Style Dilemma: How can I iron my nice clothes without damaging them?

Style Solution:  You’re right that a wrinkled, messy look isn’t very stylish.  To avoid it, choose the right pressing equipment and follow these simple, time-saving tips:

The ideal iron produces a good volume of steam, has a sole plate that glides easily and feels comfortable – not too heavy – in your hand.  The Rowenta Effective Comfort DW2070 meets those criteria at an affordable $50 – about a third the price of their top model.  It gives you burst of steam feature, steams in a vertical position too and has automatic shut-off.

pressing cloth

 

Protect delicate fabrics by placing a pressing cloth between the garment and the iron to guard against melting or scorching.  Use a cloth handkerchief or order a “real” one at NancysNotions.com (not me.)  I like the see-thru type better than the heavier ones.

 

 

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Another option is to cover the soleplate of your iron with IronSafe – a protective non-stick cover that attaches right to the iron itself.  That’ also available at NancysNotions.com.

If you’ve machine washed your garment, be sure not to cram the dryer too full.  Giving clothes room to move freely minimizes wrinkling.  So does removing them promptly at the end of the cycle.

If you accidentally leave things in the dryer too long, add  a damp towel and run the dryer for about 10 more minutes. The towel will release steam and remove – or at least minimize – set-in wrinkles. 

If you won’t have time for ironing right away, remove  garments from the dryer slightly damp, roll them and store in a plastic bag in the freezer. They’ll stay fresh until you’re ready to iron.

Set iron temperature based on the most delicate fiber in the fabric blend.  In a polyester/cotton shirt, for example, set the iron at the lower setting for polyester, not the higher setting for cotton.

Take special care with knits.  Avoid stretching by lifting the iron slightly rather than pushing it across the garment.  For thicker knits like sweaters, keep the iron lifted and simply glide it just above the fabric surface, letting the steam do the work. If necessary, use your palm to smooth out any tough wrinkles as the fabric area cools.

Fabrics with surface texture – embroidery, beading, etc. – should be ironed from the back side.  Placing a soft towel underneath will cushion the decorative element so it isn’t flattened.

Don’t iron plush fabrics like velvet (which is seldom washable) or velour.  Use the sweater technique above, or hang the garment and use the vertical steam feature or your Jiffy Steamer to remove wrinkles from the backing fabric without flattening the pile (the fuzzy surface) on the right side.  Steaming will also raise the pile in areas where it may have been flattened

NOTE: You can also use your dryer to shrink clothes back into shape without laundering.  For baggy knees in jeans and stretched-out sweater cuffs, spritz the affected area  with water or squeeze it between layers of a wet hand towel.  Ten minutes in the dryer  will usually return the item to its original shape.

Find extensive details about clothing care and wardrobe development in LOOKING GOOD … Every Day.

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About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.

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