How to Iron Polyester: Tips and Tricks

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Last updated: August 22, 2023
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Polyester is a fabric, albeit a synthetic one, and like all fabrics, it requires attention. Valid arguments could, however, be made that polyester requires even more care than other fabrics. Many of these arguments are backed by the fact that the material is a very soft one that wrinkles easily and isn’t very temperature friendly. To take care of such wrinkling and temperature issues, there are ways to care for the fabric, including iron polyester.

Luckily for those of us in awe and need of polyester clothing, draperies, and the likes, there are ways to manage the material that would clean, iron, and protect it from damage. These methods and tips range from washing, through drying, to ironing, but the emphasis would be placed on the ironing as that is where much of the care-related damage to polyester fabrics occurs.

What is polyester?

Chemically, polyesters are a class of chemical materials, all polymers that contain an ester group in every unit of their main chain. They are widely utilized in many industries, including the textile industries.

There are very few limits, if any, to their use as fabrics. The polyester fabrics are woven or knotted from polyester threads and are used in various materials, including shirts, pants, jackets, curtains, dresses, etc.

A significant advantage of these fabrics is that they are light and highly stain-resistant (so much that only disperse dyes can be used to change their colors). However, they also possess a significant disadvantage in that they are mostly not biodegradable Trusted Source BBC News Boohoo’s recycled clothes ‘will not solve fast fashion waste’. , but many biodegradable types of polyester are being manufactured.

How to iron it?

If you are used to using iron-on curtain fabric, chances are you don’t have much in terms of variety when it comes to your ironing process. This is because the material is mostly durable enough not to be easily damaged. Polyester, however, is not likely to be as enduring as cotton.

How to Iron Polyester: Tips and Tricks

As such, to prevent damage to the polyester material during ironing, any of the following methods can be utilized depending on their suitability for the particular item being pressed and your personal preference:

  • Use the iron on the lowest temperature setting. Many irons possess a polyester cloth setting, and this may be present on the temperature dial indicator or in the manual of the iron. You could also get a suitable heat setting by checking the care label of a particular material.
  • Lightly spray the material before ironing. This method doesn’t require you to wet the material until it’s dripping. All you need is a light spray, and for this, you could always use a spray bottle. Ensure that the water used is clean, and after doing this, you could start your ironing.
  • Turn the fabric inside out before ironing. The concept behind these techniques is to ensure that provided damage sustained during ironing isn’t very visible or extensive, and it would remain unnoticeable on the other side.
  • Use a thin towel or shirt. Another method popularly utilized in the ironing of fragile fabrics is a light towel, shirt, or other cotton material. The first precaution when employing this method is to ensure that the towel, shirt, or material used is plain white and dry. This would eliminate the possibility of stains. The material is to be placed on top of the material to be ironed to protect it from excess heat during ironing.
  • Using a shirt or towel at low heat. In a more cautious approach to the one described above, the iron could be used at a lower heat setting even when the fabric has been covered with the towel or shirt. This might mean more time spent ironing, but it also means a significantly lesser likelihood of damage to the fabric.
  • You could also use a cloth steamer or a steam generator iron.

General rules

There are a couple of rules to take into consideration when ironing polyester fabrics. This is the same for many materials, especially synthetic ones. This is partly because the rules for a specific piece of clothing depend on its disadvantages and nature. Along with these rules, included below are also a couple of tips:

  • If you are using the iron directly on the material, do not hold the iron on any one spot for more than three seconds at most. If the iron is being used at a lower setting, the time could be extended to maybe seven seconds but not more.
  • The ironing should be done on an ironing board, and in the absence of that, a towel could be folded and placed on a bed pr any other flat surface to be used as an ironing surface.
  • Rather than wear the clothing material (if it is one) immediately after ironing, it might be smarter to leave the material or hand it until it cools before putting it on. This is because wearing it right away could increase the ease with which it develops new wrinkles.
  • The best way to iron the fabric, whether directly or through another material, is to keep moving the iron and never to keep it still. This is the best way of smoothening it out while reducing the chances of damage.
  • For easier ironing, you could use a cordless iron. A reliable model is the Cordless Iron and Steamer Deluxe from PowerXL.
  • Use a cloth steamer or iron depending on the suitability of the situation. While the irons may be suitable for dresses and clothes because of the relative ease of handling, a steamer might b more appropriate for a curtain. A highly recommended steamer is the Vivio 5000GC Garment Steamer from Reliable.

How to iron polyester curtains

  • Prepare the ironing board or ironing surface as is appropriate.
  • Check the care label to see the recommended heat setting or set your iron to the temperature you usually use.
  • Use whatever technique you have settled on or have used previously. Polyester curtains are usually very thin, and for that reason, it might be advisable to iron over another plain curtain material for better protection.
  • Iron until the wrinkles are gone, wait to allow the curtains to cool, and then move onto a new section.
  • Immediately after ironing, hand the curtains to let gravity remove any extra wrinkles for you.

How to iron polyester dress

  • Prepare the ironing board or ironing surface as is appropriate.
  • Read the care label of the dress to determine the recommended heat setting or use that which you normally utilize.
  • Remove any additional features to the polyester dress, such as a wrap or belt.
  • For the best result, it is advised that you iron the dress after turning it inside out. You could also use another material on top of it before ironing. This method is best because damage to a dress is likely to be more significant to you to an equally soft material like a curtain.

Iron until the wrinkles are gone and turn to the other side to iron it also.

  • Once done, hang the dress or leave it on the ironing board while it cools.

How to iron polyester pants

How to Iron Polyester: Tips and Tricks

  • Prepare the ironing board or ironing surface to be used.
  • Check the care label of the pant to determine the most suitable temperature for ironing or use that which you normally use.
  • Start on the pocket lining, and when ironing the waistband, press and lift rather than moving the iron along with the band.
  • When ironing the pant legs, press and lift along the length instead of smoothing the iron over the material.
  • Iron until all the wrinkles are gone, and once done, fold the trousers immediately or leave on the ironing board until the material cools.

How to iron polyester shirt

  • Prepare the ironing board or ironing surface as is appropriate.
  • Undo all the buttons and damp the shirt with a spray bottle.
  • Check the care label for the recommended ironing temperature.
  • Iron over the collars and the cuff of the sleeves with another material on top as the soleplate of the iron could lead to stains.
  • Be careful not to iron over any buttons.
  • If the shirt has sleeves, iron around them.
  • Move the shirt around and turn to the other side, if necessary, to ensure that every inch is covered.
  • Iron until all wrinkles are gone, and once done, hang the shirt immediately or leave it on the ironing board.

Final Thoughts

The polyester fabric is quite sensitive to heat. Still, it is also one of high quality that is favored by many designers and cloth manufacturers for its lightweight nature and smoothness. The fabric is also versatile and is used in many situations. This versatility makes it common, and this commonness is the biggest argument for why one should be versed in its maintenance. In this case, maintenance includes knowing how to iron polyester garments.

Steps taken during other stages of maintenance can, however, make ironing easier. Such methods include foregoing a drier and spring to hang the garment so that gravity straightens out the material while it dries. Other methods include hand washing and steaming instead of ironing. In summary, any method that helps to minimize wrinkling helps in the ironing of polyester fabric.


BBC News
Boohoo’s recycled clothes ‘will not solve fast fashion waste’.

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