Here’s a quick refresher on how to iron different fabrics and garments. It’ll give you that crisp, freshly-ironed look and help your favourite clothes last longer.
The Ideal Ironing Space
When ironing be sure to:
- Avoid high-traffic areas when you set up the ironing board. You don’t want to be jostled with a hot iron in your hand.
- Keep the iron’s cord out of your way and the path of others.
- Turn off the iron immediately when have finished ironing. Unplug it and let it cool down before storing it away.
- Avoid scorching by starting with a low heat setting — then move it up gradually as needed.
Make the most of your hardware
- Always point the iron in the same direction as the garment’s weave or grain.
- Use smooth, slow strokes to let the heat sink into the garment.
- Set the temperature to low and keep the iron moving to avoid scorching or overheating.
Iron in the right order
- Pressing too hard can damage a fabric’s finish, but pressing the iron’s tip into the middle of a seam helps to open and flatten it out.
- Because irons get hotter the longer you use them, iron lightweight items needing little heat first. You can iron heavier items with deeper wrinkles later.
- Practice makes for speed, so group similar garments together and let yourself get faster as you go.
- Sometimes it helps to start with clothes that require more complex ironing. That way, when the task becomes tiring, all that will be left are the easier items.
- Take more care ironing the parts of a garment that need to look good longer, like the collar and cuffs. You can also spend less time on parts that won’t be seen, like shirttails.
Be careful with heavier garments
- Dark-coloured garments can take on a shine after being ironed.
- To check how the garment will react, turn it inside out and press one of the thicker areas where it’s not likely to be seen. If the iron feels like it’s sticking to the fabric, or develops a shine, proceed with caution.
- Use a very low heat setting and a very light touch to remove wrinkles. Also, try pressing the garment from the inside to avoid leaving marks on the fabric.
As new materials and fabrics come to market, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the best ironing techniques and tricks. After you’ve had a refresher in ironing, you can get clothes look their best, and help them last much longer.