Good ironing is supposed to leave no traces other than removing all wrinkles from clothes. But life is all about mistakes and how we bounce back from them. So we have those ironing marks – Iron burn stains, or just simple iron marks on clothes or worse holes. They are unattractive and sometimes unavoidable – you just have to be a little bit careless, because of the nature of the fabric and the hotness of the iron; they are there, all of a sudden catching you unawares and leaving you in despair. Despair because most of the time these marks are irreparable. So how do we bounce back from these mistakes- is it possible?
Why does scorching and shiny marks happen?
Fabric and hot iron usually don’t get on very well. And the person who attends to these may not know the temperature tolerance of the fabric they are dealing with. No one wants to burn their own clothes willfully. It just happens – a little bit of miscalculation of the temperatures setting of the iron, or a malfunction of the iron or a distraction and there is this unattractive yellow mark or worse brown burnt stain with some holes on your clothing.
Thin silk fabrics, wool fabrics, and other natural fabrics are marked easily with brown stains when the iron is left a little too longer – this is called scorching. Damage to fabric by high heat without actual burning. If the heat is too high nylon, polyester and other fabrics scrunch up, harden, and turn glossy because of the melting and fusing of fibers.
Preventing iron burn holes comes down to using the correct temperature setting for the fabric (each and every fiber has a particular temperature tolerance level), using a pressing cloth for most delicate and dark-colored clothes, cleaning all gunk out of iron soleplate regularly, etc. Steam pressing is a good way to prevent scorch marks.
Prevention tips are good in retrospect but what about the iron marks that are already there? Here are some simple ways to fix iron-damaged clothes.
How to deal with shiny iron marks on fabric?
Glazing is the term for this – these marks are a result of, you guessed it, too-hot iron. This usually happens on synthetic fabrics like Nylon, acetate. The fibers of the fabrics fuse together as a result of high heat tolerable thin the particular fiber and harden; the area usually takes on a glossy look which is not desired.
If the marks are not severe you can wash the fabric to soften it. But if the hardening has turned the fabric stiff it may not be recovered to the previous state. Prevention is the key here.
Use a temperature that is suitable for a particular fabric. You can use a pressing cloth or iron on the backside.
How to fix an iron burn on clothes?
Bad scorch marks can be difficult to remove. I sprayed perfume on the spot and then used a little dishwashing detergent on the area. Dabbed with a clean cloth, again and again, to remove the detergent. You can try doing this again and again till the stain disappears. It didn’t succeed in fully removing the stain in my case. I had to use a little bleach to completely remove the brown color.
Washing the clothes with bleach is said to be the best way to reduce the color of the burnt mark. Do not leave the bleach for long – the fibers are already weak and they will disintegrate in the bleach if left to soak. Small holes can appear soon.
How to fix a burn-hole in clothes
If the burnt hole is bigger your only course of action is to patch the area with darning or a clothing patch. The patch can be taken from another area of the clothing. Try these posts for directions : How to darn; How to attach clothing patches
Clothing care according to fabrics and clothing : How to wash Linen; How to wash wool ; Silk care; How to care for Pashmina shawls ; Faux leather care; Leather care.; Upholstery care; How to wash shirts; How to remove lint from clothes; Mending tears on clothes