Fabric lining is a layer of fabric sewn inside a garment or object to add strength or warmth, create comfort, conceal unattractive seams, or some combination of these. Lining can be found in clothing (including skirts, pants, and jackets), curtains, luggage, hats, and handbags. The type and composition of lining varies greatly depending on its intended function and style.
Types of Lining
Standard linings cover the entirety of the inside of a garment or object. During the sewing process of a fully lined garment, the lining is typically made separately and added to the completed garment with exposed seams facing each other. When the lining is stitched into place, only the “right” sides of the seams are visible, from either the outside or inside of the garment. In clothing articles that are frequently removed in public (such as sport jackets), linings are commonly included for aesthetic purposes.
Interlinings are secondary linings placed between the garment and the lining. Most often, these are used to create insulation and thus are more commonly found in winter clothing. In some cases, a second lining is added after the interlining to prevent a fabric’s rough texture from irritating the skin of the wearer. During the construction process, interlinings are stitched to the lining before being attached to the garment’s shell.
Partial linings cover only sections of a garment. These are seen frequently in sport coats or light jackets; they cover the top half of a garment and the sleeves. This helps ease the process of getting the garment on and off.
Removable linings (or liners) act as interlinings that can be removed so that a garment might be worn in various weather conditions. Removable linings can be attached with buttons, zippers, or snaps, and may be made from a variety of fabrics, including fleece.
Fabrics Used for Lining
The choice of lining fabric will depend on the goal of the lining. For camera cases and other storage containers meant to hold fragile items, smooth fabric might be backed with an interlining or padding to create a snug chamber.
In high fashion, linings may be made from a fabric intended to match or complement a specific blouse or dress. This is particularly common when a jacket is intended to be worn as part of a pre-determined outfit.
In winter clothes, wool, fur, and fleece might be used as interlining to create warmth. In skirts or slacks, linings of silk or rayon might be used to prevent wrinkling and help the garment maintain its shape.
Cleaning with Lining in Mind
When purchasing lined clothing, it is important to read labels to determine what materials are used in the shell and lining so that the wearer can take proper care of the entire garment.