You may have been brought up on steam, starch and a perfectly crisp trouser crease, but according to leading retailers, the art of ironing could officially be on its way out, as more and more shoppers turn to garment steamers.
Once relegated to the world of catwalks and fashion cupboards, garment steamers have become more and more accessible for home users, who love their quick results, convenient set-up and suitability for delicate items. In fact, according to Argos, sales of the gadget have increased by 128% over the last five years.
As stylist to the stars Jennifer Michalski-Bray commented: ‘Steamers are an essential part of the fashion industry so it’s no surprise more and more are being sold at Argos. The current trend of trouser suits and linen mean that these have become a vital part of everyone’s daily ritual to stay looking stylish throughout the day.’
Teresa Young, Electricals Buyer at Argos, agreed: ‘It takes just 45 seconds to perfectly steam a shirt which means valuable time back for busy customers. The rise in steamer sales proves just how time-pressured we are. One of the key benefits of a steamer is that they don’t require an ironing board, allowing for quick and easy crease removal, and with several compact options, they’re great for travelling and freshening up on-the-go.’
5 of the best garment steamers
The reviews say: ‘Excellent product. Makes ironing so quick. Takes out creases in no time!’
The reviews say: ‘Great little product ideal for taking on holiday will take out light creases, fill it to just under the line and always use in upright movement, very good amount of steam and very easy to use.’
The reviews say: ‘I don’t like ironing and live by myself so it’s a great tool that doesn’t take up space. Brilliant and would recommend to all.’
The reviews say: ‘All the difficult shaped items of clothes that I kept putting back in the ironing pile as I just couldn’t face ironing them, are now hanging in the wardrobes looking like new.’
Rowenta Compact Valet ‘IS6200’ garment steamer, £110, Debenhams
The reviews say: ‘I had never used one before but it was really easy to setup and use. No drips which I’ve read happens in many other brands. Good steaming power and easy to move around.’
How to get the most out of your garment steamer
Tips from stylist Jennifer Michalski-Bray
1. Be gentle. A lightness of touch is advised to get the perfect crease-free effect.
2. Use a sturdy hanger! Make sure you’re using something rigid to ensure the best outcomes on ridding those creases.
3. It might seem like a lot of effort but always use filtered or distilled water to stop limescale, especially if you live in a hard water area.
4. Be quick. The average steam should take no longer than 45 seconds and over-steaming may harm your clothes.
5. Avoid suede, waxed jackets and anything plastic as it could melt.
6. Keep the hose as straight as possible – steam is pretty hot!
7. Don’t attempt to steam anything while you’re wearing it.
8. Steam any sort of lining first, and always steam items from top to bottom.
9. Think about your usage. Steamers come in all shapes and sizes and significantly vary in price. Only pay for what you need.
10. Always wear a long-sleeved shirt to avoid any heat-burn.