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Nine Things You Never Knew About Steamers

They’re an essential part of day to day life for most retailers, but how much do you actually know about steamers? Tim Oliver from Propress explains all there is to know!

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Propress Steamer
Propress Steamer

It’s quite likely you use a steamer at least once a day – to make sure dresses on display are looking their best or to smooth out creases at shows caused by transporting gowns – but do you know all these handy hacks? Tim Oliver of Propress explains everything you could possibly need to know about your steamer.

1. Give it 30 Seconds Before Starting

Propress steamers have a unique aluminium nozzle that’s designed not to spit or dribble. When you first turn your steamer on you may see droplets of water forming because the nozzle is cold. Give it 30 seconds and the nozzle will have reached the optimum steaming temperature. Lift the nozzle by the handle and flick it towards the ground – pointing it away from you or anyone else – and this will dispel any droplets or condensation before you start steaming fabrics.

2. Keep the Nozzle Horizontal

The inside of the nozzle is shaped a bit like a funnel. Whilst you’re using it, condensation will naturally form, but the shape means that it will run back down the hose into the machine if you are holding the nozzle horizontal when steaming. If you turn it onto its side, you run the risk of condensation building up in the hose and water droplets escaping from the bottom steam hole.

3. It’s Easy to Keep Your Steamer Looking Brand New

Propress steamer nozzles are made from aluminium, which is the secret to how they work so well. If you drop the nozzle, it won’t break, but as aluminium is quite soft it might get scratched or end up with an unsightly rough patch. This is easily remedied though – you can use an emery board or nail file to buff the area and then just wipe over it with a cloth. Good as new!

4. Save Your Back and Avoid Crouching

Crouching whilst steaming is going to result in sore legs and an aching back. Avoid this by hanging a plastic chain from a hook on your ceiling. Hang the dress you’re steaming on the chain, with the hanger in line with your shoulders. Steam the top of the dress then simply shift the hanger up the chain as you go to reach the bottom without having to crouch down.

5. Add Tension

Use one hand to control the fabric and add a bit of tension when steaming – this can help to smooth out stubborn creases. Avoid running over the same area repeatedly as this will just make the fabric damp and more prone to creasing.

6. Hack Steaming a Full Ball Gown

When steaming a layered ball gown, steam the underskirt from the inside first to accentuate the fullness, then drop the top skirt in place and steam in the usual way. You’ll be amazed at the effect. Gathers and ruching should be steamed from the inside or underneath as it avoids putting in unwanted creases.

7. Don’t Over-Steam the Details

Avoid applying to much steam to beadwork and sequins. It’s best to steam embellished areas from underneath. In the unlikely event that you get a drop of moisture on a dress whilst steaming, reverse the nozzle and use the back to dry it.

8. It’s Unlikely You’ll Damage Fabrics

Propress steamers are safe to use on nearly every fabric, whether it’s a man-made or a natural fibre. Unlike a steam iron, a steamer operates at a much lower temperature so it won’t scorch or burn the fabric. If you are concerned with a particular dress, check with the manufacturer or supplier before steaming, or test a small, inconspicuous area of fabric first.

9. Steamers Have Many Uses

You can use your steamer to shape hats, make silk flowers blossom, remove bruises from satin shoes and eradicate wrinkles from chair covers and marquee linings, as well as for steaming dresses. Some people also use their steamer to kill weeds, refresh their laundry or even to strip wallpaper!

This feature was taken from Bridal Buyer magazine - read the full version by browsing our digital edition here.

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