How to Iron Stretch Fabric Like a Pro
By Alicia the Seamstress, 27 June 2022
Posted in Fabric Care
How to iron stretch fabric - a step-by-step guide for wrinkle-free lycra
In some cases, working with Lycra and other synthetic fabrics can be tricky, particularly when ironing and sewing. When removing wrinkles, it's important to be mindful of the amount of tension that is on the fabric as well as the heat, as most stretch fabrics will melt or shrink if exposed to high temperatures. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that you can use to make sure that your Lycra fabric looks perfect after steaming or ironing. Read on to find out how to iron Lycra like a pro!
Though Lycra is durable, breathable, and long-lasting, as a synthetic fabric, it is sensitive to heat. Where possible, using a steamer set on a low to medium heat is a great way to remove wrinkles from Lycra, however, many of us are more likely to have an iron inside our households.
Start by setting your iron at its lowest temperature setting - even medium heat on an iron may be too hot for Lycra. Similar to working with delicate fabrics such as chiffon or silk, it's also best to avoid excessive amounts of steam from the iron, as this can cause the synthetic fabric to melt or warp. While it is best to use an ironing board, if you do not have one, make sure that the surface you are working on is stable and free of any debris.
Place your stretch fabric on the ironing board and use a pressing cloth between your fabric and the hot plate of the iron. This will help protect your garment from getting scorched or burned in any way. A pressing cloth is simply a thin sheet of material such as cotton muslin or cheesecloth that can absorb moisture and protect delicate fabrics from damage due to direct contact with an extremely hot surface.
Now it’s time to start pressing! Begin by gently pressing down on one edge of the fabric until it has been completely smoothed out without stretching it too much or putting too much pressure on it. Before carrying on, check that this small area of fabric is OK and free from damage. Once you are satisfied that you have the right temperature, work in sections, slowly moving around each area to remove wrinkles from your fabric.
For any stubborn wrinkles, flip over the garment and use your iron's steam function, again making sure the iron and steam setting remains at a low temperature. This will help remove any remaining wrinkles or creases in the fabric while being gentle enough not to burn the fabric or cause any other damage.
If all else fails, you can also try washing the fabric again on a cool, gentle wash and immediately hanging it to dry once the cycle is complete. The weight of the fabric can help it dry wrinkle-free, which is a great option if you are not in a rush.
As you can see, getting professional-looking results when it comes to ironing stretch fabrics isn't all that difficult! With just a few simple steps along with some helpful tools like press cloths and low-heat settings, you'll know how to iron stretch fabric like a pro in no time.