What Is a Cotton Press Cloth?

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A press cloth protects clothing from a hot iron.
A press cloth protects clothing from a hot iron. (Image: ersler/iStock/Getty Images)

A press cloth, also known as a pressing cloth, is used to protect fabrics from a hot iron. Without a press cloth, delicate fabrics, such as silk, may show scorch marks from a hot iron or become discolored from the heat. The cloth may be made from old linens you already have around the house.

Press Cloth Basics

A cotton press cloth is any cotton cloth used between the iron and the actual clothing or fabric being ironed. A nontextured cloth, free of printing or embellishment, works best. Old cotton bed sheets or pillowcases may be used for this purpose. Cut the cloth into the desired size for your particular ironing needs. One pillowcase can be cut into several press cloths of different sizes. The cloth may be used completely dry or, if the object you are ironing needs steam to press it flat, slightly damp. Lift the press cloth as you iron to check your work.

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