Background and Identification ¶
A clothing iron is named for the metal of which the device is commonly made, and the use of it is generally called ironing. Ironing works by loosening the ties between the long chains of molecules that exist in polymer fiber materials. With the heat and the weight of the ironing plate, the fibers are stretched and the fabric maintains its new shape when cool.
Some materials, such as cotton, require the use of water to loosen the intermolecular bonds. Many materials developed in the twentieth century are advertised as needing little or no ironing.
- Flatiron or smoothing iron
- Sad iron or sadiron
- Box iron, ironing box, charcoal iron, ox-tongue iron or slug iron
- Goose, tailor's goose or, in Scottish, gusing iron