Never underestimate the power of an ironed shirt

An ironed shirt tells a story…it lends character and conveys who you really are….meticulous, neat and classy.

However, ironing a shirt requires not only perseverance and patience but also an understanding of what your custom dress shirt needs. So here’s your quick guide to getting that perfect crisp dress shirt.

Your Tools

A good quality iron with heat and steam delivery system and with a base plate with no rust or dirt, an iron board that is sturdy with a quality covering that doesn’t leach colour into your shirt if wet, and some clean water to pour into your iron for steam.

Get to know your Fabric

Check the lapel of your shirt, or inside the collar. Most shirts usually carry an instruction whether or not they can be ironed and the amount of heat they can withstand. Cotton, cotton blends and linen tend to withstand heat, while more sensitive fabrics like polyester, synthetic or silk need low to moderate temperatures.

Image courtesy of Vitruvien.

Now to Iron: Start to finish

The Collar – Start by ironing the back of the collar first, moving from the edges to the centre so that you can avoid creases. Once done flip to the other side and follow suit.

The Cuff – Cuffs are an integral part of a shirt and also one of the more visible portions. Before you begin to iron ensure the cuffs are clean. Start by ironing the inside of the cuff moving from the edge to the centre and then
switch to the outside. Make sure to flatten it out first before you iron.

The Sleeves – Once again flatten/smoothen it out before you begin to iron. Begin ironing from the cuffs and slowly move upwards to the shoulders.

The Back – First lay half of the shirt flat on the board such that one of the sleeves is on the board while the other hangs down. And make sure you iron the shirt inside out. Ironing can get a wee bit tricky especially if your shirt has pleats. If you do have them, then iron first under the pleats and then move to the top of the pleats. Once done move to ironing the rest of the shirt’s back.

Image courtesy of Vitruvien.

The Yoke – Also called the shoulders. While each time the shoulders have got mild attention when addressing other sections of the shirt, this time the yoke gets thorough ironing. Flatten the shirt in such a way that one of the sleeves cups the narrow end of the ironing board. Iron the yoke from the edges to the centre and then once done flip the shirt to address the other sleeve.

The Front – Here you need to be gentle so as to not damage the placket and buttons. Move the iron gently over the placket, around the buttons to achieve a crisp look. And then move to the rest of the shirt including the shirt pocket – for which again you move from the edges to the centre to avoid creasing.

Inspect and Hang! – With this you’ve now elevated from an Amateur to a Pro in ironing dress shirts!

Image courtesy of Vitruvien.

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