Picture this: You stepped out of the shower, got all dressed up, and checked yourself out in the mirror – only to be greeted by the sight of wrinkles on your outfit of the day. As much as you would like to pretend they don’t exist, wrinkled clothes are way too visible to ignore. Ironing clothes is not your forte? No worries. This seemingly tedious chore is actually an essential life skill. We have rounded up some easy tips to take the hassle out of ironing.
#1 Know Your Ironing Appliance
When it comes to ironing, you’re either Team Steam Iron or Team Garment Steamer. The differences? A steam iron transfers heat from its hot plate surface to clothes that are placed on a sturdy ironing board. Steam iron is great for pressing shirts and trousers. It glides easily on smooth fabrics, but ironing out sleeves, pleats, and ruffles can be tricky. Price-wise, it’s affordable (depending on the brand), thus steam iron is favoured by many. Meanwhile, a garment steamer utilises hot steam to eliminate wrinkles by relaxing the fibers in clothes. The steam wand doesn’t come into contact with the clothes, hence minimising the chance of accidental burns. Garment steamer is suitable for hard-to-iron fabrics such as suits, satin, polyester, and silk. Unlike steam iron, it works wonders on sleeves, pleats, and ruffles. However, it’s at a higher price point. Plus, garment steamer doesn’t deliver the crisp look (e.g. on shirts) because the creases cannot be pressed.
#2 Types of Clothes
Different clothes require different methods of ironing. Let us break it down for you.
- Start with the sleeves. If you were to do the sleeves last, you may end up wrinkling other parts of your freshly-pressed shirt.
- Unbutton the cuffs, then lay them out flat. Begin from the inside of the cuff by ironing from the edges towards the middle. Never iron over the buttons – navigate carefully around the button area instead.
- Open up the collar and lay it flat before you iron it.
- Don’t put on your just-ironed shirt straightaway. Let it hang for several minutes to let the “flatness” sets in. Otherwise, the shirt may lose its crispness.
- Don’t push the iron across the trousers. Press it by picking up the iron and putting it down. Let the gentle pressure and steam do the hard work.
- Lost the main crease while ironing? Simply put it on the ironing board and align the seams of the leg to match. The crease is as distant from the seams as the fabric goes.
- Press the front crease first. The crease has to go all the way up the leg and stop at approximately 6 inches below the waist.
- Begin from the top of the skirt and work your way down.
- For skirts with flared bottom, start from the bottom of the skirt. Iron out the flounce before you move up towards the waistband.
#3 Select the Right Heat Setting
Some fabrics are more delicate than others. Using the wrong heat setting on the wrong fabric could ruin your outfits. An iron’s temperature takes time to change after you have adjusted the heat setting. Ensure the iron has reached the ideal temperature by looking at the indicator light before you start ironing.
- Low heat: Silk and polyester.
- Medium heat: Wool and rayon.
- High heat: Cotton and linen.
#4 Keep a Spray Bottle Handy
Trust us, you’re going to need it. Water helps in getting the steam deeper into fabric and decreasing the risk of hot iron burning the fabric. Got stubborn wrinkles that you can’t seem to get rid of? Spritz some water on the wrinkled area, then iron them out.
Ironing keeps clothes looking better for longer. Apply the correct methods and you’ll be ironing like a pro. If time isn’t on your side (and your budget permits), drop off your clothes at your local laundry lockers and self-service laundry for professional ironing service.