How to Iron Trousers 

By  Enda McLarnon

If you have ever wondered how to iron trousers with a crease, without a crease, or without making them shiny, then this page will really help you out. In this article we will take you through the top tips to help making trousers a simple and easy thing to do.
Now it is worth knowing from the start that trousers are made from many fabrics. Some people also call jeans trousers and we want to avoid any confusion. We will include a separate article on how to iron jeans. In this article we are talking about trousers such as cotton, polyester or a mix of a both. In other parts of the world such as the USA and Canada, trousers are often referred to as pants.

What options are available for ironing trousers?

When it comes to ironing trousers there is more than one option. We have listed those just below:

  1. The steam iron
  2. The steam generator iron
  3. Garment steamer (handheld or professional)
  4. The trouser press
  5. The steam press

So as you can see there are some choices available. For the vast majority of people in the UK, the steam iron is going to be the most popular choice. Let's start with this option.

How to iron trousers using a steam iron?

Most UK homes own a steam iron and it remains the most popular choice for ironing trousers. Trousers and jeans can be a real pain to do. This is especially true if you are attempting these for the first time.

Always check and see the label on trousers as you can then find out what material they are made of. That way you can adjust the temperature on your iron to suit the fabric.

Take the time to make sure legs are perfectly matched to avoid the horrible sight of double creasing on formal, dress or suit trousers. Casual trousers should not have a crease and these are much easier to iron.

How to iron trousers using a steam generator iron?

There is no difference in the method used and it follows the same rules as a steam iron. Steam generator irons simply produce more steam at a higher pressure and get the job done faster. You still follow the same rules as the steam iron method shown above.

How to iron trousers using a garment steamer?

Garment steamers, also known as clothes steamers are now becoming very popular. The one shown in the video above is a professional steamer, also known as a vertical steamer. There are however handheld steamers that are much cheaper and can do a similar job. As you can see the trousers are hung up and then steamed to remove wrinkles.

Garment steamers are not good at creating sharp creases in formal type trousers. To achieve those will require a steam iron.

How to iron trousers using a trouser press?

One of the best ways of ironing trousers is to use a trouser press. This is the type of item that you may find in hotel rooms. Unfortunately they are expensive enough. They cost around £80-150 depending on which type or brand that you want to buy.

These usually come with a timed setting. You place the trousers inside and then allow the timer to do the work while you get on with doing something else. They are thermostatically controlled, and you can buy them as either wall mounted, or as a free standing option.

These can quickly remove those wrinkled areas from the backs of the knee. You can also adjust them if you have turn-ups on your trousers. Typically they also come with a jacket hanger to help keep a suit for example in one place. Most people who use these will put the trousers in after work, or before they go to bed. They then hit the timer, and leave them there, ready to go to work in the morning.

Read more about trouser presses.

How to iron trousers using a steam press?

We love the steam press and they are great for getting ironing done really quickly. Using these to iron trousers does take a little practise and you will need to use the steam iron to do the upper part of the trousers. The steam press is very good for adding sharp creases very quickly.

How to iron trousers without creating a shine?

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When you iron trouser legs, you should never places a hot steam iron soleplate directly on to the fabric of the trousers. This is very important especially if you are trying to make a sharp single crease line.

Doing that repeatedly will cause a shine to develop on the trousers which never looks good.

You can use a protective mesh cloth like the one shown to the left, or a tea towel to place over the trousers before setting the iron on top of them.

That stops the very hot soleplate from scorching any delicate fabrics.

What materials are trousers made from?

The majority of trousers for men are made from cotton. Linen is used for making lighter summer trousers and wool is used for more formal and suit trousers. You can also buy corduroy, acrylic, cashmere, polyester, leather, silk, viscose and even fur pants. Jeans remain the most popular in the UK.

In terms of styles there are formal or suit trousers, pleated trousers, twill chinos, cargo trousers, cropped trousers, tracksuit bottoms, and jogging pants.

For women the materials are pretty much the same as they are for men, with linen and cotton being the most popular. They styles do vary from suit trousers, chino trousers, bootleg, high waist, cropped, leggings, yoga pants, culottes and denim.

Always check the label as these should contain washing, drying and ironing recommendations.

Crease or no crease in trousers?

In reality, only formal dress trousers, suit trousers or military clothing should have a crease down each leg. The rest of the trousers are classed as casual and usually don't have a crease. The choice is always personal though.

Enda McLarnon owner of the Steam Gen Reviews UK website

Enda McLarnon

I hope that you find my How to articles helpful as I know that laundry can be a real chore. On this website, I have tried to help out with buying guides and reviews for the many forms of ironing and other laundry issues.

Enda McLArnon

We have chosen products we think you will really like and may earn a commission from links on this page. Read about why you can trust our reviews and recommendations.

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September 16, 2023

In this article we explain how to wash

March 6, 2018

Aside from ironing board covers, and cleaning a

July 28, 2017

It is a fact of life that most

June 14, 2015

Believe it or not one of the most