Pressing Or Ironing?


Have you ever heard the saying “People know the answer to the questions they ask”?  When it comes to sewing I know good and well pressing is  NOT an option.  So when I stumbled upon Pressinatrix’s blog she had me cracking up talking about pressing garments during the creation process.  Starting out with a pressing handicap after reading her article there is doubt I am beyond pressing challenged. Thankfully with people like her willing to share it is a deficit I can address post haste and I shall. The first thing I needed to learn to get a grip on the situation is the difference between ironing and pressing. Yup, I used to think the terms are interchangeable. Not!

According to Whereas ironing does get the wrinkles out of an expanse of cloth, the movement of the iron while bearing down can distort the grainline of the fabric. This is not desirable, since the fabric’s grainline is partially responsible for how your garment or project hangs.black_woman_ironing

Now see. That is important and I never knew that!

Pressing seams after they’ve been sewn not only controls the seam allowances, but it also causes the thread to meld into the fabric. This melding process is important, because without it, the thread sits on the surface of the fabric. And it’s especially important to press a seam before sewing another seam that will cross it.

Proper Pressing Tools:

* Iron and ironing board
* Tailor’s ham (large and small) How to make a tailor’s ham
* Press buck
* Sleeve ironing board
* Seam roll
* Organza pressing cloth (silk)
* Point presser
* Tailor’s clapper
* Tailor’s dauber or spray bottles (for dry ironing like I do)

Looking at the list above (which is probably not exhaustive) and thinking about my budget (next to nil) I say, “Ay yi yi”. Thankfully I ran into this at DIY Pressing Tools Series: The good news is that you don’t need to have all the pressing tools in the world to make a good looking garment. There are important fews though that you should have at hands; Tailor’s Ham, Seam Roll & Pressing Cloth. It really depend on what type of sewing you do.

I believe in paying it forward so I am including links I found regarding pressing vs. ironing. I am so thankful to The Sewing Space for providing a link to Pressinatrix.

Always remember, “Press as you sew.”

Happy pressing,


Sobriety from electronic sewing since 2012


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