Tips about ironing and storage of men’s shirts

When washing a shirt, the surface becomes rough due to the loosening of fibers from the fabric and the shirt becomes wrinkled. Fortunately, you can iron shirts, because by using heat and moisture, the shirt becomes smooth and presentable to wear again. But how do you iron well and efficiently (after all, ironing is only limited fun)? And how do you fold a shirt afterwards, if you can’t keep it stretched on a hanger?

Here are a few tips from RIESENHEMD Hamburg about ironing and storing men’s shirts so they are more enjoyable to wear.

Men’s shirts iron properly

First of all, ironing heat literally burns stains and sweat residue into the fabric, so you should only iron clean, ideally freshly washed clothes. If possible, do not let the shirt dry completely, because it is easier to iron when it is slightly damp. If the shirt is too dry, you need to moisten the shirt with a spray bottle, and preferably let it rest for a few minutes in a plastic bag. 

When ironing: Always guide the iron in the direction of the thread path, anything else will distort the fabric. You will get better results if you iron with steam function. Pull the shirt tightly while ironing it. Use the right temperature when ironing, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Here is our suggestion for the sequence when ironing a shirt: 

  1. Start with one of the sleeves. Iron them from the inside out. The edges are ironed at the end. For a button cuff, the buttons should be on top when ironing. For a double cuff or turn-up cuff, make sure the buttonholes are flat on top of each other. If you have an ironing board, you can iron the sleeves round. Do not iron the cuffs for too long.
  2. Then iron the shoulders, using the tip of the ironing board.
  3. Then iron the collar from the tips inwards and not too long. Iron both sides. If the collar has collar stays, remove them for ironing and put them back in after ironing.  
  4. Then iron the back piece; here make sure that the back folds are ironed in evenly.
  5. Last but not least, iron the front of the shirt. Make sure you iron around the buttons.

Non-iron and easy-iron shirts come out of the washing machine much smoother, but usually also need to be re-ironed. Ironing is a little easier here, a shirt should be ready in about 3-4 minutes. A normal cotton shirt takes a few minutes longer, depending on the fabric.

Should one therefore always buy only “non-iron” and “easy-iron” shirts? That is a matter of taste. With “non-iron” it is a special, elaborate sealing process for the fabric; here the cotton fibres are treated with synthetic resin using ammonia. With “easy-iron”, the shirt is sealed by strong heating, this is called dry cross-linking. A shirt made of 100% cotton without either of these two treatments, on the other hand, is much more breathable because the surface is not bonded by synthetic resins or heat; this means that you sweat less or the sweat is better conducted to the outside.

Properly store men’s shirts

Shirts are best stored hanging. If you want to fold it, let it cool for 30 minutes after ironing. When folding, you should close the buttons first, then lay the shirt face down. Fold the shirt in half at the shoulder, then fold it with the sleeve down afterwards. Once you’ve done this on both sides, the shirt should be in the shape of a long rectangle. Then fold the lower part of the shirt body over the cuffs, and now fold it one last time; now the lower part of the rectangle should be at the collar.  

We hope this ironing and folding tip will help you enjoy your shirts for as long as possible.

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