When we're young, many of us learn how to iron our shirts or any other clothing. Of course, while some assume that only women learn this trait, young men often do as well.
Yet there are those who never had the chance to learn, especially when it comes to ironing their dress shirts. This could be for any reason really. However, it is a crucial part of caring for your dress shirt, and is something every man must learn.
Perhaps they did not learn because they did not have their parents for long growing up. Maybe they just never wore dress shirts to even be concerned over it. Regardless of the reason, many people need to know how to do this.
Of course, many people differ in how they do it and even what order they might do certain tasks. With that said, we want to make sure to tell you that the order is not always important. It is the ironing action that matters. On top of this, you need to be aware of a number of other things that are incredibly important when ironing.
...Let's get started!
What You Will Need:
Obviously there are a few major things you need before ironing your shirt. The first is, well, an iron.
However, if you do not have one then you can make one from home as long as you have access to some hard steel with a handle on it and a heating source. Of course, this will be quite elaborate to go over. It's best we save that for another article down the line...
After you have your iron, we always recommend using an Ironing Board. The reason for this is pretty simple. Standing and ironing is much easier and allows you to iron without worrying about how much pressure you're putting on the dress shirt.
If you do not have an ironing board or cannot afford one, then a clean counter top or kitchen table would be just as useful to you. However, we do recommend that you make as much room as you can when using these. On top of this, we also recommend putting something over your table or counter-top to keep it safe from any possible burns.
Last but not least, we recommend getting either a water spray or a can of sprayable starch. Trust us when we say, this is incredibly important, as both can be useful but you'll ultimately just need one. If you had to pick between the two, starch is certainly the better choice.
How To Iron A Dress Shirt:
Naturally, ironing a dress shirt will differ from ironing another clothing item. Some people iron pants and even underwear...we're totally serious about that last one too. However, the reasoning behind ironing is pretty simple. You're trying to remove any possible wrinkles or crumbles in the clothing.
Some shirts need less ironing over others and those of certain material or color need to be ironed a bit differently.
For example, if you're dealing with a silk shirt or very thin type of dress shirt, you'll want to be very easy on the iron pressure you use. On top of this, you're going to want to stick on sections of those shirts less because it won't need as much for you to remove wrinkles from it.
For shirts made of pure cotton, which are typically thicker, you'll need to put a bit more pressure down as you move the iron on the shirt. This will ensure you get the problematic wrinkles out.
Order Of Operations:
Again, the order you do your ironing might differ from person to person, but we like to start with the sleeve section first. This means we'll unbutton the sleeves so we'll be able to flatten out the shirt easier. On an ironing board, you'll use the sides to properly iron as it'll get you into the best angles to remove specific wrinkle trouble.
Once you're done with the sleeves, turn it over to the front and get the front sections, one at a time obviously. It does not matter, truly, what order that is in.
If there is a pocket on the shirt, you'll want to iron over this with more pressure at times. However, not all need this.
After that, you'll turn it over to get the back areas. Then you'll want to get the collar section, always making sure to pull it up as you iron and obviously put it back down when you're done.
Yet you may have trouble getting certain wrinkles or crumbly sections down. This is what the water or starch is for. You'll merely spray a little of this on the specific area you are struggling with and then iron over it. Sometimes you'll need to do this more than once but it will work if you know what you're doing.
Once done, be sure to either put the shirt on or hang it up until you do. Obviously, you do not want to go through all this trouble ironing your dress shirt or dress shirts only to wrinkle it up again before leaving your residence, right?
If you're travelling you're going to want to immediately fold your shirt properly. While you may still need to iron when you get to your destination, you'll already be 80% of the way there.
Here's a video on how to perfectly press your dress shirt and discover some important tips on to best care for your shirt.!
Ironing is the best way to get direct problem areas fixed on dress shirts or other clothing. However, there is a cheat code around this. You can often use your dryer. Many dryers, these days, have a setting on them that is literally made for removing unwanted wrinkles. You can just throw the shirt in there for a few minutes and then boom, wrinkles are mostly gone if not completely.
This is ignoring the fact that you can also get clothes dry cleaned, in which case they are usually ready to go out in once you get them from the cleaners. However, this can get quite expensive over long periods of time and should only be done in cases of clothing getting messed up.
If you're doing it just to avoid washing and ironing your own clothes, that is not a busy person issue...it's a lazy person issue.
Ironing itself, once you're good at it, can take about 5 minutes of your day up when it comes to ironing dress shirts. If this does not work, then a few minutes in a dryer does a lot of good too. Particularly if you're wearing a jacket over your dress shirt.