Technique: Press and Iron Fabrics
Patagonia and iFixit are celebrating the stories we wear by collaborating to provide guides for Patagonia's most popular apparel repairs.
Follow these steps when you need to press and iron your clothing.
- Author: Brittany McCrigler
- Time estimate: 10 - 15 minutes
- Difficulty: Easy
The techniques of pressing and ironing are often used interchangeably. Both use an iron, but each is a different technique. Ironing is the action of sliding the iron over fabric or a seam. Pressing involves resting the iron directly onto the fabric or seam, holding the iron in place, and then pulling it away. In pressing, there’s no sliding motion. Pressing protects delicate or loosely woven fabrics (such as silk or linen) from getting distorted while removing wrinkles. The ironing motion removes wrinkles from stable fabrics and proves particularly useful on large, single-layered fabrics.Once you’ve decided whether to press or iron your fabric, you’ll need to decide whether or not to steam the fabric as you proceed. Try a dry iron first, and only steam when there’s a stubborn wrinkle. Before steaming, be sure you’re using a fabric that won’t be harmed with water.
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Lay your wrinkly fabric or garment onto the ironing table.
Make sure there is only one layer of fabric on the ironing board.
Don't start ironing directly on the seam you want to flatten. Start on the fabric next to the seam. Bring the iron onto the fabric and then slide over the seam.
When ironing a seam, flip the project inside out so the seam is visible.
Slide the fabric over the end of the ironing board, seam side up, so that only one layer of the fabric is ironed at a time.
Using the same technique as above, work in one direction over the seam, ironing it flat.
Work up the seam until the whole seam lays flat.