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How to Select the Correct Iron Temperature

Learn Not to Burn

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How to Select the Correct Iron Temperature

Microsoft Publisher 2003

Microsoft Publisher 2003

Selecting the right temperature when getting ready to iron clothing can make the difference between ease and disaster. The right temperature selection will make ironing easier and quicker. The wrong temperature can mean a burn hole or more work. I watched a friend in college do the final pressing on a beautiful gown she had made only to burn a huge hole right on the front of the gown. She had the iron too hot. Disaster.

Fortunately, one of the features on most irons is a sliding scale that indicates the correct setting for different types of fabric. As a reference, I am using a scale of 1 to 7 - 1 being cool, 7 being very hot.

While all irons differ in temperature by manufacturer, here is a basic guideline of proper temperatures for ironing different fabrics:

  • Linen: 230 °C (445 °F)
  • Triacetate: 200 °C (390 °F)
  • Cotton: 204 °C (400 °F)
  • Viscose/Rayon: 190 °C (375 °F)
  • Wool: 148 °C (300 °F)
  • Polyester: 148 °C (300 °F)
  • Silk: 148 °C (300 °F)
  • Acetate: 143 °C (290 °F)
  • Acrylic: 135 °C (275 °F)
  • Lycra/Spandex: 135 °C (275 °F)
  • Nylon: 135 °C (275 °F)

    To fill in the gaps and prevent disasters, here is a simple chart to help you.

    Specific questions? Just ask here.

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    Ironing Guidelines

    Fabric Iron Setting Tips
    Acetate 1 Press on wrong side while damp.
    Acrylic 3  
    Beaded 1 Place on plush white towel, press on wrong side.
    Cashmere - Do not press, steam only.
    Corduroy 7 Place on plush white towel, press on wrong side. Use steam on front to refresh crushed pile.
    Cotton, lightweight 5  
    Cotton, heavyweight 7 Press while damp.
    Damask 5 Use cloth between fabric and iron.
    Lace 3 Use cloth between fabric and iron.
    Linen 5 Iron on wrong side while damp.
    Nylon 1  
    Olefin 3  
    Polyester 3  
    Ramie 3 Iron on wrong side while damp.
    Rayon 3 Iron on wrong side.
    Satin 3 Press on wrong side with cloth between iron and fabric. Use no steam.
    Sequined fabric - Do not iron, use light steam.
    Silk 3 Press on wrong side. Use no steam.
    Synthetic Blends 3  
    Velvet 3 Place on plush white towel, press on wrong side. Use steam on front to refresh crushed pile.
    Woven wool 3 Use a damp cloth between iron and fabric. Iron on wrong side.
Related Video
Iron a Button-Down Shirt and Pants
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