Ironing clothes is one of those tasks that has a tendency to be a bit terrifying, but worry not, it just seems overly complicated. Here, we'll break it down into the three simplest, most common cases: Shirts, pants, and skirts. Some fabric types might need special attention, but other than that it's all pretty much the same.
What You'll Need:
- A clean iron (without rust or burnt starch, because that ruins clothes!)
- An ironing board
- A bit of water, preferably in a spray bottle
- Some light starch if you like to use it
Yes, an ironing board really is necessary. "Any old flat surface" can do in a pinch, but that's more of an emergency measure than anything else. Ironing boards are specially made to make the job easier, but more than that, they're wrapped in special material that's not only flame retardant, but also breathable so that steam is able to escape from underneath the item you're ironing.
1.1 Business Shirts
Please watch the video below:
Ironing shirts is quicker and easier than you might think. It should only take an average of three minutes to properly iron a shirt, and that's doing it the right way.
It's best to start with the sleeves, since they'll be just fine hanging off the sides of the ironing board while you finish the rest of the shirt. Doing it the other way around, and leaving the sleeves for last, will end up causing wrinkles in other parts of the shirt that you've already ironed.
Open the cuffs! This is something that many ironing newcomers get wrong all the time, but it's not just easier to open the cuffs and lay them flat, but it lets you do a better job ironing the whole sleeve, too.
When doing the collar of the shirt, make sure you open it up and lay it flat. Just like the cuffs, people tend to think that this is opposite of what they should do, since they're used to seeing the collar in the down position at all times.
Afterwards, let the shirt hang for a few minutes to fully cool down. Ironing heats the fabric to a very high relative temperature, and the "flatness" actually sets in during the cooldown phase.
Please watch the video below:
There's a reason people say "press" instead of "iron" for pants. Even though you'll still be using an iron, it's gentle pressure and steam that are going to do the work, not so much the motion and heat of the iron itself.
If you've lost your main crease, finding it again is easy. Just lay the pants flat on the ironing board, and line up the seams of the leg to match. The crease is as far from those seams as the fabric goes.
The crease should go all the way up the leg, stopping at about six inches below the waist. If there are pleats, then the crease can go all the way to the pleat. Always set the front crease first.
For most skirts, it's as simple as starting at the top and working your way down. An exception would be for skirts that flare out suddenly at the bottom, with what are called "flounces." For flounced skirts, you'd want to start at the bottom, and iron each flounce first, then work your way up toward the waist. Basically, skirts are just plain easy—you just need to be careful about the fabric.
2.0 Use the Right Heat for the Right Fabrics
When ironing acetate, use a low temperature setting and no steam. Turn the fabric inside out to prevent shine marks.
When ironing acrylic, turn the fabric inside out, set the temperature to a low setting and do not use any steam. Use a spray if necessary. Make sure to iron the fabric while it is completely dry, so it doesn’t stretch out of shape
When ironing corduroy, turn the garment inside out and use a heavy ironing cloth. Then, use your hand to smooth the fabric.
Iron cotton while the fabric is still damp, or pre-moisten it with a spray bottle. Set the temperature to a high setting and use steam for stubborn wrinkles and creases.
Iron cotton-blends on low heat and use steam. Iron the garment inside out or place a press cloth, such as a clean cotton handkerchief or fabric scrap, between the iron and the fabric to prevent iron marks and shine.
Iron denim on the highest heat setting and use steam. Use starch for crisp, neatly creased fabric.
Iron linen garments inside out or place a press cloth, such as a clean cotton handkerchief or fabric scrap, between the iron and the fabric to prevent shine. Always iron linen while the fabric is still damp, or pre-moisten it with a spray bottle. Use spray-on starch or fabric sizing for collars, cuffs or any other areas that you want to make crisp.
When ironing nylon, use the lowest temperature setting on the iron and place a press cloth, such as a clean cotton handkerchief or fabric scrap, between the iron and the fabric. If necessary, convert to the “Steamer” function to gently remove wrinkles from nylon.
When ironing polyester, make sure the fabric is slightly damp, or pre-moisten it with a spray bottle. Set the temperature to low or medium heat. Start ironing at the top and work your way down the garment, pressing firmly on the creases and re-wetting them if necessary.
When ironing rayon, turn the garment inside out, set the temperature to low heat and don’t use any steam. Iron one small area at a time to avoid stretching.
Iron silk while the fabric is still damp, or pre-moisten it with a spray bottle. Turn the garment inside out before ironing, and set the temperature to the lowest heat setting. Place a press cloth, such as a clean cotton handkerchief or fabric scrap, between the iron and the fabric to prevent shine.
Iron viscose while the fabric is still damp, or pre-moisten it with a spray bottle. Set the temperature to the lowest setting and use a dry iron unless otherwise noted on the tag. Place a press cloth, such as a clean cotton handkerchief or fabric scrap, between the iron and the fabric to prevent shine.
Wool & Wool-Blends
Iron wool and wool-blends on low heat and use steam (ironing wool while it is dry can damage the fabric). Turn the garment inside out to prevent iron marks and shine.
Drapes can easily be steamed using the Vertical Shot of Steam® feature while hanging in place. Start at the top and continue down in a straight line. Steaming your drapes on a regular basis can help eliminate spots, odors and wrinkles.
- Always use an electric iron with an ironing board.
- Never attempt to iron or stream fabrics while they are being worn.
- Never iron clothing on the floor or bed, as there is rarely a safe place to rest the iron.
- Do not attempt to us an iron for any purpose other than for ironing clothes.
- Never touch the soleplate of an iron
- Never leave an iron soleplate down on an ironing board, always rest the iron upright
- Never leave the iron's electrical cord hanging over a trafficked area. The cord will represent a trip hazard and the hot iron could land on someone if the cord is pulled.
- If there is any damage to the cord, do not use the iron as this could lead to an electric shock.
- Keep the cord away from hot surfaces at all time.
Iron and Water
- Do not immerse an iron in water, due to risk of electric shock.
- When you are filling a steam iron with water, remember to disconnect the iron from the outlet.
- Be careful when turning a filled iron upside-down, as there may be hot water in the reservoir.
Children & Animals
- Ironing in an area where children are represents a whole set of issues since children might not be aware of the danger involved in touching an iron.
- Never use an iron away from an ironing board as young children are less likely to be able to reach the iron when it is high on a board.
- Never leave a hot iron unattended when children are nearby.
- Iron soleplates are hot, take care to ensure that the iron never touches you and you don’t touch the iron.
- Ensure the iron is stable on the ironing board, if it drops or falls you risk burning the carpet.
- Never try to catch a falling hot iron, you will burn yourself.