Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

Can You Iron Linen? Here’s What You Need to Know

I’ll go over how to iron linen in detail in this article. I’ll also clarify whether you can steam linen and how to do it safely.

However, because it is so prone to creases and wrinkles, linen is not the best fabric choice. It’s fortunately not too difficult to iron linen clothing. You should put an ironing cloth between the fabric and the iron because linen is another fabric that is susceptible to shrinking. Once that’s done, use your iron’s linen setting or high heat to iron the fabric.

A good ironing board, a spray bottle, and a high-quality steam iron are all you need to get the best results. This tutorial shows you how to properly iron linen clothing.

Further Reading: How to Wash a Linen Tablecloth Safely and Effectively?

Can You Iron Linen?

Although it can be ironed, linen is prone to shrinking, as you are probably aware if you are familiar with linen. Because of the risk of shrinking, even pre-shrunk linen can still experience some shrinkage. However, it also means that drying linen for an extended period of time doesn’t always cause wrinkles.

It will be less likely to be wrinkled if you wash your linen and dry your linen as soon as possible before wearing it. It may, however, wrinkle in the folds if it has been folded up for a while. You can iron it, but you’ll want to exercise extreme caution because the heat from the iron may cause some shrinking.

Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

When ironing linen, it’s crucial that you use the correct iron settings and take the proper precautions. The best results will come from using the correct procedures because wrinkle removal from linen can be challenging. But keep in mind that even if you iron your linen clothing, it will probably become wrinkled once more if you sit down for a while.

Required Tools for Ironing Linen Clothes

  1. Spray bottle. If your linen isn’t damp, ironing it will be next to impossible. To dampen the clothes, add clean water to a cheap spray bottle.
  2. A steam iron of excellent quality. For successful linen ironing, use a hot iron and lots of steam. Your iron ought to be able to generate both. For those areas that require even more dampness, a spray feature is also helpful.
  3. It takes steady, even strokes to iron linen, so you’ll need a sturdy ironing board. If the ironing surface is unstable or small, that is difficult to do. Use these suggestions for ironing on other surfaces if you don’t have a good ironing board.
  4. To avoid flattening the linen fibers to the point of producing a shine, a pressing cloth should always be placed between the hot iron and the fabric is pressed.

Sorting your materials in advance will help when ironing. Various ironing techniques are needed for various fabrics. After that, you can start ironing. Check the laundry symbols on your garments to find ironing instructions, and read Fabric Ironing 101 which tells you how to iron different fabrics properly.

How to Iron Linen Clothes?

Below are the steps to follow in order to iron linen clothes correctly:

Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know
  • Step 1: Grab your sturdy ironing board, then place the wrinkled linen cloth on it.
  • Step 2: If your iron has a linen setting, select it or set the heat to the highest setting. To avoid any unsightly stains on your clothing, make sure the iron’s faceplate is clean.
  • Step 3: Spray some fresh water from a spray bottle on your linen cloth. Pay special attention to thicker areas like collars, pockets, and cuffs on clothing. It ought to be humid but not overly wet. After misting the garment with water, you should give it 5 to 10 minutes to rest before you begin ironing. It is simpler to iron out creases on linen clothing when it is damp, and dampening your clothing also keeps the iron from scorching the material.
  • Step 4: Avoid pressing the iron too firmly or leaving it in one place for too long as you move it across the fabric in smooth, steady strokes. To avoid damage, you should iron your line-dried clothing from the inside out. observe the fabric’s lines and stitching. Also, start with the areas of the linen that are thicker and any embroidered areas.
  • Step 5: After you’ve finished ironing your fabric, leave it on the ironing board to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, to keep it smooth and wrinkle-free, hang it in a room with minimal traffic.

How to Iron Linen Shirts?

Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

Set your iron to a high heat setting or, if it has one, the cotton/linen setting for the best results when ironing linen shirts. You have two options while your iron is heating up: dampen your linen shirt or grab a different cloth and dampen it.

Which method you choose is entirely up to you. Linen irons more effectively when damp, and the separate cloth acts as a protective barrier between the hot iron and the fabric, reducing the risk of damage or burning.

Just remember to keep dampening the shirt or separate cloth as you go, as it won’t iron as well if it’s dried. As with ironing any article of clothing or material, be sure to move the iron continuously to prevent accidental burning of the fabric. You should also gently pull and stretch the fabric as you go to prevent ironing the wrinkles deeper into the fabric.

Once you’ve finished ironing your linen shirt completely, hang it up to dry completely in a room without too many people around so the fibers can cool for ten to fifteen minutes.

How to Iron Linen Pants?

Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

As you would with any linen garment, remember to iron linen pants from the inside out.

Apply a light mist of water to them and set the iron to the linen (flax) setting, which is typically 230 C/445 F. Smooth out your linen pants, set them on the ironing board, and iron both sides of each leg.

In order to correct the shape of the corners and edges if necessary, you can gently stretch the fabric while ironing damp and hot linen. After ironing, avoid folding them in an unflattering way.

Use hangers for pants with two clippers on the sides to hold linen pants by the waist to ensure that they maintain their smooth shape after ironing.

Further Reading: Are Linen Pants Business Casual?

How to Iron Linen Dress?

Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

A linen dress should be folded inside-out and lightly sprayed with clean water before being ironed, just like any other linen garment. If a linen dress has a collar and cuffs, same as with a linen shirt, it’s best to start ironing them first on the “wrong” side.

The linen fabric on the dress might pick up a mark from buttons or zippers. A terry cloth towel placed underneath the linen can be a great help in preventing that.

Additionally, if your ironing board cover is fraying or even has some stains that could harm the dress, this method safeguards your linen dress.

Turn the linen dress on the “wrong” side and spray it with water. Keep an eye out and keep the iron moving. It could end in disaster if you leave it in one place for too long. After you’ve finished ironing, hang the linen dress to finish drying.

How to Iron Linen Tablecloth?

Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

Spay your linen tablecloth with water and get ready to iron the “wrong” side of it to prevent any possibility of damaging the “good” side when ironing.

The simplest way to iron a tablecloth made of linen is to fold it in half, iron one side first, then flip it over and repeat the process with the other half.

When finished, hang your tablecloth on a hook somewhere it can air out and dry. It should be hung outside, where the wind can help it dry. Be aware that leaving your linen tablecloth out in the sun can cause the color to fade more quickly, particularly if the fabric is darker.

What Temperature Do You Iron Linen?

If your iron has one, you can use the linen setting or high heat to iron linen. However, it might be useful to know which setting to use if your iron has specific temperatures rather than settings for various fabrics.

The best method for ironing linen is with high heat. The best temperature to use for ironing linen is 445 degrees Fahrenheit. But keep in mind that you should dampen the linen before ironing it, even at this temperature.

Further Reading:

Tips for Successfully Ironing Linen Pants and Shirts

  • Give linen clothing a good spritz with plain, cool water for at least five to ten minutes before ironing. Pay special attention to the pocket flaps, button plackets, collars, and cuffs of your shirts. Allow the moisture to seep into the linen fibers as you loosely roll the garment.
  • Choose the cotton/linen setting or high heat on the steam iron. Make sure the water tank is filled with water, and that the faceplate of the iron is clean.
  • Use an old terry cloth towel underneath the linen if your ironing board cover is fraying or heavily stained. This will give you a tidy finish, cushion the surface, and safeguard any buttons on the garment.
  • If there is embroidery on the linen, padding is especially important. Always iron the wrong side first, then the embroidered area.
  • If more water is required to achieve a smooth finish, start with the heavier areas of the shirt or pants (collars, cuffs, waistbands) before moving on.
  • To stop the iron from scorching, keep it moving steadily and smoothly. Overstaying your welcome can result in disaster.
  • Stretch the garment gently while ironing to ensure even edges and square corners. Crumpled areas can be reshaped while the fabric is still warm and damp.
  • To avoid shiny spots, press linen garments from the incorrect side or with a pressing cloth. This is especially crucial when using darker hues.
  • For areas like collars and cuffs that you want to be especially crisp, use spray-on starch or fabric sizing. The starch also assists in stain resistance for the linen.
  • After ironing, hang the item to dry completely in a room without too many people. To give the fibers time to cool and relax, give the freshly ironed item at least 10 to 15 minutes before wearing it. Linen will wrinkle excessively if worn while damp.
Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

Things to Avoid When Ironing Linen Clothes

  1. Adopt a casual appearance; linen will become softer and more supple the more it is worn and washed.
  2. Avoid using the dryer. Shake well to eliminate wrinkles after removing linen clothing from the washer. Lay the item flat on a towel or hang it from a hanger with padding. Pull the hems, seams, and any other irregularities, such as curled hem edges, to straighten them out while the fabric is still wet.
  3. Make use of a steamer for your clothes. The steamer will get rid of heavy wrinkles and sharp creases, but you won’t get a crisp look.
  4. Always test fabric sprays that reduce wrinkles on the inside hem before applying. Some can leave spots and stains on linen, especially dark-colored linen. (See What Color is Linen?)
  5. Don’t fold linen clothing. To avoid creasing due to crowding, hang in a closet with plenty of space.

Can You Steam Linen Clothes?

Steaming linen is another efficient method to get rid of wrinkles if you don’t have time to fully iron it. Since there is more direct heat contact when steaming, linen that hasn’t been pre-shrunk may experience some shrinkage.

While steaming linen is possible, it should be done carefully. Additionally, keep in mind that steaming linen might not give you a crisp appearance or get rid of wrinkles as effectively as ironing.

When steaming linen, a handheld steamer works best, but if you don’t have one, you can always use an upright steam iron. Hang the linen first before steaming it. After that, turn on the steamer and move it up and down the fabric until all wrinkles have been as much as possible removed. Do the same thing while turning the fabric inside out.

Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

The steam from your shower can also be used to remove wrinkles from linen. While it won’t get rid of every wrinkle, at least it will look less noticeable. While taking a shower, hang the linen clothing in the bathroom. Alternatively, just turn on the shower and lock the door. Allow the shower’s steam to affect the clothing for 5 to 10 minutes.

Getting Wrinkles Out of the Linen Fabric Without Iron

If there is no iron in your home, we provide you with other methods to get wrinkles out of linen fabric.


Even without an iron, it is possible to get linen pants that are wrinkle-free. However, doing it this way will take a lot longer.

  1. Wash your linen garments in the washing machine or, if they are dry, mist them with fresh water from a spray bottle.
  2. Your damp linens should be hung outside in the open air.
  3. Allow your linen to air-dry gently in the crisp wind.

A Pot

It certainly sounds like a strategy employed by college students. But it does, whether you believe it or not!

  1. Bring the water to a boil in the pot after filling it completely.
  2. Pour out the hot water when it reaches that temperature.
  3. Your linen clothing should be laid out on a hard surface, such as a table, and ironed using the still-pretty-hot pot’s bottom.
Can You Iron Linen? Here's What You Need to Know

Shower Steam

One of my go-to tricks, especially when traveling. During your shower, hang your item up on a hanger in the bathroom. To help the wrinkles disappear, gently tug the fabric’s edges. Your item will function best if it is slightly creased throughout. Deep creases are less successful with it.

Fabric Steamer

Given that it is quicker than ironing, I adore using a fabric steamer. The disadvantage is that it results in a less clean appearance. Consider ironing with spray starch if you want a formal, clean look.

Spray Bottle

Finally, carrying a wrinkle-release spray in your luggage can be useful as wrinkles start to appear throughout the day. Just lightly spray the fabric and pull at the edges with your hands to remove wrinkles.

Hang, Don’t Fold

Except for bed sheets, I advise hanging your linen items when storing them rather than folding them! Since linen wrinkles so easily, hanging linen items will save you time later.

Conclusion: Be Careful When Ironing Linen

Given that linen is prone to wrinkling in the first place, it can be challenging to remove wrinkles from it. You can iron it, but you’ll want to dampen the fabric first and lay a pressing cloth on top of it to get rid of the wrinkles without causing damage.

You can use a garment steamer or a conventional clothes iron to remove wrinkles from linen, but you must be careful when using the settings to avoid burning or harming the fabric by accident.

If you’re still unsure, it’s best to look at the clothing tag for instructions on how to wash and maintain the linen since some linen products can only be dry-cleaned.


Can You Iron Linen Pants?

Any type of linen fabric can be ironed at a high heat setting, but for best results, the fabric should be slightly damp. However, you’ll need to use caution when ironing to prevent burning a hole through the fabric or otherwise harming the fabric.

Can You Iron Linen Shirts?

Although you must keep the linen damp to achieve the best results, ironing a linen shirt is essentially the same as ironing a conventional collared shirt. To prevent any mishaps, it is best to read the tag on the shirt before pulling out the iron. Your linen shirt might need special handling or should be taken to a dry cleaner for washing and drying.

Does Linen Wrinkle After Ironing?

Clothing made of linen is not only light, breathable, and airy, but it also has a very stylish design. However, linen does have this so-called drawback – it does wrinkle fast.

Can You Iron Directly on Linen?

Yes, you can iron linen garments, including line shirts, line pants, and even line curtains by following the right steps. The best results can be achieved by keeping the linen damp while ironing, which is similar to ironing clothing made of other fabrics.

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