Pressing; when to press and when to iron and is there a difference?
Did you know there are terms like, Under Press, Top Press and Off Press? They all have definitions and they all should be performed at particular times during the sewing of a garment.
There is a difference between pressing and ironing. Pressing is done when the garment is being constructed and ironing happens once the garment is finished, worn, washed and then the ironing happens.
How your finished outfit will get that ‘not’ homemade look is by pressing correctly while you are making up the outfit. Pressing seams as you sew will set the stitch and allow your seams to sit neatly and give that professional look.
It is very important to have your iron set up ready to go. If you are using an ironing board, you always seem to be getting up and down, good exercise, as long as you breath in and out at the right time, you can kill two birds with the one stone. There is another option, if you have the room on your sewing table and that is to get June Tailor Quilter’s Cut’n’Press, many quilters would not be without one of these and for dressmaking this can be very useful too, especially for the smaller pieces of the patterns and also children’s clothes.
Now for the definitions:
Pressing is and up and down motion while ironing is a back and forth gliding motion. While you are sewing a garment is it always pressed. Once the garment is finished, worn and or washed it is then ironed.
Pressing is used to, firstly set the stitch by steam pressing the area flat. This smooths out puckers and allows the stitching to meld into the fabric.
Under Press – this is pressing on the wrong side of the fabric.
Top Press is pressing on the right side and always use a pressing cloth to prevent the nap from flattening and producing a shiny surface. A Raj cloth is good for this.
Off Press, now this is done on the right side of the fabric to remove the shine or raise the texture. To do this, place a piece of camp cheesecloth directly on the right side of the garment and place a hot dry iron so it just touches the damp cloth. This forces the steam into the fabric and raises the texture. Just make sure the fabric does not water spot.
So there you have it, pressing and ironing same tool, different applications. i must admit, I do use the pressing technique with some of my outfits and certain fabrics. The pressing cloth is always at the ready too, takes a little longer at times but the results are well worth it.
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Source by Carmel Baird