As an interior stylist, I have to do a lot of ironing for my work. One tiny crease on a bedsheet or on a curtain will show up on camera and ruin the shot. I pack my trusty steam iron in my styling kit for every shoot. As a consequence, after 20 years of ironing on photoshoots, I’ve picked up lots of smart ironing tricks that I’m going to share with you.
My old steam iron lasted 15 years before it finally gave up the ghost. It had travelled with me on locations more times that I can count. I’ve taught hundreds of assistants how to iron bedsheets, steam creases out of upholstered armchairs and to press clothes for models to wear.
I thought it was time to share why every interior stylist loves a steam iron – as well as my nifty ironing tricks.
Firstly, invest in a steam Iron
Steam generator irons are the champions of irons. Once you have used one, you will never go back to an ordinary iron. Why? The power of steam cuts through creases in seconds so you can power through your laundry in record time.
If you follow me on instagram, you would have heard me squeal with joy when I unpacked this bad-boy for the first time.
When it came to buying a new steam iron, I had a very specific checklist. This Russell Hobbs one ticked all the boxes:
Powerful steam generator
Lightweight (my old one weighed a ton)
Anti-scale as I live in a hard water area
Large water tank so Im not filling it up all the time.
Carry handles for when I’m packing it up in my car for shoots.
On first use, my new iron had a lots of pressurised steam. My skin got a good facial that day when pressing my bedsheets. The iron glided through stubborn creases easily. I romped through my ironing pile in half the usual time.
And the less time spent ironing is alright with me. And at £109.99 it was very affordable.
This iron also heat up in one minute. Ideal when you’re slammed on a busy shoot and you have all of John Lewis’ bed linen department to press for your photoshoot. You don’t have time to wait for an iron to warm up.
My old iron was very bulky and if not stored the correct way would leak in the boot of my car on the way to shoots. I was forever emptying it out when I got home.
That’s why I was impressed this Russell Hobbs one stores upright. I can slots into a small cupboard under my sink, saving space in my tiny home.
Now, this is a handy trick: the vertical steam function allows you to use the iron like a steamer, and remove creases from hanging garments.
This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about!
Even after pressing curtains on location, when you hang them up at the windows, they tend to crumple again. Interior Stylist will iron curtains on the rail after hanging to make sure they are perfect. A vertical iron means you can steam out any creases with a quick press. On a test run, this iron didn’t leak on the floor either in this mode.
You can use this trick at home if you want to freshen up your own curtains. Or if you want to revive an upholstered furniture. Never hold the iron on the fabric as they maybe too delicate. Hold it an inch or two away and press the steam button. Once you start, you’ll be steaming everything in your home.
For safety reasons, I liked that this iron had an auto-shut off. On location, I don’t want the worry that an iron has been left on upstairs while I’m busy styling up a shot downstairs. Also a pretty handy function for busy family homes.
Buy a Decent Ironing Board
I never really understood what difference an ironing board made until I was gifted this Brabantia one. This is the tallest ironing board I have ever owned. being so tall, it was great for my lower back. It also is extra wide so I can ironing a large surface each time. It’s very sturdy too. It’s more a surfboard than an ironing board and costs £99.
Oh, and you can adjust it to iron sitting down too.
In the past, I have used iron boards that have a thin foam cover on the top so when you iron the sheets, you got the mesh metalwork pattern of the iron coming through on my clothes and sheets. A total waste of time.
This board comes with an extra soft padded top which makes it a dream to iron on. It has a cord binder and stretch system that keeps the ironing cover taut. It comes in lots of pretty designs too. I love the dragonfly and flowers on mine, and the hot pink legs.
Large ironing Basket
If you are like me and wait until you have nothing to wear before tackling your ironing, then you need a family-sized ironing basket to keep your washing in. I hate the plastic basket style ones, and I don’t have anywhere to store them.
Instead, I treated my home to a belly basket from Belly Basket Fantastic (what a great name). It cost for £27.99 which isn’t a bad price. It holds about two weeks worth of ironing in it. I don’t mind having it out on display while I get round to ironing. And when not in use, I can fold it down and tuck it out the way.
Other Ironing Tricks
* I’m a big fan of a linen spray especially on own bed linens. In this post about getting a good night sleep, I swear by linen fragrances to helping me drift off to sleep. My latest one was just £6 from Primark which I’m talk about over here in this blog post.
* When you have finished ironing large sheets, drape them over a door or over chairs until the fabric cools down. If you fold them up straight away the heat fixes the fold creases.
* Always iron on the reverse just in case your iron leaves marks. And make sure you get the heat setting right for the material. I usually start with all my delicate and silk items first, then work my way up to cottons and denims.
* If ironing delicates items with lots of buttons or embroidery. Always put a clean tea towel on top and steam through – avoiding moving the iron which may catch threads or buttons.
If you are thinking of becoming an interior stylist, you need to pick up these ironing tricks and fast! If not, I’m sure you’ll find these handy tips helpful when ironing at home.
Have you got an ironing trick you would like to share? I’d love to read it in the comments section below.
** Disclaimer. I was given product to review. All the ideas, thoughts and photos are my own.