Ironing flannel garments gives them a crisper, more finished look than wearing them straight out of the dryer. Ironing improperly may make the fabric look shiny or flattened, however. Use a pressing cloth between the iron and flannel to keep the flannel looking its best.
Not All Flannel Is the Same
Flannel may be made from wool, cotton, or, in some cases, even synthetic materials. Look for a care tag -- or at very least, a label -- to determine what's best for your particular flannel fabric. Some "no iron" flannels may be made from synthetic materials or treated with coatings best left un-ironed. A care tag typically lists recommendations for ironing, including which temperature setting to use and whether to use steam or no steam. If the care tag is missing, use the label as a guide instead. Wool flannel requires a wool setting on the iron, but use a cotton setting for cotton flannel. If the tag is completely missing, feel the material. Wool sometimes has a slightly scratchy feel to it while cotton does not. If possible, compare the feel of your mystery flannel to other flannel items that do have tags for a clue to the flannel's composition.
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Things You'll Need
Iron with steam setting
Press cloth made from cotton flannel, or a thin piece of white cotton fabric
Step 1: Warm Up the Iron
Plug in the iron and select a wool setting with steam for wool flannel or a cotton setting with steam for cotton flannel. Choose a synthetic setting if the flannel is made from a synthetic material.
Step 2: Prepare the Flannel
Set the flannel wrong-side-up on the ironing board, smoothing it out flat. If you prefer to iron on the right side of the fabric, place a cotton-flannel press cloth atop the material. If you do not have a press cloth, use a thin piece of white lint-free cotton fabric instead. Ironing on the right side of the fabric allows you to see the effect of ironing without flipping the fabric over. A press cloth helps prevent shininess from ironing too long or at too high of a temperature.
Step 3: Spray Water onto the Fabric
Spray a little moisture from the iron onto the fabric, if the iron has a manual spray button. Iron the flannel, moving the iron slightly every second or two to avoid overheating the fabric. Wool must be damp when ironing to prevent scorching. Inspect the flannel after one or two passes of the iron to determine when it has been ironed smooth. Stop ironing as soon as wrinkles have been removed from the flannel.
On the Safe Side
No matter what the flannel is made of -- or if you simply don't know -- iron the flannel wrong-side-up or with a press cloth. Start with a low-heat setting with steam to avoid damaging the flannel. Increase the heat setting as needed until the wrinkles disappear from the flannel.