When you know you’re dressed smartly, and you’re feeling your best, there is no end to the confidence and calm you feel. But there is nothing more likely to make you break out into a sweat and suddenly feel an inadequate mess as looking down at your smartly pressed trousers and noticing that they are shiny in patches, or worse still, all over.
This is a very common problem, believe it or not, so how do avoid making your quality, expensive pair of trousers look like a cheap pair bought from a market stall? Never fear, we are here to tell you how!
Most people iron some, if not all of their clothes. It may come as a surprise to you, especially if you have been ironing for most of your adult life, that you may not be doing it right – or at least not well enough to prevent those shiny patches.
Did you know that you should be using different heats for different fabrics? Or that there is a certain type of water you should be putting into your iron? Or that even the way you move it over the clothes may be contributing to your unwanted shininess?
How to iron trousers without making them shiny
- The first step is to use a standard ironing board. Having the right tools for the job makes all the difference, and you will love the experience of using a board if you’ve always made a makeshift board from the kitchen counters.
- Next, make sure the iron is clean. If you have bits and pieces stuck to the surface of your iron, these will transfer to the clothes you are ironing and leave an uneven finish – or even matches of something unmentionable stuck to them.
- It is important to wash the trousers before ironing. This may sound like a no brainer, but it is easy to think “Ah well, they’re clean enough – just need a little press.” This will not help at all! Make sure the trousers are clean and dry before you start.
- The final preparation is to use distilled water in your iron. Using normal tap water, especially if you live in an area of hard water, can leave residue in your iron that can transfer to the clothes, or even do your iron some serious damage.
Now, how about temperature? We all know that some clothes are more delicate than others, but here is a handy guide if you are not sure and tend to just use the highest setting and cross your fingers:
- Low heat for synthetics
- Low to medium heat for wool
- High heat for cottons and linen
- Blended fabrics – start on a low heat setting and move up if necessary
This is just a guide; each piece of clothing should have a label attached that will tell you how hot it should be ironed at.
One of the most important things is how you actually iron. Just slapping it on there, pushing it about a bit and feeling like you’ve done the job just won’t cut it. If you are ironing dark coloured trousers, or delicate fabrics like wool, you should not be pushing the iron at all.
You need to lay it evenly on the surface, leave it for a few seconds, then move on to the next section. This will give your trousers a beautifully pressed look without making them shiny.
So, to iron an entire pair of trousers you should start with the pockets (having ironed pockets is important because wrinkles can show through the fabric even if the rest is all neatly pressed.) Pull the pockets out, lay them flat and give them a quick pass with the iron to flatten out creases.
When ironing the top of the trousers you need to be careful of pleats and folds; simply iron around them. To get a perfect crease, work on one leg at a time.
Make sure the seams are lined up with eachother, and smooth the fabric with your hands to remove any large creases. Press the iron at the bottom cuff, and leave for a few moments. Repeat at the top of the leg, and then follow these two markers all the way down the leg to form your crisp crease. And you’re done!
Here is a handy video on how to iron a pair of trousers well:
If you are in a hurry, you can iron your trousers while they’re slightly damp – the ironing will dry them pretty well, and the creases tend to take better in damp fabric.
Another tip is to slide a piece of aluminium foil between the board and the trousers – this creates more heat and can make the job quicker. If you are ironing delicate fabrics, another useful suggestion is to place a clean cloth over the fabric, and press through that.
If you have budget, you can consider buying a good quality trouser press that will get you certainly better results than iron.
There you have it! You can stroll into the office, the club or the dinner party knowing that you are as well dressed as you can possibly be.