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How to Press Your Trousers the Murl Way

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

Apparently people are fond of my trouser pressing skills because I've been asked numerous times to do a tutorial.  So, here we go... but before I start, I just want to say that I don't plan on getting into debates/discussions with people that want to chime in and say I'm doing something wrong.  This is how I press my trousers.  Not saying it is the best and only way to do it, it's just how I do it and I've been happy with it for a long time.

 

 

 

Prior to the present day in which the military wears what are basically digicam pajamas, we actually had to press our fatigues.  If you had a fresh pressed uniform with razor sharp creases, you made one helluva first impression.  For obvious reasons, that's exactly what I wanted to do.  I quickly found out that a crap iron wasn't going to get me anywhere.  I bought my first Rowenta iron 15 years ago and just recently replaced it with a newer model...you can find them on sale for under $100.  Next, I found out you need a decent ironing board pad or when you press hard you will get imprints from the metal underneath...decent pads run under $20.  You also need a press cloth and you can use just about anything from a cut pillow case to a cotton hank...any type of smooth cotton.  Last thing you need (for wool trousers) is a brush.  Kent makes some really good ones that you can get for about $30 on Amazon.  Here's my setup:

 

 

 

On Saturday I'll start the step by step pictorial.  

 

Cheers,

 

Cody

post #2 of 51
Thread Starter 

Alright, here we go.  I decided to press my favorite pair of trousers, a H&S flannel that Ed from Panta made for me.  Some people don't like flannel because they say it looks sloppy after a couple hours of wear.  I don't wear the heavier stuff, but a good 10-12oz flannel can look really good at the end of the day (and I sit a lot) with a good pressing.  Here is the before...you can see that the crease in the knee area is a little "bagged":

 

 

 

First things first, make sure you give your trousers a good brushing.  You don't need much pressure and you'll want to brush in one direction.  At first, you might think the brush is going to damage the wool, but a good brush won't do any harm.  Next thing you want to do is lay them out on the ironing board so that the front and back creases sit flat.  Take your time when doing this and make sure they lay so that when you press, you are repressing the existing crease and not making another.  Otherwise, you may be left will the railroad look...one fresh crease and what's left of the old crease running along side of it.

 

Pressing from the inside of the leg is much easier because you can simply take the other leg and nicely fold it over in the other direction....to get it out of the way.  After that, I give the area I will be pressing another soft brushing to make sure the wool is free of any debris before I press.

 

 

Now you're ready to press.  I set my iron to max heat, but you have to be careful.  Even though you have the press cloth to protect the fabric, you can still scorch it if you hold the press in any one spot for too long.  Next thing I do is lightly dampen the press cloth by spraying it with the iron....in my experience, this makes a huge difference.  Then, lay the press cloth at the bottom of the trouser and you will work your way up to the crotch area.  This image shows the second area ready to be pressed.

 

 

 

Firmly press the iron on the crease (which is under the press cloth) while being careful to make sure your iron doesn't come in direct contact with the trouser fabric.  Press in one spot for a couple seconds, lift and move up the leg a couple inches and then press again.  Repeat until you've gone the length of the press cloth.  Do not move the iron around like you are ironing a shirt...just press, lift, press next area.  During this whole process, the steam will be off.  I usually give one small burst of steam for each press, but that's it.  Steam is great for pressing, but it can also travel to places you don't want it and any press you had in that area will be gone.  

 

 

 

Part II coming in a few....

post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 

It's that simple.  Repeat those steps all the way up the leg for the front and back of each leg.  If done right, you should only need to press one side if your trousers already have a decent existing crease.  If they are a mess, you will likely need to do both sides (inside/outside) of both the front and back creases.  Here's the finished crease on one leg.

 

 

I always press my trousers a couple days (or at least one) before I wear them.  Never in the morning before work.  I read somewhere that letting them hang for a day or two after pressing allows the wool fibers to settle and the creases set in....seems to be the case in my experience.

 

Here you can see how the fresh pressed left leg compare to the unpressed right

 


The final shot....like I mentioned in the beginning, you can see the right (my) leg still looks pretty good after being worn and hanging for a couple days because it had a good press.  That said, the left leg clearly has a more defined press and this will easily last me 3 wears before it's time for another round.  

 


 

That's all I got.  I'm clearly not a writer so hopefully it's not too painful of a read.  I'll do my best to answer any questions you guys have.  

 

Cheers,

 

Cody

post #4 of 51
This post has inspired me to get rid of the shit iron I got from (I'm ashamed to say) Kroger. From Squalor to Baller (AKA, brillopad) posted an ironing tutorial a while ago and recommended a similar iron, same brand at least, available for less than $100 on Amazon with Prime shipping. Time to take the plunge!
post #5 of 51

Thanks. Trying this on my grey flannels tomorrow. I need them looking good for a ball next Saturday. 

post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainTohm View Post

This post has inspired me to get rid of the shit iron I got from (I'm ashamed to say) Kroger. From Squalor to Baller (AKA, brillopad) posted an ironing tutorial a while ago and recommended a similar iron, same brand at least, available for less than $100 on Amazon with Prime shipping. Time to take the plunge!

Ian knows what's up. You'll notice the difference right away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerkicker View Post

Thanks. Trying this on my grey flannels tomorrow. I need them looking good for a ball next Saturday. 

Post pics of the results here if you can.
post #7 of 51

Thanks for the nice write-up! Time for me to pick up a cloth brush! BTW, is it the same kind of brush you use to brush your suit (I've read old thread mentioning lint rollers might leave a residue on the fabric, thus a cloth brush would be a better idea)?

post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnBC View Post

Thanks for the nice write-up! Time for me to pick up a cloth brush! BTW, is it the same kind of brush you use to brush your suit (I've read old thread mentioning lint rollers might leave a residue on the fabric, thus a cloth brush would be a better idea)?

Yes, same thing to brush all wool. You're right about lint rollers....get a brush!
post #9 of 51

Thank you so much! @Murlsquirl 

post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wigglr View Post

Thank you so much! @Murlsquirl
 

My pleasure. Glad some people got something out of it.
post #11 of 51
Kewl. Will pop my pant pressing cherry shortly...
post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spandexter View Post

Kewl. Will pop my pant pressing cherry shortly...

Sounds painful biggrin.gif
post #13 of 51
Thanks mate - this is exactly what I was looking for
post #14 of 51
Great thread! Thanks Murl. How many times do you use the press cloth before you junk it?
post #15 of 51

How did I know you were one of those dudes who spent extra money on pressing their BDUs? (Note: I was too)

 

Also: Your name is Cody?

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