Gents, let's talk on how to properly iron your trousers.
Imagine – it's presentation day.
You're about to enter the room…
Then you notice it…
Shiny marks all over your trousers…
How did those get there?
You're ironing your pants wrong.
Many men neglect to iron their pants for 4 reasons:
- Fear of damage (aka shiny trouser syndrome)
- They don't know HOW
- They don't think anyone will notice
- They didn't know nice pants could be ironed
This article is going to address all of these issues.
Here's how to iron your trousers correctly.
Here's what you will need to get started:
1. A Clean Iron – The first rule is to make sure your iron is clean and free of rust or sediment buildup. To test for this, iron a white rag or old pillowcase and see if it leaves any stains.
2. Clean Trousers – They should be free from dirt and stains before you start ironing.
3. Standard Ironing Board – It’s much easier to use a board than to iron on a table (which might be filled with other junk). A basic board from the department store is all you need.
4. Distilled Water – Pour distilled water into the appropriate slot if your iron has that feature. The water will generate steam that makes it much easier to press wrinkles out of the fabric. Remember that you don't want sediment leftover once the water evaporates.
Iron Your Trousers: Initial Preparations
First, set your iron to the right heat setting for your trousers. Always check the care label to ensure you won’t end up doing any damage.
The general rule is low heat for synthetic fabrics, low to medium heat for wools, and high heat for linen and cotton. If it's a blend – start off with a lower temperature and slowly increase if needed.
Bear in mind that all your trousers (except for jeans and cargo pants) will need to be ironed to some extent. Cotton trousers should be ironed after each wash, while wool trousers would require a quick touch-up between dry cleanings.
And take note: when ironing dark-colored pants as well as more delicate fabrics like wools – never push the iron along the fabric. You ought to press the fabric instead. This means you evenly lay the iron on top of the fabric for a few seconds, then lift it straight up before moving to another spot. Pushing will result in shiny marks all over the fabric.
Iron Your Trousers: Step #1 – The Pockets
Each pocket is to be laid on the board flat and pressed because wrinkled pockets can show through the fabric (especially close-fitting trousers). They just need a quick pass with the iron.
Iron Your Trousers: Step #2 – The Top of the Trousers
Proceed with pressing the top area, being careful around pleats and other folds. Put the front pocket back in place and then move towards the seat of the trousers.
Pull out the back pocket and press around it. Put the pocket back in – then finish up by pressing the waistband, being careful around buttons and belt loops.
Repeat the same process for the other pant leg.
Iron Your Trousers: Step #3 – The Bottom Crease
Lay the trousers out flat – you'll be working on one leg at a time. Flip the leg you aren’t working on over the end of the board.
Check that the seams of the pants are lined up properly in the middle. Smooth the fabric with your hands before ironing to ensure there aren’t any large folds.
You will now work on forming the crease. Press the iron at the edge of the cuff on one side, then repeat this for the other side. You should now have a sharp crease that's formed a few inches along each side of the leg.
Iron Your Trousers: Step #4 – The Top Crease
You will now do the same thing at the top of the pant leg.
Check that the seams are lined up in the center, then gently press a crease on each side of the leg. You will form the crease about six inches below the waistband.
The bottom of the pockets (on the inside) serves as a good stopping point. Or if the pants are pleated – you can form a crease all the way to the pleats.
Iron Your Trousers: Step #5 – The Middle Crease
With the beginning and end points for your crease in place – you will now travel down the pant leg, gently pressing the crease all the way through. Make sure you're setting the iron straight down before picking it straight up again. Do NOT slide the iron along the fabric.
Iron Your Trousers: Step #6 – The Center Leg
Now that the creases are in place, you can shift your focus to the middle section. Apply the same technique – setting down and picking up the iron – to remove any wrinkles along the fabric. You don’t have to iron both sides of the same leg. Pressing one side is enough.
Next, flip your pants over – and go through Steps 3-6 once again for the other leg.
Iron Your Trousers: Final Touch-Up
You may find that the front and seat of your trousers require extra attention. So you can slip the pants over the end of the ironing board and give them a quick press. Remember to pull the pockets out to avoid creating unwanted creases.
Pro Tips For Ironing Your Trousers
1. It's best to iron your pants while they’re moist. You can skip the dryer and remove them from the washer immediately after washing. This causes the fabric to undergo less wear and tear.
2. Try ironing your trousers (and shirts) in batches. The set-up process does take up a bit of time. So it'll save you precious minutes and energy if you can do it all in one sitting.
3. Do NOT attempt to iron dirty pants. This will only increase the chances of setting stains or discolorment permanently in the fabric while ironing.
4. The standard push-and-slide method is okay for cotton khaki trousers. The reason is you'll be ironing a light-colored fabric which isn't vulnerable to shiny marks.
5. Use low heat for wool trousers or other delicate fabrics. If you're worried about ruining a fabric then place a pressing cloth over it (a white handkerchief or cotton sheet works perfectly).
6. Insert aluminum foil beneath the ironing board cover. This will speed up ironing time.
7. Clean your iron regularly. You might be able to find an iron cleaning kit from a local hardware store. You can also run a damp cloth over the iron (when it's unused or cooled down) to get rid of residue. Then rub a beeswax candle over the soleplate and use a rag to wipe off any excess.