man ironing a jacket

The advice you may need to iron anything should be within a topic below:

How To Iron - Shirts

There's will never be an absolutely "right" way to iron but you will get better results if you follow a sensible order. 

Above you can see how to iron a cotton short, there are other examples in our video section, but you can get step-by-step instructions by following the process set out on the tabs below

The Order to Iron Shirts

Start by using this order and when you feel confident adapt it to your own special needs or how you've found it best suits you. Don't adapt it until you're used to it, it's always hard to adjust the way you may have worked for years, give it a chance before you change or abandon it.

The order to iron a shirt

The Right Methods for Collars

Never fold and iron a collar or cuff to form a crease, they are meant to be rolled over. The brittle nature of the stiffening will wear them out very quickly if you do.

How we approach collars and cuffs depends on their structure. By this we don't mean the quality of the item but whether or not they use a fusible interlining to stiffen and stick the collar to the material, or a non-fusible stiffening which leaves the fabric loose.

You can tell which yours is by placing the collar down on a hard surface, holding the collar down and using your hand as an iron to rub across the collar from one end to the other. If a roll of fabric appears ahead of your fingers the collar is stiffened but not fused.

This  Method is for Fused Collars (remember to iron the right side of the collar);

Flatten the collar on the surface of the board so that the side you see is facing you, place the iron at one end and grip and pull the other end with the other hand.

ironing a fused collar 1

Guide the iron quickly from one end towards your fingers, pulling all the time, only lifting your fingers away at the last moment before the iron reaches them.

ironing a shirt collar 2
This method is quite simple and you can't go wrong - so long as you keep pulling the collar to keep the fabric tight.

This Method is for Unfused - Stiffened Collars

With these the fabric is loose so if you push the iron from one end to the other a roll of cloth will develop in front of the iron that will eventually become a crease when you reach the stitching at the other end, because it has nowhere to go. You will effectively set a crease in the collar if you follow the example above.

ironing an unfused collar 1
ironing an unfused collar 2
ironing an unfused collar 3
Instead follow this example for perfect  results;

1. Begin by placing the edge of the iron on the very edge of the collar, on the right side.

2. Move the iron down and away from the edge, creating a roll in front of the iron moving away from the edge of the collar.

3. Keep moving in and down until you get very close to the stitching that attaches the collar to the rest of the shirt.

4. Now move the iron to the area next to the one you've just don and start at the very edge.

5. Move the iron in towards the join.

6. Continue moving inward until you are again close to the join where the collar attaches to the shirt.

If you follow this example any crease that you have put in because the material is loose will occur next to the join where the shirt attaches to the collar. This is important because you can't see this area of the shirt once the collar is rolled over.

ironing an unfused collar 4
ironing an unfused collar 5
ironing an unfused collar 6

Doing Cuffs the Right Way

Never fold and iron a collar or cuff to form a crease, they are meant to be rolled over. The brittle nature of the stiffening will wear them out very quickly if you do.

Treat cuffs exactly the same as you do collars. They are either fused or non-fused but they come in two styles, either single sided and double sided (double sided normally used with cufflinks). They should be treated in exactly the same way as collars and you should always iron the side that will be seen - effectively the inside of a double cuff and the outside of a single cuff.

This  Method is for Fused Cuffs (remember to iron the right side of the collar);

Flatten and smooth the cuff then place the iron at one end and hold the other. If the cuff doesn't lay flat use your hand to raise it so the iron can iron a flat section.

ironing a cuff 1

Keep pulling the cuff while running the iron across. Angle the iron so that only part of it is on the cuff if it won't stay flat the whole way across.

ironing a cuff 2

This Method is for Unfused - Stiffened Cuffs

Ironing a double cuff is the same as ironing a non fused collar, it's just a different shape. Start at a corner and work away from both the corner and the edge, pushing any rolled cloth backward. Stop if the roll is getting too large and flatten the cuff out again,

ironing a double cuff 1
ironing a double cuff 2
ironing a double cuff 3

re-starting lower down on the same side. As long as you push the cloth backwards you shouldn't have any unsightly creases formed anywhere they can be seen, the back section being next to the skin when the cuff is folded in two.

ironing a double cuff 4
ironing a double cuff 5
ironing a double cuff 6

Tackling Sleeves

The problem with sleeves is that there are two layers of material to be done at one time. If the upper layer is flat the bottom layer must also be flat, otherwise you'll create creases on the underside.

Remember too that you should do the cuff before the sleeve.

1. Begin by placing the sleeve flat on the board, with the front facing you, and making sure the lower seam is straight and even along its whole length.

ironing a sleeve 1

2. Smooth your hands upwards feeling the fabric underneath for any creases. If there are, make sure you get rid of them before you start ironing.

ironing a sleeve 2

3. Place the iron on the seam with your other hand slightly lifting the opposite side. Move the iron toward your hand rolling any loose fabric from underneath with your fingers.

ironing a sleeve 3

4. Move your hand along the shirt as the iron approaches and repeat this procedure on the next section along.

ironing a sleeve 4

5. Continue this all the way to the end of the sleeve

ironing a sleeve 5

6. Go right up to the cuff but not over it.

ironing a sleeve 6

7. Turn the sleeve over and iron the reverse side finishing by pulling on the cuff by the split and ironing that area with the point of the iron, making sure you don't go over the cuff.

ironing a sleeve 7

8. Start the other sleeve in exactly the same way, with the front facing you and working to the other side of the board. Follow steps 1 to 7.

ironing a sleeve 8

Finally the Body

1. Start with the left side of the shirt flattening the fabric by smoothing it out with your hands. Place the iron on the bottom of the button flap and pull the top by the collar. Iron straight upwards keeping good tension all the time.

Ironing a shirt body 1

2. Move the shirt evenly towards you and smooth again. Now iron the section next to the flap, taking care to move in from the edge of any pocket, up to the center and then to the center from the other side.

Ironing a shirt body 2

3. Once at the top move the shirt on again. Make another iron movement from the bottom while pulling above the arm hole stitching. To get a good seam, run the edge of the iron over the stitching while pulling with the other hand.

Ironing a shirt body 3

4. Shift the shirt again so that the back is now on the board at the very edge of the seam. Again pull above the armhole stitching and move the iron in one direction up, with just the edge going over the seam of the arm hole.

Ironing a shirt body 4

5. Continue moving the shirt towards you bit-by-bit, ironing a section at a time. After another two sections you should be at the other side of the back where again you pull the seam while you iron.

Ironing a shirt body 5

6. Once you're on the front continue as you have been until you area up to the button area. Change the direction you're moving the iron in so that you can move the point of the iron in between the buttons.

Ironing a shirt body 6

7. Move in and out of the buttons taking care not to hit the buttons by going too fast, you may break them or even tear the shirt.

Ironing a shirt body 7

8. Continue this way remembering to hold the shirt by the collar all the time while pulling against the force of the iron to give a crisp finish. Once at the top the shirt should be done.

Ironing a shirt body 8