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Ironing vs Pressing and other Equipment to help

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Gwenda’s Quotes “Iron or Pressing, are your best friends as they help the sewing process and keep the seams true”  

Ironing or pressing is an essential part of the sewing or construction process, they help you obtain a professional finish.

You should spend as much time ironing your seams as you do sewing them.

Get to know your iron heat settings and ALWAYS test some scraps of fabric before you iron or press your project.
If you like to use a cloth for ironing, then buy some White Silk Chiffon to use as a ironing cloth, this way you can see through it and you will see what the iron is creasing. 
Over lock the edges and this cloth will last you for years.

The difference between Ironing and Pressing

Ironing you SLIDE the iron over the fabric or ironing cloth. 
Pressing you LIFT and STAMP or PRESS the fabric and DO NOT slide it.

Personally I prefer to use a steam generator iron with a heat regulator

These irons are worth the price tag, as it helps make all ironing easier and quicker, but this always comes back to your budget. 
If you are able to splash out, it is worth the price tag.   On sale of course 🙂

Steam Iron 2017
Steam generator Iron
Iron Heat Control
Steam iron heat regulator

Pressing in regards to sewing, is mainly used for applying interfacing, pressing on A4 sized heat transfer prints or labels, so I use a Steam Press for this work, as it does a great job and saves time.

Heat Press
Steam or heat press
Gwen Heat Press Sml
Steam or heat press

Ironing Aids or equipment

From Left to Right

IRONING HAM (sitting in a small dog bowl), iron MITT  and a SLEEVE ROLL  

Ham + Mitt + Sleeve Roll

From Left to Right


Arm + Board + Clapper

Tailors board with point presser – made out of heavy wood, we used scraps of hardwood.
Tailor board curve, sharp edges and points are used in various ways;
a)            Shaped curves are used to help ironing with curved seams on bust or shoulder areas.
b)            Points are used to help obtain nice sharp corners in collars cuffs or anywhere on a garment that you have a point.
c)            Sharp edges are used to help where crisp sharp lines are required.

Tailor Board
Tailors board with point presser
Tailors clapper

Tailors clapper – made out of heavy wood, we used a scrap off an old veranda railing.
Clappers are used in two different ways;
a)            After ironing tailored wool or jacket seams using the iron, place and hold the clapper down until the fabric cools. This helps the steam and heat along with the added weight, sit the seam as flat as possible.
b)            If you have fabrics that are not able to have any heat on them at all, then use the weight to help press the seam open or flat.

Arm Board Covered
Sleeve or arm board

Sleeve or Arm Board – made out of light to mid weight wood with a heavy wood base to stabilise it, we used a piece of pine for the sleeve shape and a scrap off hard wood for the base.  (image of uncovered board at top of post)
I covered the sleeve arm with a bit of light foam and some cotton fabric.

a)         Use this board to iron and shape the sleeve seams once the final seam is sewn closed.
b)        This can also be used for tube shapes on different designs as well. 

Hand Mitt

An iron mitt helps where you need a press or iron with a soft base underneath. (eg; delicate fabrics or shapes)

Other Ironing aids that you can purchase, or make, are the padded ironing Hams, ironing Roll for sleeves and pressing mitts.
These can be purchased at your local Haberdashery supplier.
You can also use smooth thick dowelling cut in half so you have a flat area a sharp edge and a round shape.

Iron Ham
Iron Ham
Iron Roll
Sleeve or arm roll

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