A fabric steamer allows you to keep your fabrics looking neat, fresh and wrinkle free. It works faster than an iron and is better on fabric. Fabric steamers use steam to remove wrinkles in fabric rather than heat. The moisture and heat allow the fabric fibers to relax, causing them to flatten. By using steam instead of heat, the fabric steamer prevents the potential for burned items. These appliances are easy and simple to use. The clothing or fabric is hung on a hanger, the water is added to the machine, and then the steamer head is moved in a downward motion over the cloth to remove the wrinkles. Fabric steamers are also effective in removing unwanted odors and killing germs.
1 - Common Fabrics
The fabric steamer should not be used on flat surfaces. Clothing and fabric should be hung on a hanger and held taut so that the power of gravity can work with the steam in removing any wrinkles. The steamer should be held with the head up, enabling the moisture to flow down the hose into the steaming unit. The steamer head should not be pushed into fabric like you would with an iron. Pressing the steamer onto fabric could spot and damage the clothing. Rather than pressing the steamer head, carefully move it downwards close to the fabric. Continue running the steamer over all of the fabric until it is fresh and wrinkle free.
2 - Delicate Fabrics
Silk and cashmere can be steamed with a fabric steamer, so long as the head of the unit does not touch the fabric. Hold the head about an inch from the fabric to prevent any spotting. The fabric steamer is especially ideal for fabrics with nap. The pressure of an iron can crush napped fabric while a fabric steamer will preserve the nap because it removes wrinkles through the use of steam, not heat and pressure. When steaming any fabrics with a nap, such as velvet and velveteen, apply the steam to the back of the cloth to prevent any damage.
3 . Heavy Fabrics
Thick fabric, including coats, slipcovers, table covers and curtains can be easily freshened with a fabric steamer. A home fabric steamer will save large costs on having a professional service come to the house to do the work. Generally, professional upholstery cleaners use the same process, the only difference is the size of the steamer. Commercial fabric steamers are usually much larger than home and personal steamers. To remove the wrinkles, use the fabric steamer as you would for any other fabric, except that both sides of the cloth will need to be steamed. Be sure the machine is full of water at all times.
4 - When Traveling
Portable steamers are also available. These steamers are smaller than home steamers, making them easy to pack and carry. Portable fabric steamers are ideal for keeping suits and dresses neat while traveling on business.