How to Iron a Shirt

Ironing clothes is one of those household chores that has been around since the first wrinkle was ever noticed and it bothered someone. Early cultures used whatever was on hand to try to smooth out their garments, from stones, wood, and even glass. The Chinese were the first to use heated metal to iron clothes, but it wasn’t until 1882 that the first electric iron appeared, created by an inventor named Howard Seeley. Since then the electric iron has become a common item in any household.

Ironing can be tricky, especially when it comes to shirts. You have to have the iron at the right setting and use the proper equipment. If you don’t, your shirt will end up with more wrinkles than when you started. If you have a nice shirt but are afraid to apply the old flat iron to it, here are some handy instructions to make sure you do a crisp job without burning a hole through it.

This is how to iron a shirt:

Tools Needed

You are going to need just a few basic items to iron a shirt. You won’t get very far without these. The good news is these are investments that you can use for years to come.

Electric Iron – There are many brands of irons on the market and some are more costly than others. Whatever iron you use, just make sure it has several settings for different types of clothing.

Ironing Board – You have to use an ironing board. Don’t try to use the kitchen table. Ironing boards come in different widths but all have a cushion on them to help smooth out the shirt. Most have fold-out legs but a few sit down on the floor.

Spray Starch – Starch is a handy spray that makes your shirts crisp-looking and firmly pressed. Starch makes your shirt stiff and less likely to wrinkle as it is worn.

Spray Bottle With Water – Some electric irons come with a water reservoir that you can fill and spray on your clothing as you iron it. If it doesn’t, you can get a simple spray bottle and do the same thing.

Know Your Settings

Different materials require different heat. Delicate materials like silk require low heat. Heavier garments made of cotton blends or wool require higher heat. The idea is to make sure you use the right setting with the right material or you risk burning the shirt. Always check the label on the shirt for instructions on proper care. It will tell you what the shirt is made from and possibly what settings to use when ironing. Common materials are cotton, polyester, rayon, nylon, and silk. And if it says dryclean only, take it to the drycleaners.

How To Iron A Shirt

How to Iron a Shirt

How to Iron a Shirt

Before you apply a hot iron to your favorite shirt, set up your ironing board. Choose a clean spot with plenty of light. You need to be able to see what you are doing, and you don’t want dirt floating around while you work. If you need to, sweep before you iron.

Set up the ironing board so that it is nice and sturdy. If your floor is uneven and the board wobbles, it will make ironing difficult. If you are right-handed, put the wide end of the board to your right and the narrow end to your left. Make sure the height is right for you. If not, adjust the legs until it is at a comfortable level. You want to be standing at the middle of the ironing board and able to reach both ends.

Plug in the iron and turn it to the right setting (according to the shirt’s label). Leave the iron standing on its end for a moment and allow it to reach the proper temperature. If the iron isn’t heated properly, you’ll be wasting your time.

Shirts are more easily ironed if the shirt is still damp from the wash. If it has been sitting in the bottom of your closet and is dry and wrinkled, you will need to spray it with the water either from the iron’s reservoir or from the spray bottle. If you want to use starch, put the shirt on a hanger and spray the entire shirt. The more starch you use, the stiffer the shirt will be when you are done.

You should start with the collar. Put the back of the collar against the board and carefully run the iron over it a few times. When you are done, flip the collar over and iron the other side.

Iron the sleeves next. Take one of the sleeves and stretch the back part over the tip of the ironing board. Iron the back of the sleeve first. You will probably have to stretch the sleeve with your free hand to make sure you don’t iron any wrinkles into it. After that, iron the front part of the sleeve. Stretch it over the tip of the board just like before and iron it the same way. Once you are done with one sleeve, repeat the process to the other one. As you iron, you might find it easier to iron in different directions to keep from making wrinkles.

After you have the sleeves looking nice and pressed, it’s time for the front of the shirt. Take the front half of the shirt and place it over the board. Begin at the shoulder and work your way down, always moving the iron in the same direction. You should never stop the iron. It should always be moving. If the iron stops for too long in one spot, you’ll scorch the shirt. Once you have finished with the front half of the shirt, turn the shirt over and iron the back of it in the same manner.

As you iron, be sure to use the spray bottle or the water in your iron if needed. Damp works better than dry, because you want to create steam. If your shirt dries out while you iron it, spray it again. Also, make sure you iron the section down the front with the button holes. This section is notorious for wrinkles and can ruin the look of a nicely ironed shirt.

After you have ironed the entire shirt, place it on a hanger. Button up the collar so that it hangs nice and straight,t then put it up somewhere with enough space around it so it doesn’t get wrinkled. You don’t want to have to go through the entire process again.

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