All this talk about pleats has raised another topic… ironing! Some of you have mentioned how you love pleats but hate to iron them and I’m 100% the same. In fact, I’m not a huge fan of ironing period but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for my love of vintage!

Vintage tips for ironing vintage

There are a few tips and tricks to ironing vintage, in particular pleats, and I thought I’d share a few from my 1950s copy of Woman’s World. Woman’s World is pretty much an encyclopaedia on absolutely everything a woman needs to know and I find quite a few of the tips quite helpful today.

Vintage tips for ironing vintage

If you’re a little pedantic like I am, then when you take clothes in from the line it’s a good idea to fold and place your garments in piles according to type. Your clothes will have fewer wrinkles and they’ll be in the right sequence for ironing, which means less ironing overall. Yay!

In terms of ironing fabrics it’s important to have the iron set at the right temperature for each type:

  • Nylons only need the touch of a lukewarm iron and it’s usually best to start ironing these.
  • Knitted and woollen garments similarly need a fairly cool iron and if dried as suggested, very little pressing will be needed.
  • Pure silks require a warm iron, not hot, and are best pressed on the wrong side as it will scorch easily if the iron is too hot.
  • Cottons and linens need a hot iron and will be the last in your order to iron.

Now… for the ironing itself!

  • Slacks and trousers: Press all seams, pocket linings and the waistband on the wrong side; press the legs on the right side.
  • Skirts: Press all seams and each skirt section (from the hem to the waist) on the wrong side; press pleats and also the waistband on the wrong side; press all over on the right side with a damp ironing cloth between the iron and the fabric (the cloth isn’t needed for cottons).
  • Dresses: Press sleeves on the wrong side (without a fold); press collar and the bodice from collar to waist, while working around any buttons; press skirt from hem to waist; turn right side out and retouch as per skirts.
  • Shirts: Iron both sides of collar, shirt back and front; iron cuffs along the grain of the fabric; iron the sleeves; turn right side out and retouch.

How to iron vintage slacks and trousers; skirts and pleats

How to iron vintage dresses

How much you iron something is really up to you but I do find the above tips helpful to keep in mind. Especially the one about ironing pleats on the wrong side.

How about you? Do you have any ironing tips?

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