How To Iron A Great Big Ol’ Tablecloth

Dear Home Ec 101,

How do you iron a really big (rectangular) table cloth without wrinkling the part you just ironed when it hits the floor? Can one person do it alone or do you need two people: one to iron, one to hold the tablecloth straight?

~Wrinkled in Wrights Beach

WinkIvy says:

Ironing is my least favorite chore. I figure, life is too short for ironing, so I just always toss wrinkly items into the dryer with a damp towel and go on with my day. However, if you want something to look nice and crisp, sometimes ironing is the way you have to do.

Ironing large items like tablecloths is a pain. If you have a freestanding ironing board, move it next to your table and move the cloth to the table as you iron it. If you are a freak like Heather (kidding, y’all!) and your ironing board is built in, fold the tablecloth loosely into a size that will fit your ironing board and carefully iron it folded. Then make sure you get any creases out – go ahead and let the tablecloth fall to the floor for this, it shouldn’t crease badly once ironed.

If you have embroidery on your tablecloth, make sure you are ironing the wrong side of the cloth- it will make your embroidery stand out nicely. You can use a towel underneath to help the embroidery stand out.

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8 Comments

  1. Cal on March 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I have a much bigger question… how can I iron a large studio backdrop? The cloth is 10 feet by 12 feet! I have put the backdrop on the bar and move the iron board around doing an area at a time. I still couldn’t get all the wrinkles out. Sort of like trying to iron a humongous curtain. Is there a product out there that can help me iron the backdrop while it is up?

    • Brenda on February 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Have you tried a steamer? Pretty inexpensive. Got mine at Goodwill for $5.
      They only relax the fabric, as no pressure is applied, so they do not work as well as a heavy iron.
      If backdrop is against a wall, you can apply some pressure., but be careful about what is on wall behind. Paint may bubble, stain discolor.

  2. gerry arnold on June 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Is there a certain material that you recommend for [url=http://www.buyshade.com/table-cover/]table covers[/url]? I have a couple ones that are made of cotton that I like to use when I have guests over. Like you, I don’t like to iron so I don’t use the cotton ones. I am looking for a new set. Suggestions?

  3. Jenn on April 2, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I put a heavy terry cloth bath sheet/towel on the kitchen table (not the expensive wooden formal dining room table) and iron about 1/4 at a time and shift the towel around as needed.

    • J. Braswell on May 15, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Great Ideal! Thanks!

  4. Beautiful Minds on May 5, 2008 at 3:25 am

    Yeah.. Actually came in seeing the heading..

    In India ladies used to wear saris (oh ya they are 5.5 meteres + long and they used to iron it easily.. I wonder what they do. 🙂

  5. Stefania/CityMama on December 20, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    iron NEXT TO the table. Brrrrrrilliant. Thanks for clearing that up!

  6. boogiemum on December 20, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    I have always wondered the proper way to do this. Thank you for clearing that up for me! 🙂

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