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Ironing a Pleated Skirt

by David Lipscomb, studioD

Pleats on skirts add a little visual interest and flair. If your skirt is made of cotton or linen, these pleates over time lose their shape and crispness. Ironing these back in place maintains the look of your skirt, whether the pleats are at the top or extend the length of the garment.

Lay the skirt on the ironing board, with the board inserted in the middle of the skit, placing the waistband at the edge of the board. Straighten it out as best as you can by hand.

Place the peak of each pleat in a paperclip, allowing each pleat to maintain its shape as you manipulate the garment.

Set your steam iron to the proper setting, based on the material of your skirt.

Lay a press cloth over the skirt if it's made out of synthetic fabric, like nylon or polyester. Press cloths keep the hot iron from scorching or melting these fabric types.

Iron the pleats flat, pressing slowly from the waist down. Avoid pressing too firmly, as this can create ridges as one pleat presses against the back of the adjacent one. Remove each paperclip as you approach them with your iron, and rotate the skirt around the board as you go.

Items you will need
  •  Paper clips
  •  Press cloth
  •  Steam iron
  •  Ironing board


  • If you're trying to keep the pleats less sharp, burst the steam over the pleats rather than ironing them directly. You don't need a press cloth for this.

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images