Next to the sewing machine, the iron is one of the most used tools when making quilts, garments or home décor. If you are doing anything with fabric, you are going to use an iron.
Here are our favorite basic ironing and pressing tips:
1. Iron with straight, back and forth strokes. Ironing with a circular motion can stretch out your fabrics.
2. Wait for the iron to heat up completely before you use the steam feature. If the iron is not heated it could drip water on your materials.
3. To iron embroidery, applique or other raised designs, cover your ironing board with a towel and lay the fabric face down, then iron.
4. Regularly clean your iron to prevent marks on your materials, and for better performance. You can find hot iron cleaners in the notions department.
5. Pressing is different than ironing. When ironing you are moving the iron back and forth, to press you will lift the iron up and put it back down. Pressing will prevent the fabrics from stretching.
7. Press seams in garments from the right side of the fabric, with the iron running parallel to the straight of grain to avoid pressing tucks into the seam.
8. Press bias seams with the iron at an angle to the seam so that you are pressing along the straight of grain. This will help to prevent stretching.
9. To hold pleats in place while ironing or pressing, use paper clips or clothespins.
10. Test your iron settings on a small scrap of fabric, or in an inconspicuous place to make sure the fabric can accept heat and steam.
If you would like to learn more about irons, and ironing equipment we recommend this video from Threads Magazine “Pressing Equipment 101”