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Ironing and Pressing--What's the Difference?

Ironing and pressing sound like the same action, but did you know they're completely different techniques? Maybe you didn't know or didn't care, but let's talk about the differences and how you can benefit from this TIL (that stands for "today I learned").

the tailored fit

The difference between ironing and pressing is pretty easy to explain even though the terms sound interchangeable. Ironing is a back and forth motion over fabric to smooth wrinkles. Pressing is exactly what the word implies: pressing a hot iron against fabric without movement, holding it there, and then removing the iron from the material.

Why is it important to know the difference between the two techniques? Depending on your task--whether it's simply smoothing wrinkles out of your sheets, or a detailed sewing project--it matters that you use the appropriate technique.

the tailored fit

When you're beginning a sewing project, it's important to iron your fabrics first so all threads are smooth and everything lays correctly when you're putting the pattern pieces together.

During your sewing project, it's important to press open your seams and other areas of what you're working on so everything is shaped correctly.

This is a very broad description of the differences between ironing and pressing in the sewing world, but it's a good bit of knowledge to file away for future reference. If you want to learn more, join one of our sewing classes at the University of Sewing here in Bloomington, Indiana!

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