Linings have many different purposes February 22, 2014 • Robin Stroot
Linings are pieces of smooth fabric that are attached to the inside of a garment or home décor item. Some of the purposes of lining fabric are to hide the raw edges of the outer fabric, provide warmth, ease in putting the garment on or taking the garment off and/or a comfortable finish to the garment.
Choose a lining that is suited for the garment’s outer fabric, including the laundering instructions for the fabric. If you choose a garment that is washable, the lining must also be washable instead of lining that is dry clean only.
The difference between a lining and underlining are very specific. A lining is a totally separate garment usually made using the same pattern pieces as for the outer fabric. The pieces of the lining are then attached or secured at a side seam, waistline or hem. An underlining is specifically made as an additional layer that is added to each separate part of the garment during the construction of the garment. Also, an underlining adds an additional layer of fabric, but you will still see the seams along the garment.
For example, think of a man’s vest. The vest is cut out of the garment fabric and then another vest (using the same pieces) is cut out of the lining fabric. Both vests are constructed the same way except there are no pockets on this particular pattern inside on the lining fabric. Shoulder seams are sewn on both sections then the side seam is stitched into place on the outer fabric. The lining fabric side seams are stitched an inch from the raw edges of the armhole and the vest bottom. The right sides of the lining fabric and the vest are then pinned together and stitched along the outer edges of the vest and the armhole seams. The vest is then turned right side out through one of the side openings in the vest lining fabric. Once seams are trimmed and the vest is pressed, the side seams of the lining are stitched into place by hand. All the seams are concealed between the layers of the vest fabric and the lining fabric.
Lining a pair of pants or skirt makes the garment more comfortable and will actually prolong the life of the garment. Imagine trying to put on a suit coat or jacket without the satin lining. The lining makes it so easy for your arms to slip through the sleeves without catching any of the garment seams or your arm getting stuck halfway through the sleeve. Also, when you move from a sitting to a standing position (or vice versa) the lining allows for the garment to fall neatly into place without the garment getting twisted or bunched together.