Can You Iron Linen? (How to Iron Linen Shirt, Curtain…)

When the weather gets hot and humid. You start to change your wardrobe. With each wardrobe change comes new ways to take care of those fabrics. Some materials require ironing while others do not. Some demand dry cleaning and others do not. Linen is a delicate fabric that needs special care.

Can you iron linen? Yes, you can iron linen and the best way to care for linen clothing is to make sure they are not completely dry when you go to do your ironing. Linen is nearly impossible to iron when it is dry.

To learn how to iron linen properly just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you need to handle your linen products correctly. The tips on ironing alone should save you time and spare you from ruining your linen clothing.

Why do We Need to Iron Linen?


Like any fabric, linen can get wrinkles in it and those wrinkles do not look good. Yet some people have started a new trend and forgo ironing to look rumpled and creased in their linen clothes. It is not a good trend.

Another reason to iron linen is to stop the fabric from becoming stiff. A good bout with the iron helps the linen material remain comfortable and soft next to your skin. Of course, you do not have to iron your linen clothing it will all depend on how you want to look. But if you do iron, don’t do it when they are completely dry.

Keep a spray bottle near you so you can spritz the shirt, blouse or pair of pants to keep them from drying out.

What Temperature Iron Linen

When you decide to iron your linen clothes and make your own fashion statement, you want to use as high a heat level as you can. Linen is not so delicate that it can’t handle high iron heat. It only heats fragile when it goes into the washing machine or the dryer.

Once you get the linen shirt, etc., onto your ironing board, you can use your iron to stretch the material back into shape if a little bit of shrinkage took place. Keep the clothing damp throughout the ironing process and you can hang up the shirt, etc., to finish drying after you are done.

Avoid using cooler temperatures as that won’t help you when you want to get those wrinkles and creases out.

What Iron Setting for Linen


If you have a good iron, then you should have a detailed scale listing the different settings for the different fabrics. If yours is a sophisticated iron, you should have a setting saying cotton/linen. Set your iron to that mark.

If your iron is not that detailed you should set your iron to the cotton setting. Linen is a natural fiber like cotton and can handle a lot of heat when it is out of the washer and dryer.

We may sound like a broken record here but the point can’t be said often enough. To iron linen correctly and without the hassle, you need to keep the linen clothing item damp. Also, you need smooth, strong, even strokes Make sure your ironing board is stable and steady as well.

Iron or Steamer For Linen

Some people prefer steaming over ironing, not because it is easier to do but because they do not want to remove all the wrinkles. They think that looking rumpled is cool and gives them a better appearance.

If you are not one of those people and like to look clean and pressed, then ironing is the way to go. This task gets all the wrinkles and creases out so you make a great first impression. You will also be showing respect to others as you dress nicely in the office.

Then you can combine the best of both worlds and use the steam function on your iron to steam out the wrinkles while keeping the linen fabric nice and moist as you work. The steam keeps the cloth damp and your iron can move easily over the fabric and remove the wrinkles you want out.

Linen Iron Board Cover


If your ironing board is in good shape and has no stains, then you should be able to use it without worry. But if the cover is wearing thin or has some stains on it, place an old terry cloth between the cover and your linens.

What this addition does is help protect the buttons on your linen fabrics. Plus it will give you a clean finish to your ironing. Make sure to move the iron constantly as this will prevent any scorching from taking place.

Your strokes should be smooth as well. Those requirements demand that you make sure your ironing board is stable and not loose. Any movement from the ironing board can ruin your linen ironing session.

Should You Iron Linen Clothes?

This decision is entirely up to you and how you want to present yourself or your family to the world. Going out in public it is sometimes best to wear ironed clothes as you will look sharp, smart and the message you send is that you care about how you look.

If you are the type of person who only wears linen clothes around the house, then you could probably get away without ironing your linen clothes. Or if you want that rumbled crinkled look and be a member of the new trend you can forget to iron your linen fabrics also.

Ironing helps keep the clothes soft and comfortable so it is a good idea to iron linens. Your care of the fabric returns nice benefits and helps the clothes last a lot longer.

How to Iron Linen Pants


Ironing linen pants is not much different than ironing pants made of other fabrics. The one difference is you should start at the waistband and get the heavier parts of the pants done first.

After you are satisfied with the waistband’s look, you can go to the other areas of the pants. If possible you should turn the pants inside out to protect the outer layer of the cloth and if there is any embroidery work on the exterior f the pants, this is a must.

Make sure to keep a spray bottle handy to moisten the pants if they dry in an area you have not ironed yet. Keeping the pants moist will help you iron out those wrinkles and make the pants look their best. Use a pressing cloth as well.

Can You Iron a Linen Jacket?

This is a yes and no type of question. Yes, you can iron a linen jacket but only if it is unlined. The lining may be made of a material that cannot be ironed and you stand a good chance of ruining the jacket if you iron it when it is lined.

The no answer comes when the jacket is lined. The material inside may not handle washing and drying in a machine and may say dry clean only. You can ruin the lining if you ignore that tag and launder the jacket at home.

When the lined jacket says dry clean only then send it to the dry cleaners. That is the best move you can make and you will save yourself some ironing time by doing that.

How to Iron Linen Jacket


Linen jackets can handle some steam from your iron so it is a good move to fill your iron’s water tank with water and use the steam when you need to. Make sure to keep a spray bottle handy to wet the jacket as you work.

Keeping the material damp is the way to iron any linen would be a good idea to use a pressing cloth as a buffer between the iron and the jacket. The cloth protects the fabric while still letting you get the wrinkles out.

But if, as we said earlier, the jacket is lined, do not iron. Send it out to the dry cleaners to get cleaned and pressed. If you want that rumpled look, you can always roll up the jacket when it comes back from the cleaners and toss it into a corner of your room.

Do You Iron Linen Shirts?

Yes, you can iron linen shirts and it would be a good idea to put down a cloth between the shirt and the ironing board to protect any buttons that are on it. Taking little precautions goes a long way to keep the life span of the shirt long.

The rules for other linen products apply to iron the shirt. The fabric is the same and it needs to be treated in pretty much the same manner. Ironing linen shirts is one way to keep them soft and supple.

That is one characteristic you want in a good linen shirt. So don’t shy away from ironing them as you can look good and be comfortable all day or all evening long.

How to Iron Linen Shirt


The first step is to double-check your ironing board. Make sure it is stable and steady so you can do those constant even strokes without trouble. Then put a pressing cloth over the ironing board so the buttons will not get damaged as you iron.

After you have that done, turn the shirt inside out and start with the heavy areas first. That means you start with the collar and the cuffs before tackling the other parts of the shirt. Keep the cloth moist so you do not have any trouble ironing.

You can use the steam function on your iron if you want and make sure to set the device to the highest heat setting you can. After that just hang the shirt up and it should be ready to wear any time you want to put it on.

How to Iron Linen Curtains

There is not much difference between ironing linen curtains and ironing other linen materials. You need to set your iron to the cotton or linen setting and if those settings are not marked, then go for the highest heat level possible.

Make sure your ironing board can handle the weight of your curtains and if not, move to the kitchen or dining room table. Lay down a presser cloth so your tables do not get damaged by the heat.

Long, smooth, even strokes are needed and start with the heavier ends first. Then work your way to the light parts of the curtains. You can steam them as you work if you need to. Using a steamer may get most of the wrinkles out and it is a good option if you are pressed for time.

Ironing Linen Napkins


Napkins are small and have straight lines. That makes ironing them very simple. Once you lay the napkin flat on your ironing board make sure your ironing board remains still throughout the ironing process.

When the iron is ready and at its hottest setting, iron the whole napkin at one time. Then when that is done, fold the napkin in half and iron it again. This second step will provide the crease or fold you need and keeps the napkin looking good.

You can fold the napkin in half a second time if you want more folds in it. That second fold is up to you and how you want the napkins to look.

How to Iron Linen Curtains

There is not much difference in ironing linen curtains no matter their size or their fabric’s thickness. Start with the hardest or heaviest part first and go to the lightest from there. It is a simple process.

Just make sure to keep the curtains damp when you iron as these linen curtains will react the same way as linen shirts and pants do. It will be next to impossible to iron them.

If your ironing board is not large enough to handle your curtains then move to a sturdy flat area like a dining room table and iron them there. Keeping the ironing convenient for you is an important step.

Then if you do not have the equipment or the curtains say dry clean only, send them out to the dry cleaners so they get pressed professionally.

How to Iron Embroidered Linen


For the most part, ironing embroidery linens is the same as ironing regular linen made garments. You want to use the highest heat setting or the cotton/ linen setting on your iron. Plus, you want to keep the fabric nice and damp so you can iron without problems.

The only real difference is that you need to turn the embroidered fabric inside out and iron from the reverse side. Make sure to keep the iron moving so you do not scorch the garment.

It is possible to use a pressing cloth if the garment cannot be turned inside out. As with all other linen articles, you can stretch the embroidered fabric to make sure you get all the wrinkles out and the garment back to its original shape. Just be gentle about it.

Ironing Linen Duvet Cover

This is a unique situation as most ironing boards are not large enough to handle large-sized duvet covers. The way to get around that [problem is to leave the duvet cover on the bed it belongs on and iron it there. You can move it as you need to but you get a large flat area that makes the ironing task a lot easier.

Or you can do the work and fold the duvet cover in half several times over. Then iron section by section. The bad part of this option is that the duvet cover will have a lot of material hanging over the ironing board once you have finished several sections.

The easiest way to handle ironing a duvet cover is not to do it and just spread it out over your bed and let the air dry it.

Best Iron for Linen Clothes


There are a lot of good brand name irons on the market you can use. If they meet the requirements and do a good job for you, then that is the best iron to use. The requirements include having a cotton/ linen setting, a steam function, and the ability to move smoothly over your clothes.

The brand you pick should be the one you trust the most.

Some Final Words

It is not that hard to iron linen fabrics. The vital part to remember is to keep the linen material damp at all times throughout your ironing time. If you master that then ironing linen will be like ironing other fabrics.

Also, make sure you have a cotton/ linen setting on your iron. That way you know you are getting the right heat level all the time.

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