Unlike sturdier cotton and denim clothing, delicates don't take well to ironing. Removing wrinkles from your silky slips and nightgowns isn't impossible, however. Steam is the answer when it comes to removing creases from delicate clothing. A steamer, unlike an iron, doesn't require you to touch the garment to remove the wrinkles. Handheld clothing steamers allow you to de-wrinkle the garment on the hanger; but if you're in a pinch, you can make a steam iron and ironing board work.
Hang the item on a clothes hanger. Hang the hanger on a shower curtain rod or hook so the garment can hang at its full length.
Fill the clothing steamer with water to the designated fill line. Plug the steamer in if necessary. Turn it on and allow it to heat up.
Point the steamer head at the garment when the steam starts to flow. Hold the steamer 2 inches away from the item and steam from top to bottom, keeping your hands away from the nozzle.
Steam both sides of the garment. If necessary, take the hanger off the curtain rod or hook and turn it around to steam the back of the garment. Allow it to dry before wearing.
Iron and Aluminum Foil
Cover approximately 2 feet of the surface of an ironing board with a piece of aluminum foil. If your delicate item is small, you may need less.
Lay the garment over the foil. In the case of a shirt, skirt or slip, open the bottom hem of the garment and slide it over the thin end of the ironing board so the foil is underneath only one layer of fabric.
Fill a steam iron with water and set it to the lowest steam setting. Allow the iron to heat up.
Hold the iron 3 to 4 inches above the fabric and press the steam button. Hover the iron over the fabric, keeping it moving constantly for five to 10 seconds. The wet heat coming off the foil will help steam the wrinkles out of the fabric.
Move the garment as needed, always keeping the foil underneath it, and repeat the steam bursts until all the wrinkles are gone. Hang the garment and allow it to dry before wearing.
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S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.