How to Replace a Coat Lining

comments (12) December 30th, 2009     

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Choose a new lining in a contrasting solid or print in a strong fabric such as silk.
Creating a new lining for a weathered old coat is easier than you think.
A brand-new lining makes an old coat an instant favorite
Choose a new lining in a contrasting solid or print in a strong fabric such as silk.

Choose a new lining in a contrasting solid or print in a strong fabric such as silk.

Photo: Jack Deutsch
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How many times have you picked up a beautiful vintage coat at a flea market, only to find that the lining is falling apart? Vintage coats are available in the most amazing fabrics; however, their insides don’t hold up so well over the years. Creating a new lining for a weathered old coat is easier than you think, and you can get the job done using your old lining as a pattern.

I discovered this technique when I scored a gorgeous coat for $7 at my local thrift store when I was in college. The lining was in shambles, so I took it to a tailor, and she explained to me how she would use the old lining as the new lining’s pattern. I then took the coat home and did the job myself in no time. This relining technique is easy, and before you know it, you’ll be seeking out bargain vintage coats with disintegrating linings so you can give them a new lease on life, too.

Choosing Your Lining Fabric
To make a new lining for a coat, you first need to choose a lining fabric. The basic requirements are that it be slippery and strong. Fabrics typically sold as linings —- polyester, nylon, or acetate taffeta —- don’t hold up well over time (your old, shredded lining is most likely made of one of these).

My favorite lining fabric is silk. If you love the coat, it’s well worth the investment, and silk is probably not as expensive as you think. There are many different silk weaves that work well, including crepe, twill, and China silk.

Flannel-backed linings not only provide the slippery feel needed to slide in and out of your coat but also add an extra layer for warmth. These fabrics are strong enough to withstand regular wear and are a great option for colder weather.

Once you learn to reline your coats, you’ll never again have to carefully fold your coat over restaurant chairs so no will see the tattered lining inside.

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posted in: sewstylish feature, SewStylish, sewstylish technique, coat, winter, lining

Comments (12)

SouthernGirl1956 writes: I am so glad I ran across this site.

I have a coat that I need to change the lining and the tailor was going to charge me several hundred dollars.

I have looked at the lining and will do it myself.

Thank for the posting.


Posted: 10:25 am on July 10th
debolah writes: well, I am a so-so sewer and while not cheap, kind of broke. I have a beautiful tweed swing coat with a ravaged lining and a boxy, wool coat with shoulder pads (!) with a beautiful perfect lining (life isn't fair, is it?). Using your instructions I will now attempt to adapt them to make an acceptable replacement lining for the beautiful coat by cannibalizing the ugly coat. Wish me luck!
Posted: 4:58 pm on January 5th
Tapestry2u writes: New to this site and found your tutorial. Wonderfully written and easy to understand even to a novice sewer like myself. I have a denim coat I absolutely love and noticed that the cuffs are frayed so this is a timely article for me. How do you know how much fabric you'll need for your lining? Guesstimate?
Posted: 12:55 am on October 10th
MamaLala writes: I am in the process of replacing my liner, I am working with a seamstress/tailor to help me along but want to do some on my own. I have the old lining out and need to cut out my fabric using the old lining as a pattern. does it matter which side of the pattern to lay down, as for most of the pieces I am cutting 2 of each (except for the right and left center panel)? i'm a hopeless novice...
Posted: 4:21 pm on February 8th
rwlangford writes: I needed this. This will save my old coat. Thank you.
Posted: 12:59 am on January 8th
sewingtears writes:
I have long used this method for relining coats and jackets for my own personal use(saved a lot of money)and as a professial seamstress made some money.However not everyone is receptive to the cost of the fabric and the labor fees.Most none sewers(customers)are clueless so I generally do not do many relines because people are cheap and try to make you patch the lining up just to get by.Which I feel is senceless and a wast of my time but you cant argue with a nonsewer who thinks they know everything and are cheap.
Posted: 11:55 pm on January 2nd
ustabahippie writes: Now if you could just tell me how to create a pattern for the lining after I carefully removed the old one and lost it before I could make the pattern! ARRGGHH!
Posted: 3:08 pm on January 1st
FULLMOONCHASER writes: I take exception to the description of which lining fabrics will wear out. I have done many linings of nylon and polyester and find they seldom wear out. It is the acetate (rayon) fabrics that won't hold up to the wear.


Posted: 9:41 pm on December 31st
MerrySunshine writes: Replacing linings in coats or jackets is easy to do. Here is an added tip that might help in getting an accurate grainline for pieces not cut on a fold(like the sleeve or side pieces). With a needle or pin, pull up some threads in the lengthwise grain of the old lining to create a run in the fabric. Hi-lite this run in the fabric with a magic marker or chalk so it can be easily traced to your new pattern pieces as the grainline.
Posted: 2:16 pm on December 31st
tzipi writes: Excellent article with very explicit instructions. Thank you. My husband has an old pierre cardin trench coat in which the lining has worn out. Should i attempt to reline it? Wish me luck!!
Posted: 8:14 am on December 31st
Carolebarrel writes: Great time to alter a long coat into a jacket or carcoat length too. So many vintage coats are too long, especially in the south where the weather never stays cold for long. Your tutorial made a daunting alteration seem ez. A too hot fur coat could make a great vest that might need relining too. Thanks.
Posted: 12:19 am on December 31st
Annielou writes: These are wonderful instructions....My favorite winter coat could use a new lining ... Thank You ... Annie Lou
Posted: 4:29 pm on December 30th
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