Teach Me To (series)

Teach Me To Iron

teach me to iron

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What do morning air, celery, dollar bills, and clothing have in common? They’re all better when crisp. Just like wilted celery on a tray of appetizers makes an impression, so does wilted clothing on a person. It’s not a positive one.

In this era of casual fashions for every occasion, it seems there’s been a collective rejection of smoothly ironed material. Rumpled is good enough. Ripped is fine, too. But every once in a while, you notice a woman who looks extra put-together, but you can’t put your finger on what it is. Chances are, her clothes were pressed with an iron. 

Chemically infused permanent press fabrics have come a long way since their introduction in the 1940s, and they’ve made ironing much less of a chore. But I’ve never come across the “permanent press” blouse, shirt, or slacks that didn’t need some help with an iron. The absence of wrinkles does not equate to the presence of crisp. If crisp and polished is the look you want, here are The absence of wrinkles does not equate to the presence of crisp. #@RowentaUSA Click To Tweet


  • Make sure your iron and ironing board are clean. It’s the pits to transfer gunk or stain onto a clean shirt.
  • Use an ironing board. You can take a shortcut and use your bed for an ironing board; but because the bed is unstable, you run the very great risk of a hot iron tipping over on your arm while you’re adjusting your garment. It hurts and leaves a scar. (Guess how I know.)
  • Set your iron to the proper heat setting for your garment. Don’t simply crank it to the highest setting thinking more is better. It can be disastrous. If you have several items of various materials to iron, begin with the one that requires the lowest temperature and progress upwards from there.
  • For blouses/shirts: Iron sleeves first – they provide tension for the rest of the garment while hanging over the sides and are not re-wrinkled themselves. Iron collar spread open, not folded over. Iron front plackets (the material facing inward, underneath buttons and buttonholes.) This will also press the outward-facing material – which is a challenge with those buttons. Use a bit of spray starch if you’re an overachiever. It smells lovely and helps preserve your ironing efforts. Immediately hang the shirt on a hanger to cool and set the pressing. This is also when you fold the collar over.
  • For slacks: Begin by ironing inside pockets. You don’t want a lump on top of your thigh. Align and stack inseams and side seams and press creases a layer at a time. Finally, hang the slacks by the waistband, allowing gravity to help set the creases as they cool. I beg you not to iron creases in blue jeans. Just, no.
  • Miscellaneous: If your husband uses handkerchiefs, iron them into neat, pocket-sized squares. It takes 30 seconds, and your husband will enjoy a delighted moment when colleagues notice. (“That’s right. My wife irons my handkerchiefs.”) Also, iron and lightly starch pillowcases and the top hem of the flat sheet for your guest room. It’s a luxury touch. Good-smelling and crisp!

For Best Results

  • Use a professional grade iron for professional grade results. That doesn’t mean you a need top-of-the-line, expensive iron. I recommend and use * this Rowenta model. It does a fabulous job and is only about $75. Seamstresses and quilters prefer Rowenta irons for their quality, precision, and ease of use.

*This is an affiliate link. I receive a small commission for purchases made through this link. This is a product I purchased myself, use, and enthusiastically recommend.

teach me to iron