Can You Iron Polyester?

Polyester is one of those fabrics that end up everywhere, from tough 100% polyester activewear to softer shirts and other garments with maybe just 40%. This can make it a little difficult to know how best to handle polyester when it creases. So, can you iron polyester and what tips can you use to avoid any potential problems?

Can you iron polyester?

It is possible to iron polyester, but it is certainly much easier with a polyester blend than anything 100% polyester. The biggest issue that you will face here is that synthetic polyester is a plastic and plastic has the potential to melt when in contact with high heat. So, mishaps with an iron could lead to melted fabric if there is a high percentage of polyester. Many shirts that are blends should be fine with a careful approach.100% Polyester coats and activewear, not so much.

How to iron polyester.

Ironing a normal polyester blend isn’t too difficult as long as you are careful to use a low heat and keep an eye on the garment at all times. The low percentage of synthetic plastic fibers shouldn’t be enough to cause major damage unless you were to press down too hard, use a high heat, or leave the iron in place too long.

It can also help to moisten the fabric to get rid of the creases more easily. Just be careful not to make the item too wet. All you need is a little spritz from a spray bottle. Also, keep the iron moving so that it doesn’t rest in one point and risk damage to the garment. This can happen even if you have the pressing cloth in place.

How to iron 100% polyester.

One of the best things that you can do when ironing 100% polyester is to use a pressing cloth. These cloths provide a barrier between the creased fabric and the hot plate of the iron, which then reduces the risk of burns, melting, or other damage. You can place this cloth directly under your iron and transfer the heat to your polyester fabric. This should then be just enough to help flatten the worst of the creases without being hot enough to damage the fibers. If you haven’t used a pressing cloth before, check out my other guide on using a pressing cloth for ironing. This will offer tips on some of the best materials to use and how to get the best results.

Just because you can iron polyester doesn’t mean that you should.

It is possible to iron polyester, and many polyester blends, without damaging the material. However, it might be better to take a step back for a moment and ask yourself if ironing is really necessary? You should be able to steam your polyester blend garment and smooth out the worst of the creases, either with a steamer or by hanging it near the shower. It also helps if you remove the garment from the washer as soon as the cycle ends, which eliminates the risk of deeper wrinkles forming as it lies crumpled with other wet clothes. Also, be careful when putting any polyester based item in the dryer because of the high heat. It could be better to hang the item up and air dry it to decrease wrinkles.

Always read the care label on your clothes.

Finally, don’t forget to check the label on any garment you believe to contain polyester. Not only will this give you a better idea of the composition of the fabric, it will also offer the best possible guidance on washing, drying, and ironing the item. If there is a big cross over the iron symbol then don’t risk it. If not, take gentle steps to iron out the creases with an iron, a pressing cloth, or try to steam them out.

Can you iron polyester?

It is always better to be safe than sorry with polyester. The last thing that you want is a burn mark or some other sign of damage on an important shirt or prized garments because you left the iron on too long or were careless with the heat. Ask yourself if this is necessary and proceed accordingly.