Donna Wallace, product manager for Rowenta Irons, a leading manufacturer of premium irons, offers these tips to achieve perfectly pressed clothes and linens:
1. Sort clothes according to temperature, working from coolest to hottest. Iron silks and synthetics on low to medium heat (approximately 350°F), wool on medium to high, and cotton and linens at high temperatures (400°F to 425°F). Since the right temperature is critical, let the iron sit for a few minutes after you have adjusted the controls.
2. Hang up or fold your garments immediately after ironing them.
3. Never use circular strokes - you can stretch the fabric. Iron lengthwise and eliminate wrinkles by blasting the area with steam.
4. When ironing large items, such as a tablecloth or curtains, set up two chairs next to the ironing board and fold the piece carefully onto the chairs as you work on it. You could also iron large items on a tabletop padded with a towel, provided that the table won't be harmed by the steam or hot temperatures.
5. Iron sensitive fabrics with a pressing cloth - a clean cotton cloth, handkerchief, or napkin. Iron fabrics inside out to protect them from becoming singed or shiny.
6. If you must use an extension cord with your iron, use a 12-ampere cord. Lighter-weight cords could overheat, causing fires. Make sure that you arrange the cord so you won't trip over it.
7. Press pleats starting from the bottom, working from the inside of the pleat to the outside. Set pleats with a shot of steam.
8. Let clothes sit for a few hours after you're finished ironing to allow the creases to set.
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