What Is Lining In Sewing: Uses And Importance

Last Updated on 6 months by Susan Mayrich

The answer to what is lining in sewing is that it’s an inner material on sewing projects. However, as you will find out in this article, linings are not only used for garments. 

what is lining in sewing

Speaking of lining, do you know what is muslin used for in sewing? Consider learning more about this material because it’s among the common types used for linings. 

Feel free to browse our sewing blog for other sewing terminologies, especially if you’re a beginner at sewing. 


What Does Lining Mean In Sewing?

The lining is another piece of fabric you attach inside a sewing project. Having this separate material inside adds durability and protection to projects like clothes and bags. Depending on the lining, it can also enhance the decorative value of the item.

Besides garments and bags, you will also see linings in hats, luggage, and even curtains. Any item that can use an extra fabric inside to conceal the construction details can have a lining. 


Fully lined vs half lined vs partially lined

Sewing projects can either be fully lined, half lined, or partially lined. An item that is fully lined has the lining sewn throughout its interior portion, while those that are half lined don’t have the lining throughout.

This can be for decorative reasons or functionality. But then, there are also partially lined items where only select areas have the lining because they are more prone to wear and tear than other portions of the project.


What Is Lining Fabric Made Of?

Lining fabrics are made from either synthetic or natural fibers. The most common lining fabrics are polyester, silk, rayon, viscose, and acetate so that you can get the most compatible type for your primary material. 

The best lining fabrics include silk because of its glossy finish that makes it attractive, acetate because it drapes well, and polyester for those who want something low maintenance. As you can see, the favored fabrics to be used for lining are shiny and lightweight, especially for garments. 


What Is The Function Of Lining?


Adds structure

Having a separate but attached lining fabric adds shape and structure to the item, enhancing the overall durability against stress. This is why most clothes have a lining so they’ll drape well and fit much better to the wearer while also lasting longer. 


Provides opaqueness

Linings add opaqueness to the item, which eliminates the need for the wearer to use inner garments like slips. But besides clothing, having a lining on curtains can enhance privacy when used. 


Enhances comfort

Lining fabrics are mostly smooth to the touch since they will come in contact with your skin. This also makes slipping in and out of jackets easier while enhancing their coziness. 


Hide sewing construction

Lining sewing projects conceal raw edges, seams, and other sewing construction that would not make the item look professionally sewn and may even affect its durability, such as with bags. And with the suitable material and color, the lining on clothing can also be decorative. 


Is Lining Necessary For Sewing?

The lining is necessary for sewing if the project you’re making needs structure, opacity, and concealed construction. Most garments will also need lining to make them more comfortable to wear and ensure a better fit on the user. 


How to choose a lining for sewing

Not all linings are alike, so make sure to get the appropriate kind for your project. 

  • Use non-stretch linings on non-stretch fabrics 
  • Select the proper lining for the season of the clothing (e.g., summer garments must be lined with something breathable like cotton, and winter garments must be lined with something warm like fleece
  • The lining should complement the color of the project even if it’s not directly shown 
  • Opt for a thicker lining fabric if it’s meant to add structure and durability 
  • Consider if the main project is machine washable or hand washable only


Is Interfacing The Same As Lining?

Interfacing also adds support to the fabric, but it’s not the same as lining that is usually slippery. Again, you can read about what is interfacing in sewing to know why it’s different. 


Underlining vs lining vs interlining?

Underlining can be considered a lining, but its primary purpose is to provide opacity for every pattern piece. Then, the interlining is also meant to add warmth, and it differs from the lining and underlining because it is meant to be removable. 


How To Sew A Lining To A Garment

  1. Sew the lining pieces together with ¼ inch seam allowance to create a duplicate of the garment
  2. Hem the raw edges accordingly and press 
  3. Pin the lining to the garment wrong sides together, aligning the edges and seams except with the lower hem to make the lining shorter
  4. Sew with a straight stitch along the connecting seams or ⅛ inch to the inside of each seam
  5. Leave the bottom hem loose



And that’s it! We just found out what is lining in sewing, a separate but attached fabric inside the sewing project. 

It adds shape and better drape to garments, improves opaqueness, comfort, durability, and leaves a more professional finish to the project. The fabrics used as lining as also mostly smooth, such as silk and polyester. 

We hope you learned a lot; leave us a question if you have any. 


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