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A Perfect Pantry

101 Guide to Garment Care - Dress Shirts and Trousers

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    Nothing can sharpen up an outfit more easily than a crisply ironed shirt or pants.  Yet, many of us think we just don’t have time for this finishing touch.  Regardless of the fabric, it’s possible to speed through ironing a dress shirt or trousers with just a few clever tricks.

    Critical tips

    • Always start by filling a steam iron with fresh water
    • Ensure shirts and trousers are free from stains, as heat from the iron can make it even trickier to remove stains later on
    • Always check the garment care instructions prior to ironing and use the appropriate temperature for the fabric - if in doubt, err on the side of caution and go with a lower setting
    • Only iron around buttons as ironing over the top can leave an indentation or damage the iron’s soleplate

    Dress shirts

    1. Iron the underside of the collar first, then repeat on the outside
    2. Undo any buttons on cuffs and iron on the inside first, then outside
      1. Carefully iron around buttons on the cuffs
      2. For shirts with a French cuff, press carefully to maintain the structure of the shirt
    3. Start on the front of the shirt, working from the bottom to the top, then iron on the inside
      1. Repeat this step for the other half of the shirt
      2. Our attention is often drawn to the front and areas near the collar, so it’s worth investing a bit more time going over these parts
      3. Be careful to press pleated areas to maintain the overall design
    4. Iron the yoke (back shoulder area) from the top and slowly work the iron downwards
    5. Sleeves are best left last as there are lots of different ways to iron this part
      1. It’s critical to ensure the fabric is flat and smooth before you apply the iron
      2. Iron from the top (where the sleeve is sewn onto the shirt) and work down towards the cuff then turn the sleeve over and iron
      3. Repeat the above step for the second sleeve

    Trousers

    1. Begin by ironing the inside of the waistband
    2. Turn pockets inside out and iron the pocket linings
      1. Proceed to iron the outside of the back part of the trousers, then put pockets back into place
      2. Flip pants over to the front and repeat the above step
    3. Pull one leg of the trousers onto the ironing board - this gives you a flat surface to iron for the front and back of the leg
      1. Repeat this step with the second leg of trousers
    4. Line up four seams of the pants legs, laying down the leg of the pants on the ironing board
      1. Fold back the top leg to expose the inner leg and smooth over areas, starting from the cuff of the leg towards the top
      2. Flip pants and repeat the above process, this time ironing from the crotch towards the cuff of the leg
    5. Fold top leg back down and iron the outside of the legs
      1. Flip and repeat
    6. Immediately hang trousers with the four seams lined up to maintain its shape

    Once you master the art of ironing, it can take as little as five minutes to iron one shirt or pair of trousers. Iron in batches as you’ll find most of your time will be spent preparing for ironing - i.e. loading the iron with water and pulling out the ironing board.


    APPLIANCES

    • Steamline Auto Advance Steam IronSteamline Auto Advance Steam Iron
    • Swift Steam Garment SteamerSwift Steam Garment Steamer
    • SteamStation Steam SystemSteamStation Steam System
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