Pressing: when to press and when to iron, and is there a difference?
Did you know there are terms like, Under Press, Top Press
and Off Press
? They all have definitions and they all should be performed at particular times during the sewing of a garment. There is a difference between pressing
and ironing. Pressing is done when the garment is being constructed and ironing happens once the garment is finished, worn, and washed.
Pressing correctly while you are making up the outfit will afford your garment a more professionally finished look. Pressing seams as you sew will set the seam and allow them to sit neatly.
It is very important to have your iron set up ready to go. If you are using an ironing board, you always seem to be getting up and down. If getting up and down is difficult for you, there is another option, (if you have the room on your sewing table) and that is to get June Tailor's "Quilter's Cut'n'Press"
. Many quilters would not be without one of these and for dressmaking this can be
very useful too, especially for the smaller pieces of the patterns as well as with children's clothes.
Now for the definitions:
is an up and down motion while ironing is a back and forth gliding motion. While you are sewing a garment it is always pressed. Once the garment is finished, worn and or washed it is then ironed. Pressing is used to, firstly set the stitch by steam pressing the area flat. This smoothes out puckers and allows the stitching to meld into the fabric.
: this is pressing on the wrong side
of the fabric.
is pressing on the right side and always use a pressing cloth to prevent the nap from flattening and producing a shiny surface. A Raj cloth is good for this.
: now this is done on the right side of the fabric to remove the shine or raise the texture. To do this, place a piece of camp cheesecloth directly on the right side of the garment and place a hot dry iron so it just touches the damp cloth. This forces the steam into the fabric and raises the texture. Just make sure the fabric does not water spot.
So there you have it, pressing and ironing using the same tool, with different applications. I must admit, I do use the pressing technique with some of my outfits and certain fabrics. The pressing cloth
is always ready too, and takes a little longer at times, but the results are well worth it.
CTBaird is a freelance author and web publisher of most things craft, Sew More For U DIY Sewing Companion and the Sew More For U Basic Pattern Drafting Course Get Free Sewing Tips at http://www.sewmoreforu.com/