Ironing is one of those things that divide the nation, either you love it or hate it. Personally, I can’t stand ironing, and I’ve been looking for many ways to make ironing a quicker and more painless process.
So when I came across this video by T.M. Lewin, I had to share it. T.M Lewis is an English shirt-maker company that’s been around since 1898 and now have stores in Europe, Singapore and Australia. Here’s their Creative Director, John Francomb on how to iron your shirt in 3 minutes.
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How to Iron a Shirt: The Tools
Preparation in always the key to success and the tools you need to iron a shirt are just as important as how you iron it. So before you begin ironing, you need:
- A good steam iron – you’ll notice that the iron in the video pumps out steam like a train. (scroll below for recommended steam irons)
- A water sprayer – required to dampen the shirt
- An ironing board – “the wider the better” is Francomb’s advice since it makes ironing much quicker. Ideally, it should have a mesh base so the ironing board doesn’t get too damp.
- Starch (optional) – if you want a crisp look to your shirt, you can spraying starch on it before ironing
How to Iron a Shirt in 3 Minutes
Step One: Dampen the shirt
You want to use the water spray to dampen the shirt. Ideally, you’ll leave it for a few minutes for the water to soak in, and then begin the ironing process.
Step Two: Ironing the sleeves and cuff
The thing to remember when ironing is to press down on the heel of the iron, not the tip, otherwise you’ll end up with ripples and creases you can’t get out. To save time, you should try to get the sleeve completely flat so that you’ll only have to iron one side of it.
Step Three: The yoke
The yoke is the part of the shirt that stretches over the shoulder. Because this area is prone to crinkling, you should pull onto the sleeves to straighten out the fibres and then iron it.
Step Four: The collar
The collar is the trickiest bit to iron. The first thing to do is to steam it to soften the fibres, then stretch it a bit to make it straight. Using the back of the iron, move from one side of the collar to the other.
One mistake many men make in this step is they fold the collar and iron it, but this makes the collar look stiff and unnatural. What you want to do is roll the collar and then give the centre of the collar a quick steam.
Step Five: The ironing the rest of the shirt
Before putting the shirt onto the ironing board, do up the collar. This way, you can iron the shirt all the way without it moving around. Whenever you’re ironing, give the shirt a pull to straighten out any seams. Of course, when ironing the front of a shirt, go between the buttons, not over them.
Step 6: Leave it to cool
After ironing, most men will wear the shirt straight away, but Francomb says you should stick it on a hanger for 10 minutes to it let cool down and dry out, and then it’s wrinkle-free and ready for the day.
Recommended Steam Irons
In the video, Francomb uses a professional grade steam iron to iron his shirts. If you’re looking for something similar, you need a steam iron with equal power, meaning its power should be at 1,500-watt, minmum. The volume of the water tank and the variety of the steam function are also important considerations – the more the better. Here are three recommended steam irons.
Panasonic NI-L70SR Cordless Steam/Dry Iron
• 1500-watt steam iron
• 3-piece cordless steam/dry iron set makes ironing safer and easier
• Awarded Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval
• Ergonomic iron features stainless-steel soleplate, pushbutton and electronic controls, automatic shut-off, anti-drip system, and “Stay Clean” steam vents
• 3 heat settings, adjustable steam, spray mist, jet-of-steam/self-cleaning, and vertical steam options
Rowenta DW8080 Pro Master Steam Iron
• Professional-grade 1700-watt steam iron with 3-way automatic shut-off
• Variable steam, burst of steam, vertical steam, and cool mist spray options; anti-drip and anti-calc systems; self cleaning
• Highly polished stainless-steel soleplate with high-precision tip; full metal shield; ergonomic covered handle
• Extra-large 12.7-ounce water tank; 7-foot electrical cord with 360-degree pivot
Black & Decker D2030 Auto-Off Digital Advantage Iron
• 1500-watt iron with digital-display temperature and fabric settings
• Easy-to-read mini LCD monitor; stainless-steel soleplate; soft grip
• Variable-steam control; vertical steaming; burst of steam; auto cleaning
• Temperature ready tones; motion-sensitive auto off with audible alerts
Extra Tutorial on How to Iron Your Shirt
If you’re a shirt ironing fanatic, you might want to watch this video from a Japanese shirt enthusiast. He’s clearly into ironing and does it masterfully. He has a different technique to Francomb, but his method works equally well.
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Title Image CC Sporkist / Flickr