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Tips for Pressing Fabric for Quilting

Some quilters love pressing their fabric and others despise it. Here are some tips to make pressing fabric for quilting a more pleasurable experience:

Adjusting the temperature setting on an iron
  • Use a misting bottle to evenly spritz your fabric with water to help it relax or wash your fabric and pull it out of the dryer while it's still damp. Then press it right away. This way the heat of the dryer doesn't have a chance to set the wrinkles in. Instead of using the Timed Dry setting, you can try using the Automatic Dry setting and choose less dry.

  • Set your iron to the right setting for the type of fabric that you're using. Most quilts are made of cotton so the cotton setting is where my iron hangs out. If the iron isn't hot enough, it won't get the wrinkles out very well and if it's too hot then it will damage the fabric.

  • Spray stubborn wrinkles with Best Press. Best Press is sizing and starch which are different. Sizing relaxes the fibers of the fabric getting rid of those stubborn wrinkles. Starch makes the fabric stiffer and bonds the fibers of the fabric together.

  • If you're working with shapes other than squares and rectangles, use starch! Spritz some on, give it a moment to sink in, then press. Starch reduces stretch to help keep your blocks square.

  • If you've already cut out your shapes or strips, don't push down and move the iron at the same time because this will distort them and you worked so hard to cut accurately!

While it takes some time, pressing your fabric before cutting improves accuracy so it's worth it. If you've struggled to get wrinkles out of your fabrics then maybe try one of these tips and see if it works for you. What tips do you have for pressing?


Hi! I'm Jen, a quilt pattern writer, product & fabric designer, mom, and retired nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife. Whether you're new to quilting or making your 100th quilt, you're in the right place. Check out the tutorials, quilt patterns, coloring pages, and featured quilters. 

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