How to Iron a Shirt Step by Step Guide

It is often said that the way you dress is a huge determinant of how you will be addressed. Since no man wants to be addressed badly, it is important that they are well-dressed at all times. Dressing well starts with learning how to iron your shirt excellently. When you iron, the chemical bonds holding the fibers in the wrinkled shirt are loosened and the fibers gets straightened out.  To achieve this, your shirt needs both the heat of the iron and the weight of the soleplate. While some might argue that this can also be achieved through steaming, there is no better way to look sharp than ironing your shirt.

To get a crisply ironed shirt, you will need a clean iron, a freshly laundered shirt, a good ironing board (this is better than ironing on a table) and distilled water (the water helps to make the fabric unwrinkled and also reduces the likelihood of the shirt getting burned).

Before ironing a shirt, it is important to note the type of fabric as well as whether the shirt needs ironing or not. This information can be found on the care tag usually located inside the collar or by the side of the shirt. You will see an iron symbol, which shows you can iron the shirt or an iron symbol with an X, which shows not to iron the shirt. Also, some tags come with dots to show the degree of heat needed to iron the shirt. One dot shows that it is a synthetic shirt and requires low heat; two dots show that it is wool and therefore needs medium heat, while three dots show that it is either cotton or linen and therefore needs high amount of heat to iron perfectly. Cotton materials usually need steam, except the tag has an X on the steam symbol.

7 Step by Step Guide You Need to Follow to Iron Your Shirt:

  1. Start at the end of the back collar and iron towards the middle. Do not start in the middle of the back collar because it will make the fabric acquire visible creases around the collar.
  2. Next, iron the cuffs. Begin with the inside if the cuffs so the creases will be out. Remember to start from the edges, rather than middle. Iron the outside area the same way. Be careful of the buttons so you won’t damage them.
  3. The sleeves come next. Make sure they are smooth using your hands before you place the iron over them. This will remove all the creases on the sleeves. Begin at the cuffs and go up to the shoulders. Turn the sleeve over to check if the other side requires some ironing too.
  4. Ironing the back can be a bit tricky if the shirt has pleats. In this case, it is advisable to start below the pleats before you iron the top. After that, continue ironing the remainder of the back. Note that to iron the back perfectly, you have to move the shirt a number of times on the ironing board in other to get to all the edges and corners.
  5. Next are the shoulders. If you are using an ironing board, make sure that shirt is placed in such a way that the narrow part of the ironing board is inside the sleeves. Start at the outer part of the shirt and gradually move towards the middle. When you are done with one part, turn the shirt so that you can position the other sleeve at the other end of the board. Go through the above steps all over again on the opposite shoulder.
  6. After this, you have to iron the front part of the shirt. Since the buttons are on the front part, you have to take extra caution around the buttons so as to avoid damaging them or making the threads lose. When ironing the front, it is important to get the placket well ironed because it is a very critical part of your shirt. To ensure that the shirt pocket is well ironed, begin at the outer part and move inwards to prevent creases.
  7. The last step is the front of the collar. Iron this part the same way you did the back of the collar in step 1. Star at the edges and gradually mover towards the midline.

Different Types of Shirts and how to iron them

Cotton Shirts

For excellent results, cotton shirts have to be shirt slightly damp on the part you intend to press and the iron has to be hot. Don’t iron in circular motion, but press the shirt lengthwise. This prevents any damage to the material. If the shirt is made of think fabric, you will achieve the best result if you iron both sides of the fabric.

Cotton-Blend Shirts

These types of shirts require low heat with steam. However, in other to guard against scorch marks, it is best to iron the shirt inside-out or place a thin cloth between the shirt and the iron.

Polyester Shirts

It is best to prevent the iron and shirt from having any contact and this can best be done by using a handkerchief or other similar things. This is because polyester is extremely sensitive to heat. This method can also be used for silk and satin materials.

Linen Shirts

To achieve a crisp linen shirt, make sure that the iron is set to warm and spray mist on the part you’re ironing. The darker colored linen shirts are best ironed inside out, as this will prevent leaving a shine as a result of the heat.

Benefits of ironing your shirts

  • You will look smart

The first reason why you should have your shirts ironed is that you will look smart and better dressed than if your shirt is not ironed. I mean, who does not want to stand out n a crowd? Ironing your shirt gives you a better chance of achieving this.

  • It makes your shirts last longer

When you iron your shirt rather than dry clean it, you can concentrate on parts that requires more washing/cleaning, such as the cuffs and collar. This means you can work lightly on other areas that needs less washing/cleaning. This type of adjustment will probably add extra years to the shirt’s lifespan

  • You can save more

Say you pay $1 for every shirt you dry clean, you still have to spend at least $240 annually (because 1 shirt multiplied by 20 working days = 20 shirts dry cleaned each month). However, there is no way you can spend such amounts in you iron the shirts yourself

  • The outcome is in your hands

No matter the time of day when you need a crisp shirt (even if it is among a pile of dirty clothes), you can get it in a matter of minutes and without the unpredictability or disappointment of a dry cleaner

Tips for Ironing a Shirt

  1. Don’t use the dryer for your shirts; iron them while they are moist. Remove your shirts from the washer immediately after washing and iron them. This not only makes your shirt crisp, it also protects your shirt from the wear and tear of the dryer.
  2. Do not iron all your shirts at once, do it in batches. It takes as much time to prepare as ironing one shirt. This means that it is better and more timesaving to iron all your shirts at once than doing them each time you need a shirt.
  3. Insect the shirt for stains before you iron. When you iron a dirty shirt or one with stains, you make the stains settle permanently. Don’t iron a shirt that has stains from washing, it will spoil your shirt.
  4. If you have an area with stubborn wrinkles, use water to make it damp before you iron again. This will remove the wrinkle easily.
  5. Placing an aluminum foil over the ironing board cover will make ironing time shorter than usual.
  6. If you are ironing dark-colored materials, do it inside out. The essence of this is to guard against fabric sheen.
  7. If you are not sure about the best temperature for your shirt, it is best to use a steamer. The probability of your shirt getting damaged by a steamer is less. Also, using a handkerchief between the shirt and the iron reduces the contact between the iron and the shirt.
  8. Use starch in small quantity. It helps to keep your shirt crisp for a while. However, you should note that starch breaks down cotton fibers very fast and can cause damage to your iron as time goes on. Thus, it is better to apply a little amount of starch on the collar and cuffs.
  9. Taking care of your iron is an absolute necessity. Clean it from time to time using cleaning kits you can get from stores near you. Also, using a damp cloth on the iron will remove any dirt on it. For the best cleaning, put a beeswax candle on the iron’s soleplate and clean it off with rag.