How to...Iron a Shirt Army Style

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  • Skills
  • Army Life
  • Lifestyle
  • Training

The soldiers in the British Army are renowned for their perfect uniforms. From shoes shined until you can see your face to perfectly pressed shirts and shiny buttons, no detail is too small. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance and looking after your clothes.

These skills are taught from your first day of training to help develop discipline, attention to detail, and pride. So whether you’re a seasoned soldier or preparing for basic training having good shirt-ironing skills is a must, so why not learn from the best? Follow this step-by-step guide and iron your shirts Army style. 

Soldier ironing a shirt in his room

What you’ll need:

  • A creased shirt

  • A sturdy iron with padding

  • A good quality iron with a steam setting (if you don’t have a steam setting try a spray bottle with water)

Step 1 – Setup your ironing station

Use a sturdy ironing board, with quite a bit of padding. Set it up so the top is at waist height, and it doesn’t wobble. Get yourself a good iron, plug it in, turn it on, set it to medium-high heat and wait for it to heat up to temperature. Point the heat pad away from you and the handle towards you, this will keep you safe from accidentally burning yourself as well as making it comfortable to grab when needed.

Step 2 - Preparing the shirt

With ironing a shirt, the first thing you do is shake it out. Start on one side, it doesn’t matter which side you choose whether it's buttons or buttonholes first. Lay it over the board with the open edge along the edge of the board and the collar at the smaller end. Pull it tight making sure it’s nice and flat.

Step 3 – Ironing the front of your shirt.

When the iron is up to temperature, and the light goes off, place the heat pad down onto the shirt and start moving it. You will want to put pressure on the iron and the shirt itself, continuously moving the iron while the heat pad is always in contact with the shirt. Do the full length of the shirt on the board and continue until you’ve removed as many creases as you can see. Repeat on the other side and the back.

Step 4 – (The most important bit) the collar

This is one of the most important steps – getting the collar nice and flat. You start by folding to collar over along the neckline, it should fold quite naturally along that line. Lay the shirt down with the collar folded over and everything flat to the board and use the iron to press into the fold. Once you’re happy that there aren’t any creases and the collar fold has been pressed in, this should help it sit down once you’re wearing it.

Step 5 – The sleeves

The iron should have a steam option which will help when doing the sleeves, which is probably the trickiest part of the shirt. With the shirt open pull it onto the board as far as you can, with the small end going down the sleeve hole as far as possible. This is where there are usually lots of creases. Move the iron over the sleeve and press the creases out, you may need to move the sleeve around to get them all. Take the shirt off the board and fold it flat, with the folds on the top and bottom using the seam as a guide.  Place flat on the board with the cuffs pointing towards the middle and iron the sleeve flat. Repeat on the other sleeve.

And that’s a shirt ironed Army style.

Remember, practice makes perfect! With a little patience and attention to detail, you’ll master it in no time.

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