Help and advice

How to iron a shirt properly

Ironing is one of those household chores that nobody seems to like, but it has to be done if you want to make sure you look as sharp and smart as possible.
Shirts can be particularly difficult to iron and unless you develop a technique that works well, it's actually easy to leave the garment looking even more of a mess than it was when you started.

Fortunately, by following the below tips and advice you can improve your ironing skills.

Getting ready

If you're desperately pressing a shirt as you rush to get out of the door to get to work on time, then the chances are you aren't going to do a very good job.

It's understandable that ironing gets left to the last possible moment as nobody likes doing it, but by planning ahead and making sure you give yourself enough time, you'll make life easier.

Get your iron prepped for action and make sure you have plenty of space and places to hang up clothes as you iron them. There's no point ironing clothes if you're then going to throw them down in a pile.

The technique

With your pile of freshly laundered shirts next to you, your board set up and your iron steamed and ready for action, you are finally good to go.

Start with the collar and work from the outside in. The back of the shirt should be next. Lay out the shirt flat and ensure there are no major wrinkles in it before you start pressing. Iron evenly and in the same direction to get the smoothest possible surface.

Sleeves are where it can easily go wrong, so do not rush this part as you can easily ruin a shirt if you get it wrong. Begin with the cuff of the shirt and again, ensure there are no big wrinkles present as you will only succeed in ironing them deeper into the fabric.

After the cuff, lay the sleeve out flat on your ironing board and work your way down from the seam to the cuff. After both sleeves are done, you can do the body of the shirt. Go half by half and be careful around the collar as it is easy to go wrong here.

Spray bottle

One handy hint for ironing beginners is to keep a spray bottle of water close by when you are starting an ironing session. If you do manage to iron a big wrinkle into the fabric, give it a quick spray with the water bottle, wait a minute or two for it to dry a little bit and iron it out - it's that simple.

Obviously, you need to keep the iron moving steadily and smoothly whenever you are ironing as you can easily burn through the fabric if you leave the appliance pressed to your clothes for longer than a few seconds.
Make sure the board is set up at a comfortable height for you as well. Most people hate ironing as it is so uncomfortable, but if your board is at about waist height it should be easier for you.

If all else fails and you still find ironing shirts to be an impossible endeavour, you can always wear a jumper over the top!


© Axonn 2015