Skip to Content

How to Press Sewn Fabric: Essential Tools and Techniques (2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to press sewn fabricAre you ready to learn how to press sewn fabric like a pro? Pressing is an essential yet often overlooked step in sewing projects. With the right tools and techniques, you can ensure that your handmade clothes look crisp and professional.

In this article, we’ll cover why pressing is important, what tools are needed for proper pressing of fabric, how to do it correctly with step-by-step instructions, and the benefits of using a pressing cloth.

So grab your iron box – it’s time to get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Importance of pressing fabric for professional results
  • Tools required for pressing: steam iron, ironing board, pressing cloths
  • Benefits of using a pressing cloth: prevents scorching, absorbs excess moisture, enables precise pressing
  • Proper fabric pressing techniques: test the iron’s heat setting, flatten seam allowance, use a pressing cloth

Why Pressing is Important

Why Pressing is Important
You’d be wise to press your stitched textiles properly, my friend. It keeps everything smooth and flat for success. Pressing is essential for professionally finished apparel. Unlike ironing’s smoothing motion, pressing firmly anchors the iron to set seams and shape darts.

Skipping this crucial step can create unsightly wrinkles once pieces are joined. But with proper steaming and pressure, you’ll have perfectly flat fabric ready for assembly. Mind fabric characteristics and fiber content when testing heat settings. Synthetics and delicate cloths need protection to avoid scorching.

Be patient. Don’t rush pressing. Let steam penetrate layers gradually. Follow the pattern guide’s pressing directions explicitly. Your persistence will be rewarded with flawless finishing worthy of master tailors.

Essential Tools for Pressing Fabric

Essential Tools for Pressing Fabric
The silk organza press cloth shields delicate fabrics from scorching. Essential tools for achieving flawless pressing include a quality steam iron with variable temperature settings, a sturdy ironing board, and an assortment of pressing cloths.

Choose press cloths suited to the fabric’s weight; lightweight cloths prevent impressions on delicate material while heavy canvas protects thick fabrics. Steam is useful for stubborn wrinkles, but test an inconspicuous area first to prevent warping.

For ultimate precision, employ specialty tools like point pressers for small or curved areas and sleeve rolls for tubular sections. With practice using the appropriate pressing techniques and tools for each fabric, you’ll master the art of seam perfection.

Your garments will have crisp edges, smooth facings, and perfectly controlled fullness. Pressing is transformative; with the proper tools and techniques, you can shape fabric into a work of art.

How to Properly Press Fabric

How to Properly Press Fabric
Before you start, make sure to test the iron’s heat setting on a scrap piece of your project fabric. Then, follow these important steps: press the seam as it was sewn, flatten the seam allowance, press the right side of the seam for a crisp finish, press darts according to the pattern instructions, and pay extra attention to wrinkled or creased spots.

Testing the Iron

Before you scorch that pricey fabric, test the iron’s heat on an inconspicuous corner.

Double-check your iron’s settings on a swatch before pressing your project. Dial down the heat for delicate fabrics like silk or linen. Synthetics like polyester can handle high heat, but avoid the steam setting to prevent melting.

If unsure, start with a lower temperature and less steam to prevent damage. Gradually increase as needed to smooth wrinkles and press seams on your fabric.

Step-by-Step Guide to Pressing Fabric

Now flatten the seam allowance before opening it up. Place your iron on the seam as sewn and apply pressure for several seconds.

When pressing seams open, first press the seam allowance down. Ensure it lies flat. Then open the seam and press again from the right side for a flat, crisp finish.

Take care not to stretch or distort the fabric when pressing. Let it cool before moving to prevent impressions from the iron.

Proper pressing techniques prevent puckered seams and excess bulk. Your garment will have a more professional look and accurate shape.

The Benefits of Using a Pressing Cloth

The Benefits of Using a Pressing Cloth
Savvy sewers safeguard seams’ smoothness with silk shields. A pressing cloth is a must for flawless finishing.

  1. Prevents shiny marks and scorching. The cloth acts as a buffer between the hot iron and delicate fabric.
  2. Absorbs excess moisture from steam. This keeps fabric from becoming soggy or stretched out of shape.
  3. Allows precise pressing on tricky areas without damaging the fabric itself. Corners and curves glide effortlessly over the cloth’s slippery surface.
  4. Provides a layer of protection for synthetics and heat-sensitive textiles like silk or velvet.

Rather than risk ruining your carefully cut and stitched creation, take a moment to slide a pressing cloth between your project and iron. With this simple step, you’ll keep seams crisp and projects wrinkle-free. The right cloth helps craft couture-quality clothes.

Other Helpful Pressing Tools

Other Helpful Pressing Tools
After covering your bases with a pressing cloth, grab a sleeve board to smooth fitted sleeves and other tubular areas without creases.

For pressing curved seams and darts, a tailor’s ham or sausage shape molds to the contours without imprinting seams. Clappers provide intense pressure to flatten thick fabrics. Specialized tools like point pressers and seam sticks let you press with precision.

Pressing Tool Uses
Seam Roll Prevents seam imprints
Pressing Ham Shapes curved areas
Clapper Flattens heavy fabrics

Whichever gadgets you choose, focus on quality over quantity. Only invest in tools that enable pressing techniques your projects call for. With the right accessories and techniques, you’ll have garments looking professionally pressed.

Top 5 Pressing Cloths for Sewing

Top 5 Pressing Cloths for Sewing
You’ll love using this silk organza press cloth for pressing delicate fabrics without leaving marks. When selecting a pressing cloth, consider protection for your fabric’s fibers. Certain materials like silk organza prevent scorching and shine while allowing heat to pass through for wrinkle release.

As you gain experience pressing fabrics, you’ll learn which cloths pair best with different materials. The right pressing cloth helps fabrics keep their drape and prevents wrinkles from setting. With a quality cloth between your iron and project, you can apply ample heat to remove creases without damaging the fabric.

Though an added step, using a press cloth makes your finished garments look crisp and professional. Once you try pressing with a silk organza cloth, you’ll never want to press delicates without one again.

Supporting the Site

Supporting the Site
Consider supporting the site by buying the creator a coffee to help keep valuable sewing resources accessible.

Your support fuels continued access to hundreds of patterns and tutorials for all skill levels.

Beyond monetary support, you can engage by sharing tips in discussions and ratings for shared projects. Experiment with pressing techniques on your latest make. The creators pour their passion into elevating sewing mastery for all.

Together, we build on generations of techniques, innovating new solutions. Our collective wisdom empowers this craft’s liberation.


Pressing fabric is a crucial part of sewing that produces professional-looking results. With the correct tools and techniques, you can achieve flawless seams and eliminate dreaded wrinkles. Over 85% of professionals agree that pressing is the most important step in achieving a polished finish.

By investing in quality tools such as a steam iron, pressing cloths, and a padded ham, you can ensure that you obtain the best results. With the right technique and tools, it is easy to press sewn fabric and achieve the perfect seams you desire.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.