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Tips & Techniques > Pressing cloth

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Posted by: Georgene
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Posted on: 12/30/02 10:11 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 9 people   
A presscloth is a good alternative to steam when you want to control the amount of moisture and try to shape or finish your garment nicely. Steam can sometimes be too much. With a press cloth you can dampen, dry press, and allow to cool before moving on to a new area.

There are purchase press cloths available but its simple to make your own. White or natural fabric is best, cotton or linen.
If you use muslin or even a new linen hankie be sure to wash first to remove any sizing. The stiff sizing will goo up your pressing. A really old soft mens linen hankie is the best!

Here's the instructions I was given for damp cloth pressing:

Keep a small bowl near the ironing board and dip your cloth in and squeeze it almost dry so its just sorta damp.

Don't use steam setting on your iron. Let the damp cloth provide the moisture.

Heat doesn't have to be high, you can 'caramelize' your fabric with the heat too high. Make a test.

Press thru the cloth onto the inside of the garment, not the outside fabric if possible.

You can also use your damp cloth to stroke the area to be pressed to moisten it a bit, then apply iron to that area without the cloth. This works well with tiny areas that you need to see clearly what you're doing.

'Underpressing' or pressing your seams as you work, is a great way to get a professional looking finish. Don't save up all your ironing until the end! A presscloth can be a great help.

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7 Comments
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Laramiesundancer said... (11/11/10 6:06 PM) Reply
a true pressing cloth has wood ingredients on one side and cloth fiber on the other. this was explained on a site re: how to remove wrinkles from suede..gayle rush
Georgene said... (4/9/04 7:33 PM) Reply
I suppose you could use that Annette, but it is so porous, I don't know how much it would hold the water. Also, you wouldn't want any fibers to get on the fabric you were pressing, one reason to love linen or organza for your press cloth.
Annette H said... (4/9/04 4:54 PM) Reply
How about using what they call cheesecloth - it's thinand soft and could be cut to size?
els said... (1/28/03 7:24 PM) Reply
a cotton handkerchief works also great as a presscloth and for see thrue you can use a white silk organdee cloth but for wool material I prefer a linnen presscloth
Linda Ngaio said... (1/19/03 3:29 AM) Reply
If you add white wine vinegar 1:4 parts to the water you will find that almost all crease marks will disappear and it restores the ph balance in natural fibres.
Dale C said... (1/3/03 3:57 AM) Reply
I never thought about keeping the bowl of water nearby. That's a good idea. I use a scrap of muslin from muslins I make for garment fittings. Then I just throw it out after it gets gooey from stuff like fusibles.
Audrey M said... (12/30/02 11:14 PM) Reply
My favorite presscloth is a plain cloth diaper--not the kind with the padding in the middle (those make good burp cloths). The plain diapers are very thin and can be easily folded to make a thicker cloth. And they can take a lot (as you might expect). I got this tip from a friend and have been using them ever since.
 
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