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Pressing creases into trousers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dah328, May 23, 2004.

  1. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Does anyone press the creases on their wool pants?  I try to avoid dry cleaning my pants, but I'd like to keep a nice crease in them.  I've tried using a regular iron on them with a moist cotton cloth as a press cloth, but the results have been mediocre at best.  In other words, I have not been able to get anything resembling a sharp crease.  Is there a secret to doing it right or do I have to periodically entrust my nice MTM pants to the cleaners for a "professional" pressing?

    Thanks,

    dan
     
  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Spraying a little water on the crease line before ironing does the trick for me, though I'm not sure if that does more damage to the wool fabric than the moist cloth does.
     
  3. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Traditionally, tailors use a "clapper", a heavy wooden pounding block. Lay a damp cloth over the trousers and hit with hot iron for the maximum amount of steam to develop, then remove cloth and, without wasting any time, hit the steaming crease with the clapper and the greatest force you can muster.

    Wonderful way to get your aggressions out of the system.
     
  4. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    JESUS.
     
  5. Len

    Len Well-Known Member

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    Their are many uses for the "clapper" if you use your imagination..

    Use a moderately damp cloth and lay it over the legs of the trousers. Press ONE LEG at a time for the best results. I actually lightly spray the trouser leg and then lay a dry cloth over it shrinking the fabric back into shape. I use this method because the water evapourates quicker. The creases are sharper when the water and steam have disappeared before finishing with the iron and using your chunk of smooth wood. As mentioned, I press one leg at a time, but I press both sides of each leg for the best result. After pressing the inside leg I turn the trouser over and press the outside leg in the same manner. This ensures the yarns are treated in the same manner to stop any distortion.
     
  6. AskAndyAboutClothes

    AskAndyAboutClothes Senior member

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    Len -- Can I send you my ironing? Your method sounds perfect.

    Although I'm interested in Bengal-Stripe's clapper method, especially since it gave johnnynorman3 such a religious experience.

    I'd just add to make certain that all the leg seams are aligned in the center of the legs to ensure that the crease is in the proper place.

    Andy
     
  7. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I was wondering about this... where is the back crease supposed to go? It seems to me that it should go up the back of the leg in the center. However, when I buy pants it seems almost random where the rear crease ends up. Some of them if you line it up goes to a couple inches from the center of the back seam, though of course it's not actually ironed that far up. But this means the crease comes up the inside of the leg in the back and probably looks weird. I tried re-pressing the crease on one particularly weird pair of pants and though my crease was good, the old one was very difficult to get out. Should I bother? I guess the real answer is to stop buying RTW stuff that's made with no regard to detail. Unfortunately it will be a while before I can afford that.
     
  8. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    I'll add that I tried johnnynorman3's method on an older pair of pants of mine and got a pretty nice crease out of them. I may pick up a clapper, but I don't know how that would add enhance the results. I did steam the pants afterward as well, partly to remove the little imprints in the pants from the steam holes on the bottom of my iron. I still have to work on getting the crease in the front all the way up to the waistband since I stopped partway up the thigh. I'll save that for my next practice attempt.

    dan
     

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