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Old June 13, 2008, 01:26 AM   #1
debraxh
 
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Wrinkled graduation gown -- need help please

My daughter's 8th grade graduation is tomorrow night. They're wearing (cheap) gowns and she brought home hers tonight. It was folded and wrapped in plastic, sort of like a halloween costume, and is a wrinkled mess. She says it can't be ironed because it's polyester and will melt. There are no instructions with it.

Any ideas how to get the wrinkles out in less than 24 hours without ruining it? I did an internet search and suggestions are to use a pressing cloth (huh?) or to spray with a vinegar/water solution (eew). I'm really afraid to try something without knowing what I'm doing. Although I do have an iron, I don't even recall the last time I used it so I'm pretty clueless.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks
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Old June 13, 2008, 01:48 AM   #2
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I have no inside information, but it occurs to me that steam might be worth trying. Maybe steaming up the shower and letting it hang there for a while. That couldn't damage the gown, and might help the wrinkles fall out.

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Old June 13, 2008, 01:53 AM   #3
DeniseM
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You might try the company's website that distributes the gowns for info. If it's any consolation - everyone's gown will look just like that!
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Old June 13, 2008, 02:08 AM   #4
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I'm afraid to even reply because I don't want you to try this and have it ruined. However, my son's high school gown came in similar packaging last year and I successfully removed the wrinkles be placing it in the dryer on low heat along with a wet towel.

I used to do this with my work uniform many years ago back in my waitressing days of college.

Good luck!
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Old June 13, 2008, 02:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debraxh View Post
suggestions are to use a pressing cloth (huh?) Thanks
I guess the (huh?) means you don't know what a pressing cloth is? In the days before steam irons my mother used to put a damp cloth over delicate materials to protect them from the iron. That may be what they mean.

PS. I know I look far too young to remember the days before steam irons, but appearances can be deceptive.
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Old June 13, 2008, 02:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keitht View Post
I guess the (huh?) means you don't know what a pressing cloth is? In the days before steam irons my mother used to put a damp cloth over delicate materials to protect them from the iron. That may be what they mean.

PS. I know I look far too young to remember the days before steam irons, but appearances can be deceptive.
That's how my Mom did steam ironing as well. In fact, she called that technique "pressing", which was distinct from "ironing" in which the iron directly contacted the item.
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Old June 13, 2008, 05:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keitht View Post
I guess the (huh?) means you don't know what a pressing cloth is? In the days before steam irons my mother used to put a damp cloth over delicate materials to protect them from the iron. That may be what they mean.

PS. I know I look far too young to remember the days before steam irons, but appearances can be deceptive.
My mom still does that with some delicate materials - even with a steam iron!!
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Old June 13, 2008, 06:12 AM   #8
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I'd recommend that same as the PP with the shower suggestion. Run a shower as hot as it will go, hang the gown in the bathroom, and shut the door and allow to steam for 5 min.
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Old June 13, 2008, 06:47 AM   #9
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My sister had the same problem with her daughter's gown last week. My niece nearly freaked when my sister ironed it, having been warned about melting. An iron on low heat worked just fine.
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Old June 13, 2008, 06:51 AM   #10
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My son's graduation gown came in the platic package. I put a piece of thin cotton over the gown and then pressed with a steam iron. All the wrinkles came out fairly easily. I was suprised that my 'throw my clothes on the floor son' asked if it could be ironed before I even had the change to notice the wrinkles.

I was amused to see how many of the gowns still had the package fold lines at graduation. I guess many people didn't know if, or how, they could be ironed.
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Old June 13, 2008, 07:13 AM   #11
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You could always go out and buy a clothes steamer for around $100 - I use one for all my suits and anything I don't want to iron - works incredibly well.

Of course hanging it in the bathroom with the shower way up on hot water should get the same result although I'd be careful about the colour running if it's as cheap as you say.
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Old June 13, 2008, 07:52 AM   #12
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A pressing cloth is a non napped (fuzzy) fabric, like a linen dish towel, that you place on the fabric to protect it from the heat of the iron, while ironing. You can use a steam or dry iron. I usually use steam. Test it on a back inside hem and see if it does okay.

Pressing cloths are used these days to prevent a sheen from occuring on fabrics. E.g. if you iron wool directly, it may shine and that wouldn't be good.
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Old June 13, 2008, 07:55 AM   #13
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My kids all had those cheap gowns too. Hanging them in the bathroom and running the shower didn't work. I did use an iron on low setting. Can't remember if I tried the dryer but that's one of the things I usually do.
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Old June 13, 2008, 09:40 AM   #14
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I had a similar problem a few years ago and did this: hung the gown on the bathroom shower curtain rod and took a steamy bath (per a previous poster's good suggestion) .Took it down and placed it in with a small, damp cloth and put it in my dryer on the lowest possible setting, not hot for about 2 minutes. (very similar to Janapur's suggestion here, too).
Took it out and let it hang in the breeze. Perfect.
Stay with the gown while it's in the dryer and check every 30 seconds. I had no trouble with this, but my dryer has a lot of fancy settings that are rarely used. Yours may differ, so if there isn't a low, low setting, rethink doing this.

Or.... if you know a local dry cleaner that does work on premises, ask them if they'll smooth out things for you.
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Old June 13, 2008, 11:20 AM   #15
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If you're going to try pressing, using a linen dish towel (or a piece of an old sheet), I'd suggest that you turn the gown inside out, and then make sure it is smooth (so you don't iron in wrinkles) before you iron. Why inside out? I don't *think* you'll get an "iron sheen" with a pressing cloth, but it might...

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Old June 13, 2008, 06:23 PM   #16
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Thanks for the great suggestions everyone.

I was going to look up the manufacturer for instructions, but there is absolutely no label in it except for the size. I don't think anyone wants to admit they made it!

Last night I hung it in the bathroom during her shower and it's been hanging up ever since but I don't see any improvement.

I tried pressing with a cool iron, no help.

I tried pressing with a damp cloth and a little heat, no help.

I'm afraid it will fall apart if I put it in the dryer. That's normally the way I remove wrinkles from my clothes

She keeps saying it's fine and her teacher specifically told them not to iron it. My husband keeps laughing saying who cares? So, by popular demand I'm giving up. At least one of her friends will be wrinkled too so she won't be the only one. It's not like she'll be giving a speech or anything so I'm sure no one will notice but me!

Thanks again, you guys are a wealth of information.
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Old June 13, 2008, 08:26 PM   #17
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Debra,

Enjoy the celebration of your daughter's accomplishments and yours in parenting her.
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Old June 14, 2008, 03:27 AM   #18
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Debra,

Enjoy the celebration of your daughter's accomplishments and yours in parenting her.
Thanks, Diane. We did enjoy the celebration and I didn't even notice the wrinkles in the gowns. Perfect example of not sweating the small stuff
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