Ironing and Steaming Fabric Care Guidelines Cheat Sheet


Hubby and I get excited over the strangest things these days.

Like, for instance, a shiny, brand new iron of awesome. Our new iron, the Black + Decker Vitessa is a specialty steam iron that works like magic. This has got us absolutely stoked!

When one of your biggest hobbies involves fabric.. lots and lots of fabric… things like irons become a really big deal. Especially when you work with such a broad range of fabrics that require a wide range of iron and steaming needs, which is inevitable in costuming.

If you sew garments, you know the importance of turning and pressing in the course of garment construction. And if you are a fashion maven, you know the importance of garment upkeep. So knowing when, where and how to apply heat and steam to fabric is essential.

Now I am all about cheat sheets.. so in a fit of ironing happy inspired by this lovely new iron, I decided to share the love and went ahead and made one for all you awesome sauce costumers and fashion gurus out there!

First off, if you have a professionally produced garment that comes with a care tag (and most do), just save yourself headache and potential heartache, and do EXACTLY what it says to do on the tag. No sense guessing or experimenting and ruining a good piece of clothing. Like, seriously. Just do what the tag says.

For a quick refresher, here are the universal iron and steam garment care icons, and what they mean:

Print1. Ironing required symbol
2. Iron, low temperature symbol
3. Iron, medium temperature symbol
4. Iron, high temperature symbol
5. Do not iron symbol
6. Iron, no steam symbol
7. Iron, no steam, low temperature symbol
8. Iron, no steam, medium temperature symbol
9. Iron, no steam, high temperature symbol

Now, if you are MAKING a clothing item, and your fabric does not come with a care tag, I have this handy dandy cheat sheet for you!

Now let me put forth this disclaimer: fabric fibers – especially organic ones – can be finicky. ALWAYS proceed with caution and respect toward fabric. This is especially important when you are dealing with a fabric blend. If uncertain, err on the side of lower heat or steam.


More about the BLACK+DECKER Vitessa Advanced Steam Iron

BLACK+DECKER is speeding up garment care with the Vitessa Advanced Steam Iron. The Even Steam soleplate design produces more consistent steam flow than other Black and Decker models from heel to tip for fast, professional results. SmartSteam Technology combines steam and temperature controls into one easy-to-use dial. The convenient cord reel unwinds and retracts in no time for easy use and storage.

Plus, this iron delivers powerful bursts of steam to aggressively take out wrinkles, and can even be used vertically to quickly touch-up clothes on the hanger! (This is such a plus when it comes to finished garments and costumes with delicate details or features!)


More on the features of this iron, from (click here to view and / or purchase!):

SmartSteam Technology – Take the guesswork out of ironing. SmartSteam technology was engineered to give you the optimal soleplate temperature and steam level for every garment in one easy dial

TrueGlide Nonstick Soleplate – The nonstick soleplate offers 2x smoother gliding over fabrics to quickly remove wrinkles big and small

Cord Reel – The spring-loaded cord unwinds and retracts quickly for easy use and storage

3-Way Auto Shutoff – Get peace of mind from motion-sensitive technology that shuts off the iron if it’s not in use for eight minutes on the heel and 30 seconds on the soleplate and sides

Burst of Steam – One button lets you quickly blast away tough wrinkles with the burst of steam function

Spray Mist – The push-button mister applies the right amount of moisture for quick wrinkle removal

Even Steam Soleplate Design – Engineered to provide a more even flow of steam from heel to tip, enabling you to quickly tame wrinkles anywhere on your garment



We used the steam feature of the iron on Jonathans Inuyasha cosplay hakama pants. While the cotton blend pants could certainly take the heat, we were interested in seeing just how effective the steam feature was. Initially I was disappointed that the burst of steam wasn’t comically large or of Yellowstone geyser proportions, but it quickly became apparent that the steam was enough to be effective while NOT running the risk of water damage or excessive moisture (which is important for silks and other delicate fabric types!)

Another major bonus, the nose of the iron is very narrow and can reach into very small areas to get creases out, which is a major plus, and one of best features!

It glides nicely, it is easy to use, and it is very stable when sitting on its heal. All that, AND it is very attractive for an iron! (Can irons be attractive…? WELL THAT CAN NOW!!!)


I am super thrilled with this iron. I have only EVER owned Black + Decker irons (no joke) so I cannot really compare this to other brands.. but I can say that Black + Decker has stepped up its game with this model! I would recommend to others, for sure!

[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me initiating contact and incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]

Okay costume and fashion ladies! Any garment care tips for me? SHARE BELOW!

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at or via the contact form on her website at

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at or via the contact form on her website at

45 thoughts on “Ironing and Steaming Fabric Care Guidelines Cheat Sheet

  • 3 December, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I know this will sound weird but when I had more time, I used to love ironing my clothes… I had an ironing board set up all the time … I thought it was relaxing… I do wish that the schools would teach the laundry signs in school again, I have taught both my girls… I learned in home economics xox …♥

    • 4 December, 2016 at 3:08 am

      I have to confess, ironing is one of my LEAST favorite chores. I literally make the husband do all of the ironing, whether it is regular clothes or costumes / sewing.. haha! But having a new toy makes even a dreaded toy fun again! <3

  • 4 December, 2016 at 6:13 am

    Very nice post 🙂 I’m ironing shirts of my husband all the time :-)Have a lovely Sunday!

    • 4 December, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Haha, I make my husband iron his uniforms, mostly because I hate the chore, but also because I am scared that I will somehow mess it up! lol!

  • 4 December, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I actually have no idea how to iron! We have a super old version of one somewhere but this one looks really nice thanks for sharing almost makes me want to go iron something 🙂 almost!

    • 4 December, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      It is a super good skill to have, and one that I fully intend to master someday.. but in the meantime, my husband remains the IRON MAN!! (haha, get it…?)

  • 4 December, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you for this helpful post! I always get nervous when I have to iron anything that is not %100 cotton. Lots of great info here.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

    • 5 December, 2016 at 2:45 am

      Yeah, it is nice to have on hand.. I freak out when its not cotton or linen too, haha!

    • 5 December, 2016 at 2:45 am

      No problem sweetie! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! <3

  • 5 December, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Wow, this is am ultimate steaming and ironing cheat sheet for sure! I stink at ironing, so thank you 🙂

    • 5 December, 2016 at 3:38 am

      <3 <3 Glad you found it helpful! <3

  • 5 December, 2016 at 5:43 am

    I do not iron but if I did I would so want this Black + Decker iron. Thanks for the cheat sheet. If ever I decide something needs ironing I shall turn to this page 🙂

    • 5 December, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      It seems to be an increasingly lost art!!

    • 5 December, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Ohhh, also! Forgot to mention! They have an awesome iron that lets you set the heat by fabric TYPE! I am drooling over that one, haha…

  • 5 December, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Interesting post!! At home is my husband who do the ironing. xx

    • 5 December, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Hahaha, crazy how that appears to be a theme in this thread!! 😉

  • 5 December, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I am a person that avoids the ironing, I’ve been successful at not owning an iron for the past 10 years, but everything changed when my wardrobe got a little more professional. Now I have to iron and I kind of hate it, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m pretty sure you wrote this post just for me. Thanks Gingi

    • 5 December, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      Hahaha, I am sure you are doing fine! I agree with Lauren above though, I think we def need to have ironing brought back to basic school education!

  • 5 December, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    This is such a great, helpful post, girlie, I’ve just pinned it because I hate ironing (LOL) mainly because I traumatized myself by burning a pair of my FAVORITE pants once! I know this will definitely come in handy, thanks so much for sharing and have a great week ahead, beauty!



    • 5 December, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Yay! Thanks for the pin! Your clothes always looks so fresh and pristine, I thought you would be the queen of ironing!! haha. And oh man, that sucks on your favorite pants!! Hope this guide helps with future problem pants, hehe..

  • 6 December, 2016 at 2:16 am

    This sounds great! I need to replace my iron… 🙂

    • 6 December, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      I would recommend this one, or this brand, really!

  • 6 December, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I love fabrics, really, to the point that when I go to a new country, I many times look for stores that sell different fabrics! But one thing I don’t really like – but don’t hate – is ironing. Having said that, I like good steam irons because… I know how to iron well, when needed. And people many times asked me to do that. One brother, in particular, always said “you iron so well, please iron my shirt for the party?” So I liked the review of this Black + Decker one 🙂 Hope you have a nice week!

    • 6 December, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      I am a huge fan of fabrics too! I always collect way too much, so much so that I recently had to go on a major fabric purge in my garage so my stash could fit in the closet in the house! haha!

  • 7 December, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Great post and information, thanks! I am terrible at ironing and it’s one of my least favorite chores. But so important for some of hubby’s clothes.

    • 7 December, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Glad you found the list helpful!! <3

  • 7 December, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    So I desperately need to heed your tips in this post, and I am pinning it for future reference. I am horrible about ironing. I will avoid buying fabrics that require ironing. I will use linen napkins and placemats once, only to stuff them in the back of the closet after laundering because I don’t want to iron them. And when I do iron, I pay zero attention to the labels and settings. I just crank it on high because that seems fastest. This post feels a bit serendipitous, and I promise I will at least consult this post before ironing my wrinkled pussybow blouse for this weekend. lol

    <3 Liz

    • 8 December, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      LOL, I am very much the same way, which is why I leave the bulk of the ironing to my hubby! But I am SO HAPPY you found this post so helpful!! <3 <3 Thank you for stopping by and for your sweet comment Liz!

  • 7 December, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    This is so useful!! I’m an amateur seamstress so I only recently started learning about the importance of properly pressing fabrics etc. BUT, as far as my own clothes go, I learned a valuable lesson: take your shit to the drycleaners if it says Dry Clean on the tag. Plain and simple. LOL. Such expensive lessons. 🙁


    • 8 December, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Oh man, I have learned that lesson the hard way myself! haha!

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