on one or both sides.
These products are commonly used in the quilting and applique world.
Adds a thick, soft layer.
You can consider using multiple layers of fusible fleece to create a rigid shape quilt.
Knit interfacing (tricot):
This is suitable when working with stretch materials. These are quite different from the type you see in online knitting classes, so don’t get confused.
Knit interfacings are made from knit fabric and will stretch in one direction, so these are particularly well suited for knit or stretchy fabrics in t-shirt quilt designs.
Is meant to be used with natural woven fabrics such as cotton, and is most commonly used for t-shirt quilt.
Woven interfacing is woven fabric that comes in several different weights and colors.
Non woven is generally made by bonding fibers together in any specific direction.
Do t-shirt quilts need interfacing?
Using a backing material for your t-shirt quilts, you can more easily give it an even and professional look.
While one quilter might prefer to use some kind of backing before sewing, it is possible to make a t-shirt quilt without it.
Due to the evolution of sewing machines, it is now possible to sew stretchy t-shirt material onto non-stretchy cotton without puckering.
With practice and technique, you’re able to create a beautiful and high quality looking t-shirt quilt without using interfacing.
Not Taking Any Chances
But that’s not a risk I would take with my old t-shirts full of memories that I love!
Interfacing helps the t-shirt squares hold their shape when making t-shirt quilts.
Is interfacing for t-shirts different from regular interfacing?
Interfacing is multi purpose, and it can be used for many different sewing projects including bags, purses, shirts, and dresses.
Interfacing specifically for making a t-shirt quilt might come pre-cut in squares ready to be attached.
When choosing a backing for t-shirts, you should question the weight and feel of the quilt you are making.
What’s the difference between interfacing and stabilizer?
Interfacing and stabilizer are two different types of material, but both will help quilters add shape and secure stitches.
Interfacing gives strength, and isn’t intended to be visible.
It’s meant to permanently be added to help give shape of the sewing project.
Check out this interfacing…
Here’s a quick video on applying the Pellon 90F Fusible Sheerweight.
Stabilizer is removed after stitching.
Stabilizer helps reinforce materials when stitching might damage it, for example, in embroidery.
Is interfacing washable?
Most interfacing can be washed and dry-cleaned. It’s designed to be attached to clothes, and we need to keep our clothes clean, right?
However, some fusible interfacings might shrink during a wash, which can leave air bubbles on your fabric.
It would be pretty devastating to wash your t-shirt quilt and have the interfacing shrink, causing a nasty texture.
Packaging might say ‘do not put in washer or dryer by itself or it may loose adhesive’, which might seem confusing as you bought interfacing that is machine washable and dry cleanable.
This is talking about how to wash and dry it after you have ironed it to the fabric.
When the interfacings have been attached correctly, they shouldn’t shrink.
It should explicitly state on the packet or internet whether or not the product should be pre-washed before attaching to your t-shirts.
If there isn’t any instructions indicated, the video below might help…
Things to consider:
It can be heart wrenching to give up your t-shirts that you love to people to cut up, or to cut them up yourself.
There are a few things to consider when looking for the best backing for your t-shirt quilt.
Consider the purpose of the quilt, or whether you will be using it as a functional quilt on a bed, or hanging it on a wall for display.
You need to find a suitable interfacing depending on the style and feel you want the quilt to have.
Question the composition you are using – if you are using a thicker fabric, you’ll most likely want a thicker interfacing.
Price varies from around $10 – $60+ depending on the brand and the amount that you are buying.
Check the brand website, as they might offer discounts when bought in bulk.
The project and your budget can dictate the type of interfacing that you choose.
If you shop carefully and substitute big name brands, you can save a lot of money.
Interfacing can be made up of lots of different natural and synthetic materials.
Consider the material of your t-shirt, as some textiles will work better than others.
Check customer reviews on the brand website to answer the question of how much time it takes to attach the backing to the t-shirt quilt squares and how easy it is to put through the sewing machine.
You really don’t want to spend an enormous amount of energy on a quilt using a bad product only for it to crumble like sand in the future.
You don’t want it to crack and go hard either.
Investing in high quality is really important, especially if you will be using the quilt regularly.
If you are spending a lot of time and energy on your sewing machine to create a good quilt, you want the interfacing to be of good quality too.
- Before you go, here are my top tips for getting started that could save your t-shirt quilts from destruction!
- During placement of the patches, try not to place a white square next to another white as over time, white can fade and turn a little bit yellow when it gets old and you want it to stay looking clean throughout its life.
- Don’t use your sewing scissors when cutting out interfacing, as there is often a rough paper backing that could blunt your scissors.
- Always do a test patch between the t-shirt and interfacing to determine the heat of the iron and to make sure the textile products are compatible.
- Press the iron on to the interfacing, and don’t move the fabric. What you essentially want is them to stick together, not to smear the material across the glue
- Read the instructions on the website or packaging! Too many t-shirt quilts could have been easily saved with this simple point.
There’s quite an extensive list of information about interfacing – who’d have thought there would be so much to it!
Creating a quilt from the memories of your old tees or a loved one’s t-shirts can make an amazing gift.
Just to recap, my top pick is the Pellon SF101.
It’s made from 100% cotton, which is a natural material and suitable to use as an interfacing for nearly all t-shirts, from cotton to polyester.
The best value for money is Pellon 906F.
If you’re planning to make a few t-shirts, quilts, or are a regular sewist you really get a bang for your buck here.
Best Iron On
The best iron on is Heat n Bond.
Quilter reviews note how easy it is to apply with a little steam and heat, and it really stays secure and ready for sewing.
All in all, each of the products reviewed today should serve you well for all your t-shirt quilting needs.
If you need help with the designs for your shirt quilts, check here to find some of the best software to use.
It’s up to you to make the judgment as to which material will fuse best with your t-shirts.
Happy t-shirt quilt making – if you can, share pictures!
Featured Image – DustinMorris, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons