What Is a Pressing Cloth for Ironing? [A Must Read!]

You may damage your fabrics during ironing. Have you set the temperature knob perfectly? Then, you may forget to use a pressing cloth. Am I right?

What is a pressing cloth for ironing?

Pressing cloth is a piece of cotton, muslin, or mesh cloth used to protect dresses from hot soleplates during ironing. It ensures smooth and quicker finishing. Moreover, it saves your precious iron from melted materials.  

Do you want to learn more? Then, follow me.

Using pressing cloth while ironing

Pressing Cloth

Pressing cloth is a long piece of white and smooth fabric. You may use it during ironing to protect your beautiful dresses. If you don’t use it, use it from today. Otherwise, you may end up with scorched garments.

So, why should you use it? A soleplate of iron can be hot enough to damage the smooth surface of your fabric. Especially if you’re a big fan of delicate fabric, the probability of damaging fabric is pretty high.

Therefore, using a pressing cloth during ironing is a must. Most importantly, you need not buy this from the market. Instead, use your old silk organizer, cotton shirt, or handkerchief.

I used to wear cotton shirts a lot. So, my house is full of cotton items, and I use them as pressing cloth. I have to say that it works amazingly.

When to Use a Pressing Cloth

You don’t need to use a pressing cloth to iron every material. Just use for the following fabrics

Silk materials

If you are going to iron a delicate fabric, you should use a pressing cloth. Thicker fabrics can’t endure high temperatures. So, never forget to use a pressing cloth for ironing silk materials.

A new synthetic material

Always use a pressing cloth when you are going to polish new synthetic material. Artificial fibers can be melted at extremely high temperatures.

Scuba fabric

Scuba is generally used to make leggings, party dresses, and dancewear. You can easily take care of this fabric, and it looks stunningly gorgeous. However, you need to be very careful when you are going to iron this synthetic material. Always use a pressing cloth to protect it from damage.

PVC and leather

These fabrics are difficult to process. Therefore, you have to use pressing clothes to achieve a smooth finish. Otherwise, you may lose your fabulous leather jacket.

Dyed cloth

You may be a big fan of dyed clothes. However, you should know that the dying process can ruin the stature of a fabric. So, never iron your favorite dyed clothes without a pressing cloth.

Why Use a Pressing Cloth

You should always use a pressing cloth when you are going to iron. It has many advantages. I have mentioned some pros-

  • Pressing cloth allows the iron to glide smoothly over the fabric. Therefore, ironing becomes smooth and hassle-free.
  • Protect clothes from being damaged.
  • It prevents scorch marks or shiny marks on clothes.
  • When you treat your garments carefully, they will last longer. You can protect your dress by using pressing clothes regularly.
  • Sometimes melted fabrics may ruin the smoothness of the soleplate. Using a pressing cloth always protects the soleplate from such situations.
  • It saves a lot of money by protecting your dress from damage.
  • Protects iron from getting scratched from zippers and buttons. 
  • It prevents residue buildup on the soleplate from starched clothes. 

Qualities of a Pressing Cloth


Try to choose a pressing cloth that is smooth. Silk organza or 100% cotton fabrics are always a good choice. Soft fabrics allow iron to move freely over clothes without damaging them. Moreover, it ensures the even distribution of heat. 

If you don’t find a cotton pressing cloth, pick an old cotton shirt. Do not choose something that is a blend of polyester.


Always pick white clothes instead of choosing a colored one. It’ll protect garments from discoloring them. At high temperatures, colorful pressing cloth may affect the color of your cloth a bit.


Transparent fabrics let you see whether you are ironing right or not. Always choose something sheer. 

Transferring the heat

You use a pressing cloth to easier the ironing. Isn’t it? If you choose a pressing cloth that doesn’t transfer heat. Then, ironing will be long and boring.


A good pressing should be long enough to cover the garment that you want to iron. Something with a 20-25 inches length and a width of 15-20 inches will be sufficient for you.

Hold up the heat

100% cotton has a high melting point. So, it can hold up enough amount of heat. It doesn’t melt easily. Moreover, such materials are better for the soleplate.

Types of Pressing Cloth

Teflon cloth

Teflon is widely used for crafting and sewing. It may be perfect for pressing cloth as it-

  • May last longer.
  • Can resist heat effectively.
  • May be suitable for every situation.
  • It is chemical resistant.

During ironing, it may save the soleplate from adhesive materials. Moreover, you can use it for all fabrics. 

Melted materials can ruin your iron in the long run. So, use Teflon to save your clothes and iron.

Mesh cloth

Mesh clothes can be a great pressing cloth. Because they are-

  • Transparent
  • Cheap
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean.
  • Lightweight

As this material is transparent, you can easily see the garment through the pressing cloth. So, ironing won’t be time-consuming. Moreover, its thickness allows steam to pass quickly to remove wrinkles efficiently. 

Muslin cloth

It’s a simple woven cotton fabric. It can be a great pressing cloth as

  • It can withstand higher temperatures.
  • Can be reused.
  • It is incredibly soft and 100% pure cotton.
  • May not contain any toxic chemicals.

However, this fabric isn’t free from its pitfalls. Sometimes it can leave patterns behind on your clothes. Moreover, it dries very quickly.

Bed sheet Covers and pillowcases

This can be a perfect pressing cloth. Moreover, it can save a lot of money for you. So, search your closet and pick a bed sheet or pillowcase cover. However, use something that is 100% cotton. Cotton is famous for its softness, and it doesn’t melt.

Always choose a white and thicker one. If you select something colorful, it may ruin your garments.  

Parchment Paper

If you need to apply an appliqué that you iron onto the fabric, it is best to use parchment paper. You can buy parchment paper from stores. It is-

  • Thin and transparent.
  • Allows heat to pass effectively.
  • Flexible and strong.
  • Perfect for every situation.

Surprisingly, it can withstand temperatures as high as 450 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why it can be a great pressing cloth.

However, don’t make the mistake of using wax paper though! Wax paper can’t protect your clothes from high heat.

Alternative to Pressing Cloth

If you don’t find any pressing cloth, you can use the following fabric for this purpose. These fabrics are-

  • Silk organza
  • Tea cloth
  • Old cotton shirt

Silk organza

Organza is a lightweight fabric made from silk. It’s incredibly delicate and sheer. Because of such nature, it is widely used in the garments industry to manufacture veils, scarves, and evening dresses.

Surprisingly, this silk can endure high heat. That’s why you can use it as a pressing cloth. Silk organza may seem expensive to you. Look carefully! You may notice it in your house lying on the floor.

Tea towel

High-quality tea towels are made from cotton. They are soft and work better with the ironing process. So, you can use them as pressing cloth. For better results, try to damp those before starting ironing.

However, they can leave marks on delicate fabrics. So, be careful. Always check those before using them.

Old cotton shirt

Can’t find a pressing cloth? Just look in old drawers and search for an old cotton shirt. Now, use it for ironing.

Your shirt is bright and light. It may not be transparent. But, it doesn’t melt at high temperatures. So, you can use it to iron a wide range of fabrics. 

Bed sheet Covers and pillowcases

This can be a perfect pressing cloth. Moreover, it can save a lot of money for you. So, search your closet and pick a bed sheet or pillowcase cover. However, use something that is 100% cotton. Cotton is famous for its softness, and it doesn’t melt.

Always choose a white and thicker one. If you select something colorful, it may ruin your garments.  

Use Homemade Pressing Cloth Rather Than Buying

I always recommend you use a pressing cloth for ironing. You can buy it online or at the nearby retail store. It is not that expensive. However, I think buying it is nothing but a waste of money and time. 

You can choose an old cotton shirt, tea towel, or silk organza. These materials are available in your house. Even old bedsheets or pillowcase covers can do this job. Even white cotton, muslin, or mesh fabrics can do this job too. Isn’t it amazing?

Try to avoid using polyester or a blend of polyester. Most importantly, never use dyed cloth as it will leave colors on the ironed material. 

Dangers of Not Using Pressing Cloth

The ultimate consequences of not using pressing cloth can be dangerous. Just take a look-

  • Your fabric may be damaged.
  • Direct ironing may hurt the smoothness of your dress.
  • The longevity of your attire may be disturbed.
  • Ironing may cause permanent damage to the soleplate. Resultantly, you may need to buy a newer one.
  • Your dress may have shiny spots or scorch marks.
  • Starched clothes may damage the iron.
  • Hamper the gentle movement of the soleplate.

Tips and tricks

To get full advantage from pressing cloth, maintain the following tips and tricks-

  • Dampen the fabric a bit to bring smoothness.
  • Pick a smooth and transparent material.
  • Always check the temperature settings before ironing. Temperature settings may vary according to fabric type.
  • Use clothes in your house rather than buying one from the store.

What is The Difference Between Pressing and Ironing?

There is a slight difference between these two. Pressing means holding or hovering iron on some specific spots of your clothes. In contrast, ironing means polishing the whole cloth, such as a shirt or pants.

The main purpose of pressing is to polish areas that have irregularities or stitches. Here, irregularities mean areas with hems, seams, or pleats.

Moreover, pressing means the up and down movement of an iron. In comparison, ironing means the back-and-forth gliding over the dress.

What Happens to Clothes When They Are Pressed?

  • Pressing allows users to polish seams.
  • It removes stubborn dirt from clothes.
  • Merge stitches into the garment.
  • It eliminates creases from clothes.

How Big Should a Pressing Cloth Be?

It’s always better to choose a big pressing cloth. The bigger, the better. If it is too short, it won’t cover the whole surface area of your dress.

Therefore, always choose oversized clothes instead of smaller ones. A rule of thumb is that the bigger the cloth, the bigger the pressing cloth. So, pick your old and long cotton shirts or items.

Moreover, try to pick something transparent. It’ll allow you to see the result instantly.

Final Thought

When you iron your clothes, always use a pressing cloth. Never try to buy it from expensive stores.

Rather, utilize old cotton, muslin, or mesh clothes. Search your kitchen, closet, or basement. You may find one. Believe me!

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