Updated: October 26, 2016
Do you iron your clothes? Ironing is almost a lost art due to synthetic fabrics and tumble dryers. But some clothes still need pressing and smoothing before you can wear them. That’s where your ironing tools come in.
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Ironing Tools of the Trade
My mother is an expert seamstress. When I was a girl growing up in Texas, she operated a home sewing business. She also did ironing for extra income.
Mom used her sewing and ironing money to increase the grocery budget and buy treats for me and my brothers. She worked hard for her family, and I took notes.
Although I didn’t inherit her sewing talent, I learned how to iron by watching her. She taught me how to iron clothes and table linens, and she introduced me to her ironing tools of the trade.
The Lost Art of Ironing
I wonder how many twenty-first century moms teach their kids how to iron. In today’s world, many people don’t even bother with ironing. Wrinkle-free fabrics and clothes dryers make everyday ironing a thing of the past.
But ironing is still a handy household skill. It’s also soothing. Just ask Alexandra Stoddard, a well-known interior designer, philosopher, and celebrator of life.
I find it soothing to take something wrinkled and make it smooth. It feels anticipatory. It’s what I do before a celebration. And nobody bothers me when I’m ironing.
– ALEXANDRA STODDARD
As a work-from-home writer, I wear clothes that rarely need ironing. Mitch wears hospital scrubs to work, and his uniforms go straight from the dryer to the hanger. Even so, I still press our Sunday clothes, household linens, and the curtains that dress our windows.
Unless you want to pay a fortune at the dry cleaner’s, you may have to plug in your iron once in a while. Ironing takes a little extra time and attention, but the right tools make it a breeze.
7 Essential Ironing Tools
Are you ready to introduce ironing into your homemaking routine? Before you begin, make sure you have the right tools for the job – like these essential ironing tools and accessories.
1. Versatile Steam Iron
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Your iron is the most important item on your figurative tool belt. I use a versatile steam/spray/dry iron with permanent press settings. It’s great for basic ironing and touch-ups.
If you’re shopping for a new iron, this Black and Decker professional steam iron is a good choice. It’s Amazon’s best seller in irons.
Heidi, a Savoring Home reader with a large family, recommends a professional steam station. Her Rowenta model is excellent for heavy-duty tasks, but it’s expensive. Add it to your Christmaswish list!
2. Padded Ironing Board
An ironing board is another essential ironing tool. I use an adjustable board with metal T-legs that fold for easy storage. The fabric cover has a foam pad, elastic ends, and cloth ties to ensure a good fit.
I bought my ironing board from Walmart, and it does the job. If luxury is your thing, check out this stylish ironing board from Brabantia. One customer called it “the Lamborghini of ironing boards.”
3. Ironing Pad or Blanket
Don’t have a padded ironing board? This plush ironing pad allows for softer, smoother ironing on your unpadded board. In a pinch, use a folded bath towel.
A portable ironing blanket is also handy, especially when an ironing board is inconvenient or unavailable. It transforms any flat surface into an ironing board.
4. Sleeve Ironing Board
A sleeve ironing board is a small tabletop version of your ironing board. The tapered end allows you to pull a shirt sleeve over the board for easy ironing.
A sleeve board is a great tool to have if you like to wear your sleeves without creases. It’s also handy for sewing or craft projects.
5. Pressing Ham
A pressing ham, also called a tailor’s ham, is a stuffed pillow used for pressing, ironing, and sewing. The three-dimensional surface allows you to shape collars, waistlines, darts, sleeves, and cuffs.
I use a pressing ham to iron clothes with puffy sleeves, embroidery, and smocking. If you don’t own this ironing tool, a rolled bath towel also does the trick.
6. Laundry Spray Starch
Ready to fall in love with ironing? Laundry spray starch reduces ironing time and adds a layer of resistance to wrinkles and soils. It’s ideal for cotton, linen, and other fabrics.
The Laundress adds a fresh, classic scent to their laundry starch – jasmine and lily of the valley mingle with citrus, sandalwood, and sweet musk. A lavender scent is also popular with their customers.
7. Scented Ironing Water
The minerals in tap water can damage your iron, so use bottled water for steam ironing. But don’t use distilled water; it causes irons to drip and spit. Instead, use spring water in your steam iron or spray bottle.
To make your clothes smell especially nice, use scented ironing water in your iron or steamer. The Laundress adds the same fresh scents to their ironing water and spray starch products.
Over To You
Now it’s YOUR turn to chime in. Do you iron your clothes? If so, what are your favorite ironing tools and accessories?
Let’s fill the comments with friendly conversation! Scroll down the page to leave a reply, ask a question, or just say hello.
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