How To Iron Different Types Fabrics To Avoid Melting, Shinning and Scorching

We all love wearing different types of clothes but when it comes to maintaining them, things become tricky. The reason is, different types of fabrics require different type of care. What is suitable for a fabric may ruin the quality of the other. Talking about caring and maintaining the fabrics, ironing them is the most challenging part.

Out of all the fabrics, polyester and cotton are two of the most used as well as the trickiest to iron. If enough attention is not paid while ironing these materials, they burn and melt down pretty quickly.

For this reason, it is very important to know the right ways to iron different kinds of fabrics.

With the same thought in mind, we have prepared this guide by incorporating several tips for ironing a variety of fabrics along with the right iron modes and settings for each fabric. So, no more burning and scorching the clothes, just stay here and learn how to iron your clothes the right way!


How To Iron Polyester

To begin with the toughest fabric, let's learn how to iron polyester garments in the right way. So, there are three ways to iron polyester :

Using Steam Iron

This method is applicable after washing and drying the garment. Use it when there are a lot of wrinkles on it. Here is how to do it :

  • Turn the polyester garment inside out and lay it flat on the ironing board or any other surface.
  • Place a damp cloth on the flat garment as an ironing cover. You can use a thin towel, handkerchief or any cloth for this purpose. If the wrinkles are present only on certain parts, no need to damp the whole ironing cover, simply use a spray bottle to dampen the desired areas and you're ready to use a steam iron on it.
  • Turn on the steam setting of the iron and set it to a low-medium setting and start ironing the cloth to remove wrinkles. Some irons have a specific polyester setting, use it if you're iron has it.
  • Never use a steam iron directly on the top of a polyester fabric, it may result in melting or scorching and may damage the garment as well as the iron.

Using Steam Appliances

If you don't want to use a steam iron on your polyester garment, you can use this method to remove wrinkles and make them look well-pressed and crisp. You can use the steam appliances that are specifically designed for the clothes. Simply, run the steamer over the polyester fabric and make sure that the steam comes in contact with the wrinkled parts thoroughly. Moreover, avoid too much tugging and pulling the garment as it would stretch the fabric.

Using a Dryer

If you don't have a steam iron or a steamer, you can remove wrinkles from your polyester garment by running it in the dryer. However, this method is only applicable if your garment label allows it. For this method, preheat your fabric by soaking it in a tbsp of fabric softener(if the label permits) and warm water. Now, place the garment in the dryer along with a damp towel and run it for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, take your garment out and check if the wrinkles are still there. If so, then put it back in the dryer for another 10 minutes along with the same damp towel. The reason for using a damp towel in the dryer is that it helps in producing steam.

Once all the wrinkles are removed from the polyester garment, hang it on a plastic hanger, preferably inside a garment bag to prevent any wrinkles and creasing.


How To Iron Cotton Fabrics

Cotton is perhaps the most preferred fabric choice of individuals. The reason is, it is breathable, lightweight and looks crisp and elegant. But the downside is, it tends to get a lot of wrinkles that are not very easy to get rid of. Here are a few tips that will help to iron your cotton garments and keep them fresh and crisp :

  • Make sure to dampen your cotton garment before ironing it. This is because, if you iron a dry cloth, it will take forever to eliminate the wrinkles. So, keep a spray bottle handy and moist the cloth before ironing.
  • Use the iron on the highest setting. If your iron has specific settings for different types of fabrics, set it to "cotton" while ironing cotton clothes.
  • If there are excessive wrinkles, a good idea is to dip the fabric in plain water and hang it straight after squeezing lightly. Let it dry in the air and then iron it.
  • To get rid of creasing, you can also use a steamer.

So, we have successfully learnt how to iron and cotton fabrics. Now, let's move on to the ways to iron other fabrics including silk, wool, satin, nylon, velvet etc.


How To Iron Different Types of Fabrics

1] Ironing Woolen And Lace Materials

To iron wool and lace fabrics, make sure that the fabric doesn't come in direct contact with your hot iron as it may get damaged. So, place a damp cloth over these fabrics before ironing. As far as the temperature of iron is concerned, set it to the lowest setting or go with the labels. Further, avoid using steam on such fabrics.

2] Ironing Rayon, Linen, Corduroy, Satin and Other Delicate Fabrics

Fabrics like rayon, satin, corduroy, linen etc are very delicate and hence should be ironed carefully. Otherwise, they can get burnt after coming in direct contact with the hot iron. So, always turn the clothing item inside out and iron with the lowest heat setting. If you have no idea what temperature to use, simply heat the iron and then plug it off, press a cotton or similar fabric to cool down the iron plate a bit and then iron these fabrics using this iron.

If you're ironing a rayon garment, set the iron to the lowest heat and avoid any tugging and pulling by ironing the smaller sections.

Before ironing a garment, make sure to read the labels and check the instructions carefully to maintain the quality.

3] Ironing Silk

Silk is again a delicate fabric that is highly prone to melting, hence never press it directly with the iron. The correct way is, turn the clothing item inside out and lay it down flat on the iron board. Now, place a newspaper over it and iron it using the lowest setting. Avoid using steam.

4] Ironing Velvet And Cashmere

Velvet doesn't need to be ironed. To get rid of wrinkles from your velvet garments, turn it inside out and apply steam on it. The same thing goes with cashmere.


Different Iron Symbols And Their Meanings

If you don't know the right ironing temperature for a specific fabric, it's always better to check the labels of your garment you want to iron. These labels have special iron symbols that signify the right way of ironing that particular fabric. If you don't pay attention to these labels, you may end up ruining your garment.

To help you with this, here are different iron symbols found on the garment labels and their meanings :

No dots - Use a hot iron. This symbol means you can use hot iron on the garment at any temperature you want. It also means that you can use steam on that fabric. This symbol is mostly present on the labels of cotton fabrics.

One dot - Steam iron is not permitted. Use a cool iron at the lowest settings.

Two dots - Use the iron at low heat with the sole plate temperature of about 300F.

Three dots - Use a hot iron with a temperature around 390 F.

Crossed Out Iron - Don't Use Iron or steam. These labels are present on the fabrics that can be damaged even by the slightest heat.

Temperature Setting Guide For Ironing Different Types Of Fabrics

Labels are only helpful when you're ironing different garments. But these aren't the only clothing items that need to be ironed. Sometimes, we need to iron other fabrics as when, for instance, while stitching. Because the open fabrics don't come up with labels, it's important to know the right temperature settings.

Here is a guide to recommended temperature settings for a variety of fabrics :

  • Cotton 400F/2040C
  • Nylon 275F/1350C
  • Acetate 290F/1430C
  • Linen 445 F/2300C
  • Polyester 300F/1480C
  • Acrylic 275F/1350C
  • Silk 300F/1480C
  • Wool 300F/ 1480C
  • Spandex 275F/ 1350C
  • Viscose or Rayon 375F/ 1900C

So, these are the temperature settings for different types of fabrics. But what if your iron doesn't have temperature marked on its dial? Don't worry! To help you a bit more, here is the order on a majority of dials :

LOW -   Nylon




HIGH -   Linen

Ironing different fabrics is indeed a bit of a tricky task. But these tips and tricks will help you iron your favorite garments easily and without any hassle. We hope this guide helps you in taking care of your clothes.