Do you have a precious piece of wool that you’ve cut for a project but are worried about getting the wrinkles out of wool properly?
Your worries are justified. After all, wool is made from the natural hair fibers of some of our favorite furry friends like alpaca and sheep. So if you put too much heat on these fibers, they could end up losing some of the natural resilience that makes them so great for clothing, blankets, and more. And, you could be stuck with the dreaded shiny and flat effect that comes from too much heat.
Also, we know that wool isn’t cheap. Even with wool blends, you run the risk of scorching or overheating your wool pieces.
Let’s walk through what you need and how to properly press wool so you can be confident in your wool sewing projects.
What You Need to Properly Press Wool
To press wool properly for sewing, you’ll need some essential tools:
- A flat, sturdy surface
- A wool pressing mat or similar heat-resistant pad
- A steam iron
- A pressing cloth
- A hanging rack or strong hanger
I don’t have a wool pressing mat. If you don’t, try laying a folded white towel down on a table.
I don’t have a steam iron. You can use a dry iron in a pinch. See the instructions below.
I don’t have a specialized pressing cloth. It’s okay. Try using a thicker, plain woven-cotton fabric with tight weaving. Make sure it doesn’t have colors or something printed on it as that may actually transfer to your wool fabric during the ironing process.
While you can use a few workarounds, do your best to use the prescribed items above. They will ensure you are going to get the best results.
How to Press or Iron Wool
Ironing wool is kind of an art. If you apply too much heat, you could ruin your fabric. If you apply too little, you won’t get out those pesky wrinkles.
Fill your steam iron up with filtered water and let it warm up on the “Wool” setting (or 300 degrees Fahrenheit/148 degrees Celsius).
After you set your wool pressing mat or heat-resistant pad onto a table or flat, sturdy surface, set your wool pieces onto it with the wrong side up. What’s great about using a wool pressing mat is that the heat from the iron will heat up the wool mat and, in turn, iron the other side as well so you don’t have to do as much flipping during the ironing process. And, they’re easier to move around when you’re done.
Cover with a dry pressing cloth. If you don’t, you will have scorch marks or even shiny marks from too much heat.
Steam iron the pressing cloth section by section. Be sure not to leave your iron’s soleplate on one section for longer than 8-10 seconds to avoid overheating.
If you’re using a dry iron, you can spray your wool fabric with cool water, then lay your pressing cloth on top, them iron. Or, you can dampen the cotton pressing cloth. The main point is to have some controlled water between your iron and your clothing.
Never iron dry wool with a dry iron or you will damage the fibers and possibly create burns.
Continue Your Wool Sewing with Confidence
Okay. Now you’re a wool-ironing expert.
You know what you need and the best methods for getting annoying wrinkles and creases out of your wool fabrics. Don’t forget that all of these methods can be used on completed wool clothing, blankets, and more as well.