Therapeutic or chore? Ironing is one of those household jobs that is a REAL chore to some and quite therapeutic to others. My Father still insists on doing all the ironing (because it gives him a chance to get away from everyone and watch the tv!) shame my husband doesn't take after him! Unlike my Father I avoid it to the extent I'll buy clothing based on how much ironing it will require so no, I have no linen items in my wardrobe! Whether you love it or hate though it's difficult to avoid completely (a bit like the washing up I mentioned last week) so I've got some top tips to make it as quick and enjoyable as possible.
The items we have to iron the most and the most difficult to iron are shirts and blouses. Whether it's your kid's school shirts or your work shirts/blouses you often don't end up with a good result.... so how do you iron cotton shirts & blouses to get a perfect finish?
Putting on a beautifully ironed garment is a pleasure. Pressing the item can also be a pleasure & not a chore. First rule of ironing is to let the iron & the ironing board do as much of the work as possible. Heat & steam will do most of job for you. Use a good sized ironing board preferably with thick underlay.
A quality steam iron with a good anti-calc function to prevent build up of scale in the iron. If necessary use a limescale remover on the iron to ensure you don't mark your clothes. We have new and very easy to use tablets the Kilrock Multi Appliance Descaler Tablets. No need to unwrap tablet, just drop it in bringing washing detergent innovation to descaling!
Have a water sprayer, an ironing pad & ironing cloth to hand for use with delicate fabrics. You may have heard your grandmother mentioning the 'lay' of the shirt because they always seem experts in this area, but every garment as it's own 'lay' & getting the shirt onto the ironing board will ensure a perfect result every time.
Undo all the buttons on the garment & remove any collar stays. Ensure the iron is at the correct temperature too hot & you could damage the item, too cool & you will make extra work for yourself !
There are no rules as to the sequence of ironing a shirt but my preference is to begin with the yoke followed by the sleeves & then onto the main body of the garment leaving the collar to last as that is generally considered the most important part of the look of the shirt. If you like that very crisp and fresh look to your shirts use a Spray Starch the Dylon Spray Starch contains silicone for ea sier ironing and improves fabrics' resistance to dirt & wear.
If possible remove the garment from the tumble dryer whilst it is still slightly damp. Always use a water sprayer with a fine spray onto all shirts before ironing. If you like to wear shirts with razor sharp creases in the sleeves this can be achieved if you first hold the sleeve at each end by the seam & lay the sleeve flat smooth out any wrinkles. Begin with the back of the sleeve. Iron the cuffs on the inside & avoid any puckering. Iron into the sleeve from the cuff to remove any creases. Then turn the sleeve over to just lightly finish off the razor sharp crease.
Next press the main body of the shirt, usually on the inside first & not directly onto the buttons as this can make them brittle. Iron the facing on the inside of the buttonhole panel & then the rest of the front. Go around the buttons with the point of the iron. Press the back of the shirt working up to the main pleat but do not iron it flat.
Finally press the collar on the inside. Iron from the collar points to prevent any puckering.
Hang the garment on to a good quality hanger with the correct shape this can be when all your previous work is ruined! We have a variety of shirt hangers the Deluxe Woodlore Aromatic Cedar Wood Shirt Hangers infused with Lavender will give a great result, protect your shirts and smell wonderful.
Fasten the top two buttons & the bottom button to let the garment dry & hang properly. Items such as an Over Door Hanger is particularly useful when ironing. You may choose to use a Linen Spray when ironing, such as the Heathcote & Ivory Rose Linen Spray which will give your garments a wonderful aroma.
Of course we all have our own solutions for doing the ironing I find the job much more enjoyable when using a fun cover, with great designs in the Ironing Board Cover Range, such as my favourite the New STRAWBERRIES Design 100% Cotton Ironing Board Cover. With my Strawberries cover and other ironing tools I'm taking a tip from my Father and doing my ironing in front of Wimbledon! All that's left to do is admire a perfectly ironed garment!