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Pressing Polyester (Tip/Technique)
Viewed 5729 times
Review rated Helpful by 7 people   Very Helpful by 13 people   
Posted by: SewVeryTall
About SewVeryTall starstarstarstar
Member since: 3/2/04
Reviews written: 161
Sewing skills:Advanced
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Posted on: 1/11/07 8:47 AM
I've seen many comments on the boards about pressing polyester fabric...they can't get their seams to press open, nice and flat. I think I know what the problem is....

Iron manufacturers may be erring on the side of caution. I sure know that my iron falls in this category. In other words, when they calibrate the temperature dial with the heating element, they choose to keep the heat lower, as opposed to as high as possible.

My iron has these settings:

[1] Acetate, Silk

[2] Acrylic, Nylon

[3] Polyester, Rayon

[4] Cotton Blends

[5] Wool

[6] Cotton

[7] Linen

If I set my iron on [3], it won't press 100% polyester worth a hoot. It's like I forgot to turn the iron on. I pushed the setting up to 4, then 4 1/2, and tested on scraps of my fabric [polyester satin charmeuse]. It pressed beautifully!

Testing is very important. Don't skip this test.

Tip...if by chance, your test scrap of polyester actually melts because your iron is too hot, just iron [hot iron] over a 'fabric softener dryer sheet' [new or used] to remove the gunk from your iron.

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9 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
j222b said...
Thanks! This is really two tips (iron poly & remove gunk) for the "price" of reading one tip. ;-)
1/11/07 12:51 PM
Helen near Sydney said...
Hmmm, I think you might be right.
1/12/07 3:29 AM
PVA said...
I've noticed this too. I kind of hedge my bets when I bump it up with a press cloth. I thank you for both tips -- this is a great "too-fer"!
1/12/07 11:14 AM
slanden99 said...
You are absolutely right. I usually press with my iron set to one setting higher than recommended because it gives me better results.
1/12/07 12:41 PM
meanjean said...
I've had this same experience, so I also bump up the heat to the next notch. And while it makes no sense to me, steam seems to help, maybe because steam, by definition, is quite hot. I'd echo the suggestion of testing. Also, I find that using a clapper, along with the steam and higher heat, can really make colors and fronts nice and crisp.
1/13/07 4:31 PM
Everyday Sewist said...
I'm quite daring (or perhaps careless) when it comes to pressing--I only use the "cotton" setting. If I'm pressing a more "delicate" fabric, I use steam and a press cloth. So far, I've never had a problem. (Though I'd probably be more cautious with very expensive or special fabrics.) My rationale is that in the olden days, people didn't have "settings" on their irons. They just heated them until they were "hot", and used steam and press cloths as needed.
1/13/07 4:41 PM
Peggym said...
Didn'y know about removing the gunk. Very helpful
1/13/07 6:31 PM
Linda G said...
You are right on the temp settings, some irons out there don't get hot enough to iron linen, even though that is one of their settings...Black and Decker being one of them, I have had a couple of them and they are all the same. I love my rowenta. I never knew about the dryer sheet, I am going to try that today, I have some gunk on the bottom of my iron, tried to iron polyester felt....warning need a low setting!!
1/15/07 8:45 AM
SouthernStitch said...
Great tip, and so true. I could not understand how RTW poly is pressed and we can't?? Didn't make sense. I have never had trouble due to bumping it up!
1/25/07 3:44 PM

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