Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oh No! Iron Mishaps

Help!  The fabric is scrunching!!  Eek, my iron changed the color!  Aargh - I've ironed interfacing to the board!!

We've all had those "oh no" experiences when sewing and ironing.  Here's a few tips for correcting them:

Help!  The fabric is wrinkly!

When ironing interfacing onto fabric, I always iron with the fabric side up (shiny side of interfacing to wrong side of fabric).  Occasionally, the fabric will suddenly scrunch up, forming bubbles where the fabric is not adhered to the interfacing.  This happens when your iron is TOO HOT.  To correct, simply turn your iron heat down to the next lowest setting, let it cool to that setting, and repress the fabric and interfacing.  Press hard with the iron to smooth out the fabric.  Be cautious that you're using a low enough setting (you might even test on a scrap piece of fabric first).  If this does not smooth out the fabric enough, heat the fabric enough to peel off the interfacing, then repress from the interfacing side, using a pressing cloth.
To prevent this happening:

  • Never use a setting higher than "wool" on cotton fabrics when ironing on interfacing. 
  • Looser weave cotton fabrics take less heat. 
  • Use the lowest setting possible that will still adhere the interfacing.
  • If using polyester fabric, use a pressing cloth (I use a scrap piece of muslin) between the iron & the fabric.
  • For delicate fabrics, iron from the interfacing side, using a pressing cloth between the iron & the interfacing.

My iron changed the color!!

Sometimes with woven fabrics (especially red or hot pink) the color will actually change when pressed with a hot iron.  Although this can be frightening, it usually is not a permanent change.  The heat simply darkens the color temporarily and the color will go back to normal when it cools.  If you notice this happening, stop and test a scrap piece of fabric to make sure it is a non-permanent change.  Of course, if it is a permanent change you can always iron all the fabric pieces until they are a uniform color!!

Aargh!  I've ironed the interfacing to the board!!

This has happened to me more times than I'd like to say.  Hopefully you all know that the shiny side of the interfacing is the glue side - that's the side that should be applied to the wrong side of the fabric.  If you iron the interfacing to your ironing board, don't panic! Heat up the interfacing again with the iron (use a pressing cloth between the iron & the interfacing) and carefully peel the interfacing away from the board.  Then use a scrap piece of fabric and repeatedly iron over the area that still has glue residue, moving fabric around to a fresh non-gluey spot.  After the board cools, feel with your hand - any gluey residue will feel bumpy or rough.  Test with a fresh scrap of fabric and examine it carefully to make sure all the glue residue is removed.  You don't want any glue getting on your good fabric.

Other Ironing Mishaps

If you make a mistake on where you put the interfacing, this can sometimes be corrected using the technique above.  But the gluey residue is very hard to remove.

For glue stuck on your iron, please see Secret Weapon #1 on cleaning your iron.

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