How to Keep & Preserve Iron-Ons

Posted on

Iron-ons can take a humdrum blouse, jacket or sweatshirt to a new level by adding color, style or flair. An iron-on can just as easily make you look less than chic if it starts to peel, crack or tear. Keeping your iron-ons looking good requires a few simple application and care tips. Prevent your iron-ons from peeling to keep you looking appealing.


Iron-ons are decorative designs or logos you apply to clothing using heat to make the iron-on material adhere to fabric. These transfers are either black and white or multicolor, ranging in size from a small, simple design to a larger, more complex decoration, logo or series of words. Iron-ons are often more about you than the article of clothing on which they appear. They are an opportunity to show off your fun, stylish or sporty side. Iron-ons come on a thin paper backing against which you press your iron. Once you have pressed the transfer onto the garment, you gently lift the paper backing off to reveal your new applique.


The first step in making sure an iron-on will look good for a long time is to apply it correctly. Even if you’re not Suzy Homemaker, you won’t have a hard time using an iron to apply your patch. Wash your garment before you apply an iron-on. Any pieces of dirt or other debris that get under the patch when you apply it may eventually poke through, starting a tearing process that will ruin your iron-on and your look. After you have washed and dried the garment, use a lint roller to remove even the smallest particles from the area where you’ll put the transfer. Apply the iron-on using the directions that came with it. If there were none, turn your iron on and use the dry, not steam, setting. Check your iron for other setting options, such as “cotton,” and choose the best one for your garment. When the iron is hot, place it against the garment to warm the area onto which you’ll be placing the applique. Lightly press your iron against one corner of the transfer to test how it works. Do not tug sharply on the transfer backing paper or you may tear the iron-on. Simply examine what you’ve ironed to see if it’s adhered to the fabric. If it stays put, finish ironing the rest of the transfer. If not, iron again and apply more pressure. Gently begin to lift the backing paper to remove it. If it resists at all, iron that area again.


When clothes rub against each other in the washing machine or dryer, they can degrade iron-ons, screen-printed designs and other appliques. Always turn a garment with an iron-on transfer inside-out when washing. Wash the garment in cold water, since hot water may soften the transfer, making it more susceptible to tearing or peeling. Drip dry your garment, or dry it on a delicate setting. Heat and friction are the enemies of iron-ons.


Remember that friction will degrade an iron-on and consider what other clothing items you’ll be wearing next to or on top of a blouse or other item that has an iron-on. If you will be heading out in cooler weather and will be sporting a sweatshirt or jacket over a top with an iron-on, consider another top for that day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *