Here are some tips to help you tackle your ironing before it builds up. Below are some things to consider to give you the best results.
- Use your bedroom as your main ironing hub. This way, you’ll minimise the time taking your clothes from one room to another and you’ll have the benefit of being able to hang items up straight away.
- The most effective way of ironing is to iron clothes needing the lowest temperature first progressing to a higher temperature. I.e wool to cotton.
- If your ironing board is not covered with a metallic cover which reflects the heat, place a sheet of aluminium foil under your cover.
- Over time, and depending on the material, some items may take on ‘shine’ when ironed. To prevent this, iron the item on the wrong side by turning it inside out. This works well with items made of wool such as suits, dresses and skirts.
- You will often find that some materials stretch out of shape when ironed. The only way to tackle this is to iron in sections allowing each area to dry completely before tackling the next area.
- Ironing corduroy material has been a dilemma for years. The general verdict is that it’s best done when with steam by holding the ironing (on highest temperature on the steam setting) over the item and pressing the steam function for a good 20-30 seconds. Once cooled, flatten with your hand in the direction of the weave. Some recommend ironing the material inside out and laying a piece of material on top (such as a clean tea towel) and then ironing with the steam.
- Double thickness fabrics are best tackled inside out first, then moving to the outside.
Shirts & Tie
- A crisp and freshly pressed shirt always looks impressive, but it is something that is quite hard to achieve.
- Sleeves: Should you be without a sleeve board, roll-up a towel and insert in the sleeves so that they can be ironed without creases.
- Collars, cuffs and hems: Ensure you iron these on the ‘wrong’ side first.
- Crisp finish: Using starch to give a good finish has been used for decades and is easily made by gradually adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 2 cups of water and then decanting into a clean spray bottle. Gently spray fabrics while ironing.
- A creased tie can raise all sorts of questions, especially a silk one. A common trick is to place a piece of cardboard inside the tie (cut to the shape). Then adjust the temperature of your ironing according to the fabric and place a light piece of cotton over the top and steam iron lightly.
Awkward pleats and embroidery
- Ironing pleats can often result in more creases that you started with. A good idea is to secure the pleats with paper clips avoiding ironing over these as they may leave a mark on the fabric and may lead to snagging.
- Delicate embroidery is best ironing face down on a thick towel to avoid unnecessary snagging and flattening.
And remember, as a general rule it is best to keep the most recently ironed surfaces away from you to prevent wrinkles.