You may or may not remember that I posted about Pellon brand substitutes for the Vilene products that I use. Since talking to the nice folks at the Bosal stand at Quilt Market in May, I've had every intention of doing something similar with their products. Today was the day.
I started with the woven interfacings, and I really like Fashion Fuse. It's a lot like Pellon Shapeflex, and looks a lot like the Vilene medium-weight woven fusible interfacing that I use and supply.
That's the Fashion Fuse on the left (below) with my medium-light, medium and medium-heavy interfacings on the right.
Fashion Fuse fuses easily, and although it looks as opaque as somewhere between the Vilene medium and medium-heavy weights, it gives a smooth but slightly softer structure (equivalent to somewhere between the medium-light and medium weight Vilene interfacings).
Whatever, it would be a perfectly fine substitute for medium-light or medium-weight woven interfacing, and would be a good interfacing for hats and bags and purses.
There's also a product called Craf-tex, which is similar to Timtex or Peltex. It would work as an internal textile bag base, fused with interfacing.
If I was looking for something along these lines to use in the body of a bag, I'd probably still go for Fast2Fuse by C&T Publishing. Above, you can see Fast2Fuse top right and Peltex bottom right, and see the how much finer and more compressed the Fast2Fuse is. It's much smoother when it's on a curve, and it is fusible on both sides.
This stuff intrigues me.....
...but I haven't played with it yet.
I had a look at a few fusible battings as an alternative to the H640 fusible wadding that I love so much. This is Bosal's fusible batting on the top, The Warm Company's "Warm Fleece" in the middle and Victorian Textiles' fusible fleece on the bottom layer.
The Warm Fleece is very similar to Pellon's fusible batting. It's a bit like felt, in a thickness that falls between H630 and H640, but it's a bit weightier than H640 and gives fairly solid structure.
The Bosal fleece feels a bit smoother and denser than the Warm Fleece and creates a slightly (ever-so-very-slightly..) thicker effect. Any of these would work as an alternative to H640
I found the Victorian Textiles batting to be a little loose and light, and is probably best suited to projects where it's pressed only once or with less heat that you'd use on a bag made with cotton fabric. I found it shrank more easily than the others.
There's also a light Fusible batting from Bosal, which doesn't appear to be the case with the other companies. This lighter weight batting is a good substitute for Vilene H630 light fusible wadding, although it's a denser structure and you'd need to be more careful about removing it from seam allowances where bulk might build up. I really like it.
At Quilt Market in May, I discovered Soft and Stable by Annie. It isn't fusible, but it has the effect of interfacing and wadding/fleece - the smoothness and the loft - that is so useful in bag-making. I had every intention of putting it to the test as soon as I got back, but the last 4 months have seen me doing everything but testing it.
Has anyone used this... or the Bosal equivalent (which also comes in fusible form)?
It has a foam centre and a sort of tricot fabric bonded to both sides.
In the photo below, the Bosal product is to the top and Soft and Stable is below it. The fusible version fuses nicely and holds a smooth shape. Using it, you'd have to be sure to remove it from seam allowances and topstitching, edge-stitching and under-stitching would be essential to hold it in place and create sharp, smooth seams and edges.
As a substitute for Vilene S320, the closest I can find is Bosal's Shirt Fuse. Like S320, it's a non-woven that is embossed with a texture that gives it a flexibility to emulate woven fabric.
It also fuses well and remains flat and stable. The main difference is that it's much softer (creating less structure) than S320. In the photo below, S320 is on the left and Bosal Shirt Fuse is on the right.
Shirt Fuse would be a good substitute for S320 as a support for a zipper facing, but where the stiffness of S320 is needed, you might have to bring in some bigger guns....like Pellon Craft Fuse or Bosal Dura-Fuse (below). Neither of these have the embossed texture (and therefore drape like cardboard) but they both have the lightweight, stiff structure of Vilene S320.
As with all interfacings, the best thing to do is to TRY them. Test them on scarps of fabric. Test them in combination with different wadding, fleece and other interfacings to see what they do. And keep an eye out for new interfacings and support products. The possibilities are endless and changing.