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Ironing Linen - Seems to stay a bit wrinkled
Any tips for using linen?
A Beginners Needle
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Date: 9/19/12 4:53 PM

I did a quick search around the boards and couldn't find where this question was asked before.

I'm making a shirt for DH out of linen (white linen no less). I've never used linen before, but thought how hard can it be?

Anyway, like I always do, I washed the linen as soon as it got my doorstep. If it can't be washed, then no point in sewing with it as we don't have time to go to the drycleaners etc.
So of course it's a bit wrinkled. When I iron it and you look closely, it's still a bit wrinkled. In general, I wouldn't see this as a problem.... Except that I need to interface the collar, the button stand, and the pocket. If I interface these while it's still a bit wrinked, then it will always be slightly wrinkled - although you have to look closley to see that.

So I starched it. And it ironed out beautifuly. But turned yellow when I used the fusible interfacing.

Washing it seems to have gotten the yellow out - but really, is there a better way?

Thanks for any help!

------
Tina

In my Sewing Room:
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stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 9/19/12 5:08 PM

Ok, first of all, when you're working with linen, it is ESSENTIAL to make peace with the fact that linen wrinkles.It also presses beautifully, but it will crease as you wear it, get crumply in the wash, etc.

I love linen, sew with it all the time, and my very most favorite costuming projects make liberal use of it... but my DH has a beautiful linen dress shirt that he never wears, because it takes me so long to iron it!

When I press/iron linen, I use the hottest setting and the most steam, plus I keep a spritzer bottle of water handy. It just helps relax the fibers that extra bit more, giving you the best and smoothest finish possible. I think Best Press would be similar (and might help keep future wrinkles at bay, as well). While you should have no trouble getting the individual pieces nice and crisp, once they are sewn up, worn, and re-washed, the collars, cuffs, etc probably WILL have a very slight crumple along the seams, just b/c things shift around in the wash, and it's hard to get in there and re-iron them perfectly.

No idea what's happening with your starch and the yellowing of the interfacing. Never had anything like that happen before!

For future reference, when you pre-wash your linen, you should wash it on hot/hot dry several times (I usually do 3), because linen has progressive shrinkage, and you want to get as much of that out of its system before you sew!

Sorry you're having challenges--linen is typically very beginner-friendly!

------
~Gem in the prairie

Sewliz
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Date: 9/19/12 6:05 PM

Drying the linen completely before pressing will make it much harder or nearly impossible to get those little wrinkles out. To get a good flat press in linen you need to press/iron with a dry very hot iron while the linen is still quite damp and even nearly wet from the wash. The iron will dry the fabric as you go, you do need to iron it until it is dry.

The heat of the dryer will set the little wrinkles a bit.
-- Edited on 9/19/12 6:07 PM --

------
Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

A Beginners Needle
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 9/19/12 6:30 PM

Dh has worn linen shirts for a while, so we're definitely at peace with the fact that we'll have wrinkles! And I figure it will wrinkle as I work with it. Just wanted it crisp for the interfacing step to be sure I don't get any wrinkles that will never come out!

------
Tina

In my Sewing Room:
Pfaff Creative Performance - Pfurple!
Juki F600
Brother PRW420
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A Beginners Needle
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In reply to Sewliz <<


Date: 9/19/12 6:31 PM

I will give this a try for the next piece that I need to interface! Thanks so much.

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Tina

In my Sewing Room:
Pfaff Creative Performance - Pfurple!
Juki F600
Brother PRW420
Juki 735 Serger

Elona
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In reply to A Beginners Needle <<


Date: 9/19/12 6:49 PM

With linen, I'd use a sew-in interfacing like plain cotton/poly shirting (or batiste for lightweight fabrics). This is what I often use for shirt interfacings on linen and cotton shirts. First, dh hates really firm collars, plackets, or cuffs, but I myself don't want the huge textural contrast between the gently rumpled look of the shirt in general and a firm, board-flat collar or placket.

Cotton/poly shirting resists wrinkling to some extent, so things interfaced with it tend to look fairly tidy, but it remains flexible and doesn't shrink after pre-washing.

LarryD
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Date: 9/19/12 7:52 PM

Linien is one of the most frequently used fabrics used by me, I love it. I also love to iron. Before pre washing I sew the piece end to end and pre wash the linen several times as many as 4-5 washing with very hot water and a small amount of detergent. I incorpoerate this often with my regular white wash. I do not dry in between washing. After the final wash and machine dry on high mist the piece with plain water fold neatly onto a small package and place in a plastic bag and set aside for an hour or so until evenly moist. At this point it can go in the fridge or the freezer for that matter until you begin to sew. Iron with a hot dry iron, I have Sunbeam irons from the 1950's the linen setting is too hot so be careful how hot you get the iron. Iron the piece smooth.

For interfacing I always use a sew in either light plane weve cotton, the linen itself, silk organza and so on. Make the shirt. Drom that point on it never goes into the dryer again. I should be lined dryed taken down when it is still damp iron it then or fold it up put it back in the plactic bag keeping it chilled untill you areready to iron it. Each time it is washed it gets easier to do and a smoother result. I hope this helps you out as I find linen a dream to sew with.

------
"Dr. Doodle"

mary in FL
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In reply to A Beginners Needle <<
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Date: 9/19/12 8:17 PM

Just as letting fabric cool in the dryer sets the wrinkles, letting fabric cool on the ironing board sets the flatness.

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from Daytona Beach, FL
http://mary-sews.blogspot.com/

Nancy K
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In reply to A Beginners Needle <<


Date: 9/19/12 8:45 PM

Use starch when you press it and the hottest iron.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

elizajo
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Date: 9/19/12 9:37 PM

I make and buy a lot of linen to wear. After talking to the owner of a local boutique who sells lots of linen clothing, I started following her directions and my spring/summer linen pieces are looking much better this year even after washing every week.

After pre-washing the fabric in warm water and drying a couple of times, I never use warm water or heat to dry again. I select cold wash, delicate cycle with a mild detergent, and white vinegar or liquid softener in the rinse. As I remove from the washing machine, I shake it out with a firm snap and hang it up. Then I pull on the seams and hem and arrange the collar and pockets. Sometimes I may need to smooth the wet fabric with my palms. I do not iron.

I like to use silk organza as interfacing. If I could find cotton batiste easily I would use it, too.

------
Elizabeth

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