For those of you who are (blissfully) unfamiliar with the practice, ironing is the use of a heated tool (the iron) to remove the wrinkles from cloth. When the cloth is heated, it loosens the bonds between the molecules of the fabric, making it easier to reorient. The weight of the iron then makes the fabric lie flat and when it cools, it stays that way (sometimes).
The electric iron has been around since 1882 but actual iron, heated over a fire or stove has been used since long before that. So we have been slaves to this obsessive-compulsive behaviour for hundreds of years. A perfect example of how evolution isn’t all about strengthening the species. And ironing-fever shows no signs of waning.
How many of you currently have a pile of ironing that is awaiting your attention? Do you have friends who claim they never iron and who still look acceptable? Do the clothes you put on your kids look as though they have never been near an iron within minutes of wearing?
Same here. And I can’t seem to stop. Some people claim they find ironing relaxing. I guess I can sort of see that but at the same time, I can think of at least a thousand ways to relax that are more fun.
Ironing also uses energy (your own and electrical) and all that softening of fabric bonds will eventually deteriorate the fabric. Another thing to dislike about ironing.
We at The Fableists think it’s time to stop this madness and we want to help you break this crazy habit using a simple, 4-step programme. Let’s do it together:
1. Be pro-active about avoiding ironing. You do have to stay on top of your drying clothes. Leaving them = wrinkling them.
2. Hang your clothes or lie them flat to dry. Be sure to shake them out first so that they don’t dry with creases where you don’t want them.
3. Take the clothes off the line/rack when they are slightly damp, fold them along the creases and hang them up, or pile them on top of each other. The weight will help press out wrinkles.
4. Put them away promptly. Leaving a large pile of unfolded clothes waiting will just wrinkle them.
If you miss your window of opportunity at the ‘slightly damp’ phase, try spraying your clothes lightly with water and carrying on. If all else fails, try hanging your clothes in the bathroom with you while you shower. This will help remove wrinkles as well as odours.
They may not be exactly the same as when you were ironing but what is the point in wasting all that energy and breaking down the fabric of your clothes just so they look pin sharp hanging in your closet? After 10 minutes of wearing, they will look the same – ironed or not.
So get out there and enjoy all that time you were wasting on ironing!
PS – Obviously, some of your clothes will still require ironing but a few items is much more manageable than baskets full, right?