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Tip to ironing a buttondown collar...

Jovan

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Bought my first Oxford cloth buttondown shirt (affectionately referred to as OCBD by some here) and learned, the hard way, how you should actually iron the collar.

Now, a lot of you know that you're supposed to iron the underside (unseen) portion of it first. In the case of this, that'll actually give you a whole world of pain. When I tried doing this with my shirt and ironed the top, it was sort of wavy and there came out little rumples in the fabric. It looked terrible! It took a whole lot of water spray and re-ironing to get it looking just okay. Basically normal shirt collars have fusing (most common) or some kind of canvas interlining in between them, so the steam from pressing doesn't go through to the other side directly. When I ironed the underside of this collar, it came out perfect so I mistakenly assumed the other side would too. This also proves that just ironing the seen side would be enough.

I'm sure a lot of you already know this stuff, and I may have gone into a little too much description. However, I don't want others and newbies to fine dressing to make my same mistake.
 

designprofessor

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did you unbotton the collar and lay it out flat?
If you did then i'm not sure about a solution to your dilema. If you leave the collar buttoned down and try to iron it, that will put an ironed wrinkle in it.I
 

Ivan Kipling

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Hi Jovan . . . this is, touchy stuff. I've been ironing shirts, since I was sixteen . . . some of them, still give me trouble. Often I use a sleeve board, even for collars. I sometimes tug at the fabric, while the collar is set on the sleeve board, in order to give a nice 'roll,' to the finished look. I use a Rowenta, steam iron. Does good work.
 

Jovan

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Oh, I unbuttoned it and laid it out flat. That's pretty much a given.
I don't think I said it, but the problem was that the fabric on the outer side became rumpled and wavy after I ironed the underside. In any case, I've found the solution already if you read. I'll simply iron the outer side only, as it seemed to create a nice press on the underside.
 

Edward Appleby

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I use some steam when I iron oxford cloth, as I like it with a bit of rumple.
 

Jovan

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You're supposed to use steam on cotton all the time though.
 

NoVaguy

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I iron from the tips in. Never seemed to have a problem.
 

Edward Appleby

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Originally Posted by Jovan
You're supposed to use steam on cotton all the time though.
Yeah, but a bit more. Honestly I've never really taken the time to learn to iron dress shirts properly (i.e., without starch) as the cleaners or our housekeeper usually take care of them.
 

Jovan

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I hate starch. Sure, it makes ironing easier, but if you don't let it soak in just enough it'll flake when ironed. In addition, I like my shirts to be soft and casual feeling, as opposed to the stiffness that results from starching. On top of that, no starch gives longer life to your shirts.
 

Ivan Kipling

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NoVaguy has given you a great inside tip, based on experience. I too, have learned to iron collars, from outside inward. Lots of trial and error, to pressing. Use a light touch, whenever you can. Re. the starch, I've stopped using it, myself. Yes, it makes ironing easier. But once you stop using starch, the natural luster and 'hand' of fine cotton, are palpable and sensual. I don't think I'll ever go back, to starch. Only when absolutly necessary.
 

Jovan

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NoVaguy: Thanks for the suggestion.
My friend suggested starch is necessary for black or white tie functions... I disagree. The formality of a pleat or pique fronted shirt far outweighs the need for it it appear very crisp if you ask me. It's like taking a pair of good flannel trousers and spraying them with Scotchgard... it simply takes away from how great the fabric is naturally. Yes, many would say that about my little thing for non-iron, but most of the shirts I've felt that were treated don't feel like it.
 

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