Ironing and creases

I’ve heard you can use a wet towel to get sharper creases when ironing, is that true, and if so has anyone tried it?

Not sure about hair spray, but I don’t want to use it. I also have no starch.
Tips for ironing the uniform.?

For trousers, spray water on them and then steam through a flat, dry tea towel. Either until dry or i prefer to finish by replacing the towel with brown (baking/grease proof) paper.

Once a crease is well established you can spray and go straight to the paper for subsequent ironings.

That’s the simple version of what I do, anyway.

Couple tips… Don’t have the iron on high (low-medium should do it) and turn off the auto steam when using brown paper. Because of the size of the paper, I iron my trousers in thirds up the leg. This allows each section to cool slightly as i don’t spend too long on a specific area and then keep going over them until “ironed dry”.

For shirts, medium heat and steam should do it. Starch helps keep the crease in and is good for pocket flaps and epaulettes, but if you do get starch then don’t iron directly onto the starched cloth, and don’t steam it. Again, brown paper is useful here. Don’t keep the iron in one spot for long.

Iron (and spray) flaps and epaulettes from the underside, collar fold from the underside to flatten and inside the collar (bit next to your neck when wearing) to shape.

Let me know if any of that doesn’t make sense.

There’s no single way, but forget anything that sounds faddy like hairspray or glue. Ask around your sqn for advice, there are a few tutorials on YouTube…

You can experiment a little and find something that works for you. Just remember not to iron directly onto the trousers or get them too hot, and keep moving around the shirt to avoid burning that also. You don’t need your iron as hot as the sun!

1 Like

The crease on the shoulders of the shirt nees to be in the middle of the rank slips, but how to I rid of the multiple creases forming tracks or make a new crease in the middle of the shoulders?

Iron it fresh out of the wash

1 Like

For pressing you need three things:

  1. Heat
  2. Moisture
  3. Pressure

So plenty of steam to loosen the fibers and good pressure to press them into the new crease.
For truly the sharpest crease, follow the iron with something heavy and cold (I have multiple old flat irons which I use - we’re not talking about several Kg; just something which will keep the fabric pressed flat). Press with iron, then replace with the heavy object until the fabic has cooled.

For shirts I just use maximum heat on the iron, shirt damp out of the wash (or dampened using a spray bottle) and spray starch on the back-side of it.

For shirts starch is your best friend…just be careful not to use too much

Spray starch on shirts, have been using it on RAF + work shirts for decades. Sleeves creases always razor sharp! :wink:


My “best blues” shirt resembles the same chemical construction to carboard as a result of starch.

1 Like

Creases in trousers and skirts should be pressed in with a damp tea towel, with the iron on a not too hot setting. Never use brown paper as it will eventually leave a sheen on the material. Forget starch or hair spray. Never use just a dry iron when pressing as it will leave a sheen on the material and burn it slightly.

To be fair, the ‘correct’ procedure when pressing wool is indeed to use a pressing cloth. In fact, thin cotton - like an old section of bedsheet or pillow case works better than a teatowel. The intention is to provide a barrier between the wool and the iron - because direct pressure will flatten the wool fibers and create the shine, and the dampness creates good steam.
However the modern wool/poly blend is far less sensitive and I find that brown paper works fine. In particular, a cadet will likely outgrow their trousers before any noticeable sheen appears using brown paper.

1 Like

Never had an issue with brown paper with mine. As long as you don’t have the iron on hot or go over the same spot for 5 minutes without letting the trouser cool… Should be dandy.

Never used brown paper for trousers- a damped, thin cotton tea towel - or even better (but not in fashion!), a cotton handkerchief is a good size for manoeuvring around on the trousers / ironing board.

Shirts - never used “washing starch” - as mentioned, spray starch is an excellent product, keeps shirt finish “fresher” for longer & really helps keep sleeve creases sharp (& makes it easier to iron next time = no tramlines!). It washes out very easily so no accumulation of starch as time progresses.

Oh the good old days of the “hairy” blues in the 1970’s - using a thin smear of LifeBuoy red soap on the inside of the trouser creases to help keep them sharp. :wink:

1 Like

Did you get the bubbles in the rain?

Nah, had a greatcoat, I stayed dry & warm. You probably would have needed a deluge of Noah’s Ark proportions to soak through the trousers. :wink:

1 Like

I starch the heck of them after I pull them out of the washing machine then let them air dry. After they have air dried I iron them with a crease through the patch.
For sweaters and sweatshirts I use mini steam iron like these. and for school uniform skirts I usually just straighten the jumper so the pleats are in place but “puffy”. Then I take a thin rag/piece of fabric and make it wet (squeeze it out so it’s damp, not soaked) and lay it over the uniform. With the steam on I iron the uniform in a downward direction - from the top of the pleat to the bottom. Takes 30 seconds and when I take the fabric off it looks gorgeous. I use the fabric because I once ironed without it and burned a hole in her jumper. Lesson learned; it can’t tolerate high heat directly.

Without boring you all with the details of why, I have been issued with part worn serviceable trousers.

The previous owner made a not so good job of the creases so there’s the original manufacture crease (with the glue) and his (I assume it was a he) attempt at creases.

How to get rid so I can start again and do a half decent job? These need to look ok until I can source new ones.

Send them to a dry cleaner’s and pay forbthe extra crease service??

Saves you the effort by putting everything bavk to a default you can repeat at home

Not a bad idea, I’ve not seen that advertised at my local place.

It might just be easier to buy a new pair though.

Perhaps ask them if they can do anything about them?
Asking the question costs nothing nor commits you to anything