Ironing Lace and Fine Netting

by Lecia DeBrine
(last updated May 8, 2009)

Baby clothing, curtains, wedding dresses, home accessories; fine lace adds a delicate elegance to any of these pieces and more, preserving the look of the fabric is as easy as keeping it pressed. Lace and similar fine netting should be stored flat, out of the sun, and protected from moths and other insects while not in use, often in storage the fabric can become wrinkled or take the shape of whatever it happened to be placed on. When I pulled out a lace table runner to use and found a very large crease across the middle of it I used a towel, an iron, and a little starch to restore its shape.

  • When ironing lace or netting great care should be taken to avoid snagging the fine threads and pulling the fabric, I lay a towel over my ironing board just to be safe and to protect against dirt, dust, and other things that may have settled on my board. If you do not have an ironing board a towel can be placed on a counter, table, or even floor as an alternative. For smaller pieces of lace, like doilies, I use a clean piece of cardboard to iron on, when doing this you can use small straight pins through spaces near the edge of the lace pushed into the cardboard to keep everything in place.
  • Depending on what your fabric is made of, the highest safe setting for the piece is always a good temperature to set your iron to, synthetic fibers should always be ironed on the cooler setting because they can melt, if you do not know the what your lace is made of you will want to go with a cool to cool-medium temperature. Ironing can also be used as a way to dry wet lace, to do this I start with a cool iron and gradually raise the temperature to a cool-medium setting as the lace dries, once the piece is about 85 to 90 percent dry I set the iron aside and let it finish air drying.
  • Laces can range from simple netting to intricate designs, it is these intricate patterns that I use starch on, in my experience the simple patterns iron out fairly well and will lay flat without any starch. In any case, the starch should be applied only a little at a time, and you will want to iron in between applications, do this a few times or until the lace is the completely ironed. You can also get stronger starches to apply while ironing that will make your lace stiff.

Netting and laces are beautiful pieces of craftsmanship that should be taken care of and preserved no matter what they may be on or made of. Store bought, handmade, family heirloom, they can all be neatly pressed and set out for everyone to enjoy.

Author Bio

Lecia DeBrine

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