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BartHumphries

To iron or not to iron, that is the question

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MoosetheItalianBlacksmith, I hear ya, but the point was making is removing all unnecessary insignia makes the uniform more field friendly. I certainly agree there is a value in wearing different awards, event patches, and recognitions, as they do draw attention, and this can be used to get scouts, and scouters, interested in different parts of the program.

 

Ive been registered in scouting, in one way or another, for 33 years, serving in positions in every type of unit, and holding positions at every level of scouting, this give me a wealth of uniform items I can use to get people interested various program elements. However, I dont clutter a uniform, and go absolute minimal in the field. Maintaining multiple uniforms helps with this.

 

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I keep a number of different shirts, and my field/training shirt is stripped, only troop and position patch. When at Philmont, I wore my stripped one, until the last night, and then pulled out the knotted shirt.

 

I don't like the feel of the new shirt; I'll wait for a cotton blend to come back out. At the rate they're changing up the uniform, I won't have to wait long!

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I used to work in a drycleaners. I've spent just over five years pressing clothes over the last 16 years (working multiple jobs several times), and for six months earlier this year after a few years doing other things. The following is my opinion. Some people disagree with me and because the customer is always right I wouldn't say this to a customer, but this is my opinion.

 

A lot of people like starch and request it, but there's a difference between how a dry cleaner presses and how an ordinary person presses. Usually, when a person wants something starched, they just want it pressed like everything else -- when it's slightly damp. Having worked for three different dry cleaner owners, with over 60 years experience drycleaning between them, I can say that usually when someone gets something "starched" it doesn't really get starched, it just gets pressed like everything else (meaning pressed when slightly wet since a lot of places actually launder and dryclean everything, instead of just drycleaning).

 

Usually, when people in their homes like using starch, it's just because they aren't using enough steam when they press their clothes. If you use enough steam, then you can almost get most everything to look the way it looks after a drycleaner uses a machine to press it. For instance, some people use dry irons that don't have any water in them because they have old irons and don't want any water spots on their clothes and talk about how awesome their clothes look when starched -- because the starch is basically the only "water" that's being introduced to the clothes and clothes that have been laundered should be slightly damp when pressed (not really damp, you want to toss it into the dryer for about five minutes or so after it comes out of the washer).

 

Basically, new clothes don't need starch -- ironing alone makes them look marvelous. The exception is pleats and older (thinner) fabric.

 

Starch makes clothes look really sharp, but it also preserves any wrinkles that are introduced. Try putting on clothes then going about all day in them -- without starch, you'll still look fairly sharp, but with starch you'll either have sharply pressed wrinkles or lines where the starch has broken down from constant "bending".

 

Take karate uniforms, for example, or anything made out of good linen. They're a pain to press and you can only really press them with a machine at a drycleaners (and not the ordinary pressing machines), but once pressed they have creases that could almost be used to carve a wooden staff.

 

Other people disagree with me and I'm fine with that. When people would exclaim how good their sharply pressed "starched" (when no starch was actually used), every owner I've met (and I've met more than the three I've worked for) would just respond affirmatively, that the clothes do indeed look sharp.

 

"Light starch" for a man's shirts or trousers is really a euphemism for "No starch at all, just clean and press them the same as about everything else".

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BH,

 

The part I need to know is, how do you iron down the shirt collars of the new shirts so the tips don't curl up and look like wings sticking out?

 

I have watched about 20 videos on YouTube but have not been able to figure out this mystery.

 

Boys were discouraged from taking Home Economics back when I was a lad...

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At home, or on a silk shirt where I can't use a shirt pressing machine (because the shirt can't get wet), I open up the whole collar flat and then iron it face down. On a shirt pressing machine, you stand the collar up and then the machine takes care of it.

 

You open the whole collar up and then press the whole thing flat. When you then fold the collar over, it will then naturally fold where the collar is sewn to the shirt. This also makes it really easy to press the tips nice and flat because you have a wide surface to press.

 

If a person tries to press the collar into a fold where the collar is sewn on themselves, they won't quite be able to push the cloth down tight enough next to where the collar is sewn to the shirt and the collar will end up creased too far away from where it should be creased.

 

The worst shirts to press are those women's shirts where the collar wing things are sewn shut and you still have to try to make the points look nice, but then women's shirts are basically the worst thing to press for several reasons.

 

Those plastic things that come in some shirts generally keep the collars pointed pretty nicely without much ironing needed, although as the cloth wears thin their outline will start to show.

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I put them in the washing machine and drier with everything else. Never need to iron the pants, occasional touch-up on the shirts. It is true that the synthetic fabric does not like heat. I guess like most laundry, the key is not letting them sit in the washer for a long time before drying.

 

Collar stays should be removed for ironing. Shirts with non-removable collar stays are the work of Satan.

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