If you need to look your best, but are still not sure how to iron clothing, you’d do well to prepare yourself and research ahead of time. Learning the right guidelines to iron your clothes properly will save you time, frustration and possible damage of your clothing.
Following are some of the most important steps to remember when ironing your best clothes. With the right instruction and enough practice, you may eventually know how to iron the clothes that your friends and family have been ironing the wrong way.
Align Your Garment Correctly
Though it may seem like it goes without saying, one of the first mistakes people make when ironing is failing to align their clothes properly with the ironing board. This will lead to uneven flatness or unwanted creases.
Why would you take the time to heat up your iron and take out your ironing board if you won’t actually iron your clothes thoroughly? Start by unbuttoning your shirts, blouses or pants if necessary.
Then place the garment on the ironing board evenly by folding it or covering just what will fit and ironing the next segments later.
Make Sure It’s Iron-Safe
Before even taking out your ironing board, make sure the garment you plan to iron is actually safe to use under direct heat. This is another step you’d assume would go without mentioning, but many people fail to check this before beginning to iron.
Check the label of your garment to see if you should avoid placing it under a hot metal plate. If you can’t use an iron with your clothing, you may need to have it dry cleaned. You may even be able to steam your item yourself. Using a steamer instead is essentially like using a steam iron standing up vertically.
Take Your Time
If you have checked that it is safe, go ahead and steam iron clothes for the quickest results. Unless you have a mountain of clothes to tackle, ironing should be a quick process, but you should still take your time.
This doesn’t necessarily mean to go slowly, but you should have your full attention on the garment in order to stay focused on each crevice of your item.
Avoid leaving the iron in one spot for too long, or you may find yourself leaving burn marks. You can make quick strides across small areas of the garment, and work your way to the other end of the fabric.
Use Products Carefully
Depending on the garment, your clothes may not need any extra products or chemicals to help keep them straight. Many people prefer to use spray starch to make and keep crisp creases in their pants, but it can also be used for shirts and other attire.
Some people may use products to enhance the feel or fragrance of their clothing, but all products should be used only as needed and applied evenly across the garment. Using more than the necessary amount of any chemical product can lead to build-up on your iron or clothes and increase the chances of scorching.
Keep the Garment Taut
Knowing how to iron clothes properly goes far beyond steaming and gliding. To make the process easier in addition to improving your results, you should pull the clothing taut as you come closer to edges and ends. These places include the collar, sleeves and opening of the garment.
Leaving the ends of the clothing loose under your iron may cause you to create new wrinkles that were not previously present. You’ll then set the wrinkles if the iron glides over them. To prevent this, you must straighten the fabric as the iron comes in contact with these areas.
Utilize the Iron’s Shape
Irons are made with a tapered tip for a reason. This tip allows you to get in the nooks and crannies of a garment that would be hard to reach if the entire plate was shaped like a square or rectangle. The narrowing tip can slip under collars, around sleeves and in-between rows of buttons.
Use this to your advantage. The more you put this feature of the iron to use, the more you’ll learn to appreciate it. In doing so, you may even come up with new ironing techniques to simplify or expedite your tasks.
Iron in Individual Sections
If you’re in a rush, you may be tempted to run the iron over your shirt or across your pants in one swoop. Instead of ironing garments as a whole, it’s better to iron each section on its own. This means, if you have a shirt, you should take the time to go over each component of the shirt by itself.
Iron the sides, back, shoulders, sleeves, collar and any other section you identify one-by-one. This will provide you with much better-looking results in addition to decreasing your likelihood of having missed any hidden wrinkles.
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Reinforce Folds and Pleats
Even if your pants or shirts come with folded cuffs, collars, pleats or pockets, they still need to be ironed. Ironing will help reinforce their shape and make sure they don’t fall loose during the day.
Though these areas are harder to iron due to being raised, you should still flatten them as much as possible. Even if you don’t glide the iron across, you should try to hold the iron over these areas for 3 to 5 seconds.
Tips to Remember:
- Spray starch is helpful for making crisp creases and holding the shape of your garments, but be sure to apply it evenly over your garment.
- Instead of trying to cover the entire item in a rush, make repeated and gradual movements toward the end of the fabric.
- Pull clothing taut to help prevent setting in wrinkles from the looseness of the fabric.
- Use the tapered shape of the iron to get into tight spots.
- Give individual attention to each section of the garment in order to get the best results.