Be warned. This post is NSFW (Not Safe For Wrinkles)
My dears, The Pressinatrix’ alter-ego has had, shall we say, a day. So The Pressinatrix will take over for her tonight and introduce you to some of The Pressinatrix’ best friends. Some of you may have seen some of them before, but it’s always good to refresh one’s memory, nest-ce pas? Alors, let’s take a look at some of the more provocative tools peeping out of The Pressinatrix’ closet. Oooo, how titillating, eh?
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s begin with an illustration:
From left to right, you see:
Clapper: a hardwood block that is used to “set” your pressing. To use it, press your item, using light pressure and lots of steam. Put the clapper on the area you just pressed and apply gentle pressure. Notice I say “gentle pressure”. The Pressinatrix wants to caution you against putting too much pressure on your fabric with the clapper. You can over-press it, and make your garment look “pressed to death.” Remember, you can always go back and press again if you didn’t get the crisp result you desire. You can’t always undo over-pressing.
Ham: The most basic, and possibly the second most useful (after your iron) pressing tool in your arsenal. This tool allows you to accurately follow curves and contours on your garment. The Ham is so named because of its resemblance to the old canned hams (Krakus anyone?) that were mid-century staples of Sunday dinner. This one is older than The Pressinatrix. Of course, that is not hard to accomplish, The Pressinatrix being eternally youthful. This particular ham is cotton, stuffed with sawdust, from a doubtlessly now-defunct company from Omaha, Nebraska. Oh, how The Pressinatrix yearns for the days when these tools were so well made. Speaking of which, the next item, under and behind this ham, is a…
Seam Roll: Much like a ham, this tool is stuffed with sawdust. Unlike a ham, it is long and thin, rather like a cruller from a doughnut shop, but far more impervious to heat and steam. It is used to press seams on cylindrical garment parts, like sleeves and pant legs. This particular seam roll has a cotton side, which is used for pressing cottons, silks, hard wools (like gabardine) and similar fabrics. The flip side is covered with wool flannel, and it is used for pressing lofty woolens, fleece-like fabrics, terrycloth, and the like.
This tool is, like the ham, older than The Pressinatrix. I sighed when I saw the tag:
Another Ham: This one, like the seam roll, has two sides: cotton and wool.
Press Buck: This is a ham on steroids. Almost impossible to find in the US (my friend Els sent this to me), these are not uncommon in Europe. A press buck is a wonderful tool for pressing larger areas, like jackets and coats.
Press Mitt: This handy (oh, The Pressinatrix is such a card) tool is like a portable ham for smaller spots. There is a pocket into which you can slip your hand. You can see it on the top of this mitt. It protects your fingers while allowing you to shape unusual or small areas.
Also, under the ironing board is another tool that The Pressinatrix loves, a Sleeve Board. I’ll write more about that when I show you my other set of pressing tools.
Of course, being The Pressinatrix, I have two sets of tools: one at the office, one at home. A Pressinatrix can never be in the position of saying, “Oh, never mind, I’ll just press it tomorrow, or whenever, or never.” If The Pressinatrix did that, planets would collide, cats and dogs would cohabitate, and the universe as we know it, would cease to exist. Not wanting to be responsible for that, The Pressinatrix keeps a set of tools at home, as well. But you know, I’m thinking The Pressinatrix may have reached the end of her reader’s patience. Or maybe The Pressinatrix has reached her quota of referring to herself as The Pressinatrix for one day, so I’ll leave you with this thought so I can go watch SYTYCD.
Remember, darlings, Pressing is sewing.