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Iron a Shirt

Updated on February 9, 2019

To Begin The Process

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Some of my ironing pile.The CollarThe sleeve cuffThe under sleeveTop of the sleeveThe over sleeve
Some of my ironing pile.
Some of my ironing pile.
The Collar
The Collar
The sleeve cuff
The sleeve cuff
The under sleeve
The under sleeve
Top of the sleeve
Top of the sleeve
The over sleeve
The over sleeve

Ironing a Shirt

Ironing is not my favorite thing to do, but a necessity of life for me. For years, I spent way too much time tackling wrinkled shirts. Over the years, I have perfected a method of ironing a shirt quickly and thoroughly, even a shirt with sequins and embroidery. I hope this step by step process will make it easier for those of you who still struggle!

Put water in the iron for steam and make sure your iron is on the appropriate temperature. If you are ironing cotton, it should be nice and hot. You may need to use a cooler iron near any sequins even if they are ironed on the inside. Melting could be a problem. Fancy fabrics require a cooler iron and may not need steam. My steam iron has made the process quick and effortless on most shirts. I recommend you purchase one if you don't have one. A good steam iron is not that expensive and worth the investment!

Begin with the collar. Lay the shirt flat and run the iron across the flat collar until it is wrinkle free. Use the steam to remove wrinkles. Have a stubborn wrinkle, use the mist from the iron for a direct blast of water. Iron until dry. Keep the iron moving at all times. Next, fold the collar and press it into place. Voila, the collar.

Take one of the sleeves, the underside first, and lay it flat on the ironing board. Are there permanent creases on one side? Line them up. Make sure your seam is correctly placed on the underside. Iron with steam.

The cuff is ironed with the seam up. You are actually ironing it on the inside. Run the iron around the inside of the cuff until wrinkle free. Flatten the outside of the cuff into place with the iron.

Flip the shirt and sleeve over and iron the front of the sleeve. Ironing both sides of the sleeve takes out all of the wrinkles. Now do the other sleeve in the same way! Congratulations, you are halfway done.

Iron the interfacing of the shirt, if it is wide, on the wrong side of the shirt.. It will look better and be much easier to iron flat. Also iron the inside of a shirt that has sequins or detail sewn on the front. It will protect the sequins or delicate work and give you a better finish.

Ironing the upper bodice of the Shirt

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Right front of shirt
Right front of shirt
Right front of shirt

The Bodice

I am right handed and point my ironing board to the left. You may be left handed and do exactly the opposite. Adapt the direction of the process to fit your needs.

To continue, place the front right side of the shirt flat on the board. Steam iron the top area of the buttons, between the buttons, and the front right shoulder area. Take the shirt and fit the shoulder onto the end of the board and iron the shoulder flat. Continue to move the fabric around toward the back, ironing under the collar and the back of the yoke area. If you have a loop sown in, iron down to this point. Continue the fabric around to the left shoulder, over the shoulder fabric and to the front of the shirt. This entire area is important to the overall finished look of your shirt.

If you have embroidery that is delicate or sequins, iron on the back of the shirt bodice to complete your finished look. I also suggest washing any shirts with ornamental decoration inside out.

Ironing the rest of the shirt.

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The right front.The back.The left front.
The right front.
The right front.
The back.
The back.
The left front.
The left front.

The Rest of the Process

To finish your shirt, lay the right front of the shirt flat on the board. If this is a mans' shirt, there are buttons on this side. Iron between the buttons and the section near the buttons first. You will probably have to move the fabric to finish the rest of the front near the sides. Steam where needed.

Turn the shirt to the side. You will see a seam down the side. Iron this all the way to the attached sleeve.

Turn the shirt to the right back and iron all the way up to the bodice. Any wrinkles at the top of the sleeve can be ironed as needed. Turn the fabric again and finish the left side of the back. This is the largest area of ironing.

You are now at the left side. Iron the seam on the left side. Turn the fabric to lay the front left side on the board. There may be a pocket on this side. I start at the bottom of the shirt and work my way up the shirt. Don't forget to iron the seam where the buttonholes sit. Work your way up the top of the front, making sure that the pocket is ironed and straight on the shirt.

Finishing Up

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It is Finished!

Your shirt is now ironed. Hang it well. Make sure that the shoulders are neatly placed on the coat hanger. Button the shirt before putting it away. Buttoning the buttons keeps wrinkling in the closet to a minimum!

Congratulations, you did it! As you practice your new skills, you will increase your speed. With my years of practice, I can iron a shirt in less than five minutes! Now you too can enjoy those freshly ironed shirts!


Submit a Comment
  • PaulaK profile imageAUTHOR

    Paula Kirchner 

    9 years ago from Austin. Texas

    Thanks pmccray! You are so right about good grooming and first impressions. I appreciate your votes! Have a great weekend!

  • pmccray profile image


    9 years ago from Utah

    You know I watched a snippet on the Documentary station regarding this very subject called " I Start with the Collar First".

    It revolved around some Tennessee Mountain housewives from all generations on the proper way to iron a shirt.

    Listening to those women and reading this hub reminded me of the importance of good grooming and first impressions. Voted up, marked useful, awesome, bookmarked and shared.

  • World-Traveler profile image


    9 years ago from USA

    Ironing has always been a problem for me. I appreciate the tips. They are all helpful.

  • PaulaK profile imageAUTHOR

    Paula Kirchner 

    9 years ago from Austin. Texas

    AlexRad, those things do not come naturally. So glad to have you stop by!

  • AlexRad profile image

    Alexander Radich 

    9 years ago from Kiev

    I have always had problems with ironing and washing ))) So I need a kind of primer for that purpose. Thanks Paula!

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 

    9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    Great tips on ironing a shirt.

  • PaulaK profile imageAUTHOR

    Paula Kirchner 

    9 years ago from Austin. Texas

    HappyHer, I hope this helps! I agree that dress shirts can be a pain.

  • HappyHer profile image

    Tracy Morrow 

    9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

    Great hub! I am the one that wields the iron around here and have always found dress shirts to be some of the most challenging items to iron correctly.

  • PaulaK profile imageAUTHOR

    Paula Kirchner 

    9 years ago from Austin. Texas

    I like choice number 1 and 2, but my husband usually has enough shirts to keep me busy! Sooooo sorry Cajunrooster!

  • cajunrooster profile image

    John David LeCoq 

    9 years ago from San Antonio, Texas

    Ok, PaulaK, I have a dilemma now. I can either learn how to iron the shirts myself, try to get my wife to iron them or just drop them off at your house and let you iron them since I know you are a good "ironer"!!


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