How to Get Wrinkles Out of a Graduation Gown
If you’re graduating from high school or college, you’re going to want to look your best at the ceremony and in all of the pictures you’ll take to commemorate the event. Understandably, you don’t want a wrinkly graduation gown stealing focus from your achievement. These gowns often have folds and creases in them when you first take them out of their cellophane packaging. Your first inclination might be to wash the gown to remove the wrinkles. However, machine drying a graduation gown can damage the fabric. Fortunately, with a few simple tricks, you can easily get the wrinkles out of your gown at home without using a dryer.
Part 1Steaming Your Gown
Do this as soon as you remove it from its cellophane packaging to avoid getting more wrinkles and creases in it. Ideally you should hang it up several days before your ceremony, not the morning of, so that you have enough time to de-wrinkle it without feeling rushed or stressed. Use a padded or wooden hanger rather than a wire hanger, which can catch and snag the fabric of the gown.
Make sure that the shower head is angled away from the gown. Test the direction of the shower spray to ensure your gown won't accidentally be splashed.
The steam created will de-wrinkle the gown. Stretch and tug on the fabric once in a while during this process to help ease out the creases. Keep the bathroom door closed to trap the steam inside and create a sauna effect.
Part 2Ironing Your Gown
Put the iron upright on the ironing board and wait until it is heated up. Different irons give different indications that they’re ready. Sometimes a light turns on, sometimes an icon appears. If you’re unsure how to tell when your iron is ready, check its instruction manual.
Make sure that the gown is lying flat on the board to avoid ironing in more wrinkles and creases. Cover the gown’s fabric with a towel so that you don’t melt the polyester.
Try turning the gown inside out to protect the top layer from any possible scorch marks when you iron. Your towel probably isn’t large enough to cover the entire gown, so iron in sections the size of the towel.
Whenever the iron is on the towel, continue to move it without pausing so that it doesn’t rest too long in one spot and burn the gown’s fabric through the towel. When you finish ironing the area of the gown covered by the towel, move the towel to the next area of the gown and start ironing continuously again. Start at the collar of the gown and work your way down in areas the size of the towel you’re using. Never let the iron touch the gown’s actual fabric.
Iron the entire gown, but focus especially on these fold lines that cut horizontally across the chest and pelvis area of the gown. Keep the towel over top of these areas while you iron them and continue to move the iron without pausing.
Put the gown back on a padded or wooden hanger. Place it somewhere that it won’t be squashed and rumpled by other articles of clothing. Turn your iron off as soon as you’ve finished ironing the gown and leave it upright on the ironing board to cool down for at least 10 minutes before you put it away.
Part 3Treating the Gown with Vinegar Spray
Pour 1 cup (240 mL) of distilled water and 2 teaspoons (9.9 mL) of white vinegar into the bottle. Use a funnel to avoid spilling.
This is the base of the homemade wrinkle release spray you will use to get the creases out of your gown. This shouldn't make your gown smell like vinegar as long as you don't overuse the spray. Make sure to give the gown enough time to dry and any lingering vinegar smell will evaporate. Don't use this spray the day of your graduation or your gown might not be dry in time.
Use the same conditioner you do on your hair in the shower. Squeeze the conditioner into a measuring spoon. Then place it in the funnel and push it into the spray bottle with the water and vinegar. Conditioner is thick, so use a toothpick to press it through the funnel into the spray bottle. Wash it down into the bottle with a small amount of hot water if it’s getting stuck.
This is optional, but will help mask any smell of vinegar that might otherwise linger on the gown. Only use colorless essential oils so that you don’t stain the fabric of the gown. Use any oil you like the scent of. Some good options are lavender, peppermint, sage, rosemary, and juniper. These are all colorless and will leave a light pleasant smell on the gown after you’ve sprayed it.
Combine all the ingredients in the spray bottle by shaking it with your hand. The products don’t all blend easily so you will have to shake very hard. The wrinkle spray is ready when the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and foamy. The amount of time this will take depends on how hard you shake. Check for the foamy consistency to know when the spray is ready.
Use a padded or wooden hanger. Hang the gown on the back of a closed door, or against a wall.
Spray a little bit of the homemade wrinkle releaser on a patch of the gown that will be mostly hidden from sight. Wait until the spray dries to make sure that the fabric of the gown doesn’t get water spots. Try an area at the hemline near the back that isn’t very noticeable and won’t show up in many pictures if it gets water spots.
Spray an area of the gown with the wrinkle releaser. Gently tug and smooth the fabric to get the creases out between every two or three sprays.
Work your way over the entire front of the gown, and then turn the hanger around and do the back. Spray in a sweeping motion and don’t overly saturate the fabric or it could smell like vinegar when it dries.
Let it air dry slowly. Don’t use a hair dryer or other heat source to speed the drying. Keep the gown hanging up, away from other articles of clothing that could cause it to wrinkle again, until graduation day.