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Guide to lining fabrics

Beginner's guide to lining fabrics

This beginner’s guide to lining fabrics has been written with Bernstein & Banleys Ltd, suppliers of linings and trimmings through their website – The Lining Company.

Linings are used to line a variety of sewn articles such as clothing, hats, bags/luggage, curtains and many more. They provide a neat finish to the inside of a garment but conceal interlinings, raw edges, padding, etc.  Linings extend the life of a garment and they can add warmth especially in the winter months. They give a smoother finish when clothing is being worn and can make it easier to put on a piece of clothing.  Lining a garment helps to shape it and prevents the garment from stretching – a garment will hang much better if lined.

A lining can add contrast to a garment whether it is a solid colour or if it has a design – for example a polka dot lining, printed lining or a Jacquard lining. Whether you’re a tailor, a home sewer or ready-to-wear manufacturer, the lining will usually be lined into the sleeves and body separately.

Linings for dressmaking

Stretch Linings

These are specifically designed to be used as linings for stretch fabrics as the lining will move and stretch with the outer fabric as the wearer moves and prevents riding up of dresses and skirts. Stretch linings are available as stretch taffeta, lycra, poplin and satin to suit your main fabric. Take a look at this selection of Stretch Linings.

Bemberg Cupro Linings

Bemberg Cupro is a high quality breathable lightweight and durable lining made from natural cotton fibres. It is ideal for lining jackets and skirts made from wool or linen, where a polyester lining would negate the breathable qualities of natural fibres. It has a luxury silky finish, is anti-static and anti-cling and wicks away any sweat or moisture from the wearer’s skin. View this selection of Bemberg Cupro Linings.

Taffeta Lining

This is a fine, crisp plain-woven lining fabric that has a lustrous surface and is associated with luxury and high end garments. It is the perfect lining for evening wear, bridal dresses and corsetry applications as it holds its shape well.  The Persian word ‘taffeta’ means “twisted woven”. Click here to view a selection of Taffeta Linings.

Satin Linings

Satin linings are available in various qualities and these typically have a glossy surface and dull back and are heavier in weight. They drape well and are commonly used for lining jackets, bridal and evening gowns, coats and waistcoats. Many costumiers use satin linings due to the finish and weight.  Take a look here at the selection of Satin Linings.

Twill Linings

 Heavy viscose twill is a substantial weight lining and is mainly used as a coat lining. It will give your garment a couture feel as this lining is often used by bespoke tailors and fashion designers. Browse the twill lining selection here.


Interlinings are used as an additional layer of fabric between the lining and the outer garment and help to support and make the fabrics more durable (especially if they are expensive outer and lining fabrics) as well as providing further insulation in coats and jackets. There is an informative article all about interlining here by Lorna Knight on The Sewing Directory. 

Sewing Garments with Linings

There are a few useful guides online about sewing with linings and we share a few links here:

A guide to great linings from Threads Magazine.

Lining techniques from The Great British Sewing Bee book. 

For more specific articles here are some links: 


How to bag a jacket lining

How to assemble and attach a jacket lining

If you are sewing a jacket you may also find these tailoring tips from Lorna Knight helpful. 


How to sew a skirt lining

How to add a lining to a skirt with a waistband


Lining a sleeveless dress

How to line a dress (video)


The Lorna Knight Sewing Academy offers a course – Inside Secrets – where you will learn all about linings and interlinings. Find out more here.

To view the linings and trimmings available from The Lining Company, please visit their website