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Troubleshooting Pressing Problems

submitted by Cecelia Podolak
from Threads #105

Pressing is one of the most important steps to successful sewing, but even expert sewers run into problems occasionally. Here are some tips that will help you get the best results when you’re at the ironing board.

Scorch removal
Add several drops of household ammonia to hydrogen peroxide that has been diluted with an equal amount of water. Use a cloth to sponge the scorched area with this mixture. Rinse well with clean water.

Pin and basting imprints
To avoid imprints in the fabric, do not press over either pins or basting (unless you have used silk or a fine cotton basting thread).

Setting or removing creases
Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water. Apply directly to the fabric and press to set or remove creases.

Spitting iron
Lint buildup in the soleplate vents can scorch and cause brown water spotting when the iron is used on the steam setting. If you have a “burst of steam” button, depress it a few times before and after each pressing session to help clear the steam vents of lint and minerals.

Hem top imprint
When a hem is folded and pressed into position, avoid pressing over the top edge. This will prevent an imprint from showing on the right side of the garment.

Dirty soleplate
Use a tube of a nonabrasive cleaning agent recommended for irons. Heat the iron or press to the cotton heat setting and then unplug. Place a small dab of cleaner on a clean cloth or paper towel and rub onto the hot surface. Once the soleplate is clean, use a clean cloth to remove all traces of the cleaner. Be sure to use a cotton swab to clean out the steam vents.

Removing steam iron marks
The steam holes on your iron often leave little air-jet designs on your fabric. To remove them, spray-mist the area from the wrong side and lightly glide a dry iron over the marks.


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