Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to iron a shirt

There are several ways to handle a good dress shirt, but if you want to look really sharp and professional, you're going to have to learn how to iron that sucker. I could go through the steps one by one here, but a) I've got more important stuff to do today and b) it's really one of those things that's easier to learn by visual example. So I'm turning it over to a video how-to expert.

Here's one after my own heart:

Or if that isn't your style, you can just scan YouTube for your favorite tutorial instead.

A couple of random observations to aid you in your task:
  • Make sure the sole plate of your iron (the hot part that touches the shirt) is clean before you heat it up. If there's any gunk stuck to it, it will probably end up on your shirt.
  • Don't overheat the iron in the hope that it will make ironing faster. You could end up burning or melting your shirt this way, which just makes you look incompetent.
  • For fine fabrics, get a press cloth of woven 100% cotton and put it between the shirt and the iron as you press it. This takes a little while longer, but it keeps the shirt looking nice.
  • Don't iron over buttons. Many are made of plastic. Plastic + hot iron = dead button. Iron carefully around them instead, or grab a stainless steel teaspoon and put the bowl of the spoon upside down over the button as a heat shield while you iron around it.
  • Use your ironing time as a chance to check the shirt for any damage. If there's a stain, spot-treat it and wash it again. If a button is coming loose, sew it back on.
  • UNPLUG YOUR IRON WHEN YOU'RE DONE. I have a terrible habit of leaving the iron on, and when the time came to replace our old iron I ended up getting one that automatically shuts itself off after a few minutes of inactivity. Lifesaver, I tell you.

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