How to Iron a Shirt
by Household Essentials • July 08, 2016
We've covered how to open an ironing board, and how to clean an ironing board cover. Now, we're taking on the basics of how to actually iron a shirt.
Prep: Iron Temp and AccessoriesUse the lowest temperature that releases wrinkles in the fabric. Check the material of the shirt and find the corresponding setting on your iron (many irons have gone away from a number dial and to a word dial specific to textile fibers). Natural fibers, like linen and cotton, can withstand higher temps. Synthetic fibers, like polyester or rayon, require lower temperatures. For blends, like poly cotton, start with the lower temperature and gradually increase until you find the right heat (you've got the right heat when the wrinkles actually disappear).
EXPERT TIP: Use an iron cover to diffuse heat over delicate fabrics (like silk), fabric decals (sequins, beading, etc.), and screen printing (Go Cards!). If you don't have a cover, lay a thin piece of cotton over the fabric as a heat shield.
Spot test your temp on the inside of the shirt, somewhere least likely to be seen (usually near a hem). Check to make sure the iron doesn't leave the fabric shiny or discolored, both of which indicate your iron is too hot. If there's some shine, lower the iron temperature, wait a few minutes, and spot test again!
Lightly spritz wrinkled clothes with water before ironing or use a steam iron. The steam will help release set-in wrinkles.
Step 1: The CollarStart with the underside of the collar. Iron from the center out to avoid creasing. Flip and repeat on the other side.
Hook one shoulder over the round tip (called the nose) of the ironing board. Start at the yoke (where the collar meets the arm) and move to the center of the back. Repeat with the other shoulder.
Step 2: The Yoke and Shoulders
Step 3: Cuffs and SleevesLay one sleeve flat with the buttons or cuff link holes facing up. Flip and iron the outside of the cuff. Then iron the sleeve, starting on the button side. Repeat with the other sleeve.
Step 4: The BodyIron the front panels first. Flip and iron the back panel. Be careful to iron between the buttons and not over them as doing so can cause the buttons to break. Touch up the collar and presto! You've ironed a shirt.
Of course, hang freshly pressed clothing to keep them wrinkle free (or, after they've cooled, fold them neatly). Follow this same pattern for any shirt: neck, shoulders, sleeves, body, touch-up, and you'll have that finished, polished look of a well-kept wardrobe.