How to Iron Pants and Skirts With Pleats

pleated skirt

Nastya Petrova / Unsplash

Many people aren't sure how to iron pleats or think that it is extremely difficult. It only looks hard. Whether the pleats are in pants or a skirt, ironing them correctly can make your outfit look perfect. If they're not ironed, it can ruin the whole crisp look that clothing with pleats is supposed to have. 

How to Properly Iron Pleats

Follow these tips to iron pleats with ease:

  1. Turn on your iron and set it to the appropriate setting for your fabric type.
  2. Have your iron's sprayer filled or a spray bottle of water handy if needed to use during ironing.
  3. Fold and/or arrange the pleats the way they are supposed to appear. As you hold them in place, you must iron over the arranged pleats beginning at the top of the pleat and working your way downward. For stubborn fabric, it may be necessary to pin the pleats in place. However, do not iron over the pins. Pull them out one at a time as you iron. Remember to iron in a top-to-bottom manner.
  4. Another way to get a crisp finish is to separate the pleats and run the iron up the material hidden by the pleats. The pointy side of the iron should get up into the intersection of fabric that forms a V due to the pleat stitch. Then arrange the pleats they are supposed to appear and go through Step 3, so you can emphasize the intentional folds in the pleats with the iron.
  5. When you are done ironing pleats, hang the item from its top to keep the pleats hanging straight. 

More Tips

If you're ironing a skirt that has pleats the entire way around, work each pleat at a time until you go all the way around and are done. Iron the waistband first so you don't mess up the pleats after you iron them. 

For pants, you may want to iron any pocket lining first. If that lays flat, your pleats will have more of a chance to do the same. Flip the pant leg off of the board so you are ironing one leg at a time. Make sure that one inseam is on top of another, perfectly centered on the flat leg. Then press the crease to reinforce its appearance. 

Some materials like wool and viscose can shine when they are ironed. Ironing can cause irregular marks where the cloth is folded underneath. Prevent those irregular marks by not pressing too hard as you iron. Or cover the area you are ironing with a thin, damp cloth. You can also iron a garment inside out to prevent the sheen, but that can be harder to do.