Author Topic: Ironing  (Read 2393 times)

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« on: Sep 25, 2007, 08:59 am »

Contributed by Kim Forbes

Here are my ironing tips from my recent gigs that required me to do some wardrobe maintenance:

  • If at all possible, have the theater provide you with a stand-up ironing board. These are easier to deal with than the small table ironing boards that have a tendency to collapse flat as you iron.

  • Ask your costume designer for a wardrobe list that includes how to care for each costume (steam iron, dry iron, low iron, etc.) Follow these directions very carefully to avoid damaging a costume.

  • Lay the garment as flat as possible on the ironing board before you begin to help avoid ironing in wrinkles.

  • Make sure not to trap part of a sleeve or any other part of the garment underneath the portion you are ironing.

  • Empty shirt and pants pockets before ironing.

  • When ironing fitted shirts, skirts, or any other garment with a strange shape that doesn't lay flat easily, iron a small portion at a time. This makes it easier to avoid wrinkles.

  • Hang up the garment immediately after ironing to avoid getting it wrinkled again.

  • Encourage your actors to always hang up their costumes; this should make less work for you in the long run.

  • Iron every day so that you have a moderate amount of daily ironing rather than storing up the wrinkles for one big ironing job.


  • If some water leaks from an iron while you are steaming a garment, put the iron on the "dry" setting and iron over the wet spot until it dries. This usually takes a few seconds only.

  • If the iron doesn't appear to be working, make sure:
    1) it is plugged in
    2) it is turned on (some irons can be off even when plugged in)
    3) it is on a high enough setting

  • If the steam option doesn't appear to be working, make sure there is water in the iron.


  • Never touch an iron to see if it is hot yet unless you want a nasty burn. Irons usually take about 30 sec - one minute to warm up.

  • Never leave a hot iron resting on a costume, you will burn a hole in the costume.

  • If you must leave the room in the middle of ironing, it is advisable to unplug the iron and move it to a corner of the room or out of the way of general traffic. Try to avoid leaving an iron unattended when it is plugged in and hot.

  • Make those around of you aware that the iron is on to avoid accidents.