October 23, 2018
Denim Care 202: To Iron or not to Iron, that is the Question.
So you’ve left your jeans half-inside-out all crumpled on the floor. Then you dumped the rest of your laundry on top of them, and then you spent weeks wondering where on earth your fav dungarees got off to, because obviously you don’t put your laundry away (drawers? Who needs drawers?)
By the time you finally discover your long-lost denim, they’ve sort of taken on the look of one of those Chinese Shar-Pei puppies (you know the one: slack-skinned wrinkles, creased face.)
Now you’re wondering: should you iron those bad-boys or what? I mean, if Prince Charles has his shoelaces ironed, you should probably at least iron your pants, right? Let’s take a look at why (or why not) you might want to whip out the ol’ ironing board.
Why Iron, honestly?
1) Get rid of those wrinkles.
With the possible exception of Generation Z kiddos (and some Millennials!) everyone knows that ironing is the go-to for de-wrinkling your clothes. The heat of the iron loosens up the bonds of the fibers within your garments and the weight of the iron helps straighten them into that crisp, wrinkle-free shape.
2) Look smart & savvy
Convention dictates that you have to iron to look smart, and that you’re practically guaranteed to get thrown out on your face if you deign to show up to a job interview with a visible crease in your outfit.
Some people think that wearing creased clothing makes you look lazy. Evidently, ironing is key to banishing these assumptions of irresponsibility!
But Is Ironing a Dying Art?
It’s 2018. Conventions change, and so do industry norms -- some of the modern fabric blends used nowadays may not even really require ironing (which is good, because I can assure you that I haven’t laid eyes upon an iron in over a decade. I am a Millennial though, sorry.)
Fabric blends have changed, and so has fashion: the consciously-casual feel of imperfection is increasingly popular across age-groups. Of course, that depends on who you talk to you -- and besides, your fashion preferences are totally personal and even variable; maybe sometimes you want to appear fashionally bedraggled one day, then kill it with sharp sophistication the next.
Denim & the Iron
If you’re up to speed on Denim Care 101, you’re familiar with the heat-and-denim debate, and maybe this has scared you away from the possibility of ironing your jeans. That’s totally understandable, because by now you know that exposing your denim to too much heat can weaken the fabrics and decrease the lifespan of your garments. The goal, of course, is to hang onto your indigo blues for dear life (because doesn’t everyone invest a ton of time agonizing in the dressing room looking for the one? Or is that just me?)
If you must iron, do so carefully!
There are ways to iron your jeans if you’re determined to get that particularly crisp look (although if you purchased raw denim, I recommend holding out for a while and breaking them in for few months before exposing them to heat!) Generally, jeans don’t *need* to be ironed because they are sort of “street style” attire. If you do choose to grab the iron, though, make sure you use plenty of steam and you operate on low-heat! There are several other steps you can take if you want to go this route.
There are all sorts of crazy de-wrinkling tactics on the interwebz when it comes to showing your pants some TLC, from taking romantic baths with your pants to using your own perspiration to do the de-creasing for you.
Below are some alternative options that don’t involve candle light or other questionable aromatics:
No matter what you decide, you may want to skip the dry cleaner, as some places use potentially harmful chemicals that your jeans might not like.
What’s the verdict?
If you’ve splurged on some premium dungarees, you may want to try some of the alternatives to ironing. That, combined with following standard denim care protocol, will keep your jeans looking better, longer.
As long as it's not 'raw' denim however, don’t be afraid to carefully iron your jeans on occasion ......but please, no need to iron your shoelaces!
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