Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Life In a Wash and Wear World

മലയാളം: Charcoal Iron Box for ironing the clothes
മലയാളം: Charcoal Iron Box for ironing the clothes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Life In a Wash and Wear World

I did something today I have not done for years.  I ironed.  Most people I know stopped ironing clothes when wash and wear made our lives easier, although I am not sure where the easier comes in as we have a tendency to fill the time with some other activity and the general pace of life itself has been accelerated so that it occurs to me that ironing in some way might just slow it down.

Now there are still lots of daily and weekly ironers out there.  In fact my cousin in Scotland and her peeps do it all the time.  My SIL here in Canada still irons.

I had the ironing board out to finish off a project when it occurred to me that I might just press a few articles of clothing likes blouses, sport tops etc just for the heck of it, and I found myself seized by the need to organize drawers and closets.  This is a common urge when large projects are completed.  Why? I don’t know.  Common sense tells me a better celebratory activity might be taking a cruise, or vacation, or even just out for a lovely dinner.  Maybe it is reactionary to spending time focused on one thing and neglecting a hundred other things.  For instance, IF I had put the board and iron away when I finished with it, the thought to do anything else probably would not have drifted through my grey matter.

Anyway, there stood board and iron.  Emptying drawers and a pile of fresh laundry from yesterday – because I did not put it away then – beckoned me on.

As I was pressing lace and designs I realized that by accepting wash and wear I was missing intricate beauty brought by a little heat and pressure and at that moment when I removed the iron did I see the fine stitching, the ivory sheen.

My mind started to wander a bit as I considered how much of our own lives do we just wash and wear?  A large part of the world I see figures that all they have to do is ‘put it out there’, believe and it will be, without realizing that it takes some heat and pressure and persistence to make it so.  Didn’t someone say that luck is 90% hard work?  Or something like that.  The idea being that verbalizing and thinking something is just the first step.  Then come the actions, the work; the energy to make it happen.

A positive frame of mind and spirit is invaluable but unless we use it to iron out the wrinkles in our lives we are forever stuck in a wash and wear existence.  And really, is the fabric of our existence not the quality material we want to show and display?

36 thoughts on “Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Life In a Wash and Wear World”

  1. I agree with your last paragraph. I haven’t ironed in years, either. I was never good at it, but maybe now that I’m older and more patient I could try it again. Especially if I muse on your thoughts as I iron.

  2. Reblogged this on bridgesburning and commented:

    Words spoken yesterday can be interpreted differently today. Some messages are timeless, especially as life gets faster, literally technologically faster, the message to slow down, if not to smell the roses, then at least to notice the fine intricate workings of the fabric.

  3. So many people love this post Chris that there’s not much for me to add. I Iron very rarely but when I do it is satisfying. I have a friend who still irons everything. She says this taked her away from the real world for a while

  4. Umm, “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.”? (But don’t ask me who said it either; )

  5. Your blog post was such a comfort to me today! I loved the nostalgia and remembered all the good things about ironing. I remember my mother’s mango (however it was spelled) and the smell of newly sprinkled shirts against the heat of that roller. I still iron about once a month. After washing, I let the blouses and shirts pile up and then set up my ancient board and follow the same procedure my mother must have taught me–collar, shoulders, front to back, sleeves, cuffs. Something nice about familiar rituals that I choose to do and not because I have to like in the olden days.

    1. Hey, that’s The Way my Mom taught me to iron as well – and I think the press was called a “mangle” (perhaps that’s what happened if you got a body part stuck in the works?; )

  6. I ruined my ironing board’s pad for other uses, and have been ironing haphazardly on my granite countertop which can take the heat. It’s strange, but it’s working for now. I really should buy a new pad/cover. Slow down is a great take-away from your post. Thanks

  7. I love how you connect a often tedious task with life lessons. I rarely iron anymore but, when I do, I find it quiet and relaxing and somehow gratifying. Wrinkles turn to smoothness and you’re right, all of a sudden you notice the details of something you wear more than before.

  8. What a delightful post, Chris! I’m so happy to hear from you. In fact, this is a beautiful reflection on a simple and often overlooked chore. I especially enjoyed your line about applying a bit of heat and pressure. That’s really lovely.

    My Sara LOVES to iron and does so regularly. Here in Ecuador we don’t have a drier, so ironing is really necessary in a way it wasn’t back in the US–but Sara ironed even there.

    Really fine post, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  9. When husband had “Have Tools Will Travel” install a murphy ironing board thingy, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Ironing isn’t so bad if you can put the board, iron, and spray bottle away when you finish.
    My mother had one when I was young. I thought it was pretty cool…put ironing board away, pull clothes out of the hamper to iron. Every thing in its place. Over the years I watched my mother go up and down stairs with laundry…the least I could do was iron…I think I had the easier job.
    Nowadays, I will insist on ironing when I think something needs to be touched up. Daughter and husband don’t resist and it only takes a few minutes with my tuck away ironing board.

  10. Like a lot of us, I haven’t ironed in YEARS. This post brings to mind the relaxation and smell of clean laundry when the hot / warm iron hits the fabric. I used to love the process. If I wasn’t so lazy and IF I still had an ironing board, I’m sure I’d iron the odd thing, especially tablecloths. Wash and wear is fine but freshly pressed is better.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  11. I still iron. I iron my outfits after I wear them to work and before i put them away. I still like to wear cotton so after I wash my cotton items, I iron them. I am very busy so i iron while I call my mom or my children. That way I get my ironing done and get to talk to the people who are important to me. Ironing can also be relaxing. My mom used to iron sheets and under wear. I don’t go that crazy. My iron is a bit more modern than the photo!

  12. I have this theory…iron and ironing board should never get in close contact…. I have a super iron which still lives in its original box in the back of the cupboard AND I have an ironing board neatly tucked away ..I keep them just in case my hub wants to iron…….. I have not ironed for donkey, s years….too much wasted time, as they omly get wrinkled again.
    Hope that you are well Chris. Xxxxx

      1. I am now trading under All of God’s Creatures or Patrecia1939 but you can find it on the internet. I made the mistake of deleting old blog and not telling people where i had gone..silly me !
        hope that you will find it

      2. I am now trading under All of God’s Creatures or Patrecia1939 but you can find it on the internet. I made the mistake of deleting old blog and not telling people where i had gone..silly me !
        hope that you will find it

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