Pleated Skirts

Click above to see a video tutorial ironing a pleated skirt

You should be able to iron pleated skirts but you must take care not to shine the fabric, follow these tips and it should be easy.

Pleats come in various kinds and on a number of fabrics. Permanently pleated skirts will be heat set using a good proportion of a thermoplastic fibre such as polyester, which makes them dangerous to iron at a hot temperature. Wool or viscose skirts might shine badly when ironed and it may be best to cover the fabric with a damp cloth. Whatever your case follow the basic instructions below and adjust your technique to take into account the special requirements of your particular skirt.

Start any pleated skirt by placing it on the board with your ironing hand on the waist band and the other hand looking to control the pleats at the bottom of the skirt. If you only have a few pleats around the skirt then complete the flat areas first then come back to the pleats, but do them in the same way as if you had lot of pleats.

Hold one pleat in place at the bottom of the skirt, making sure that all material at the bottom is square and that the flap is facing you. Pull the waist band to make the whole pleat straight. Once you're happy hold the next closest pleat in place and straighten it too. Keep holding the pleats at the bottom or place a pin in the first one holding it exactly in place and pinning it to the board to hold it.

Move along the skirt adding to the pleats you're holding, tugging at the waistband and smoothing out the pleats with your ironing hand.


Keep adding pleats until the ones you're holding are wider than the iron. Here we're holding 5 pleats in place.

Put the iron on so that its nose is just to the right of the first pleat you held in. Do not overlap any pleats you aren't holding in as this will iron them out and it will be more difficult to get them back in. Guide the iron straight down the skirt towards your fingers, DO NOT MOVE THE IRON SIDEWAYS.

Remove your hand just before the iron gets there and continue ironing until all of the iron has passed the end of the skirt.

Grab the pleat closest to you next to the last one you've already done and move the skirt so this is in the place of the first one you held in place. Begin putting pleats in place as you did before and finish when you get back to the beginning, or when you run out of pleats.
Ridges can appear because you're going over three layers of material at one time, especially with thicker or sheer fabrics. If this happens consider ironing the skirt inside out.
Materials likely to shine can also be done inside out but consider pinning the pleats in place and using a damp cloth. When ironing on the wrong side it's much more difficult to feel any errors as you can't see them and ironed in errors are more difficult to remove.
Do Not Iron until you're absolutely certain the fabric is flat and will remain flat while you iron. Use your free hand to practice ironing and feel if any problems occur underneath your hand.
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