If you have ever had that sinking feeling when unpacking a delivery of garments only to find they bear little resemblance to what you thought you had ordered, it’s time to get out the steamer. More popular than ever before, clothes steamers are perfect for injecting life into flattened garments since they encourage crushed fibres to relax and plump up for a more relaxed and voluminous look.
Steaming v Ironing
There are some very good reasons why steaming is now so popular within the fashion and upholstery world. While conventional ironing techniques crush and flatten the fibres of the fabric (which admittedly is good if you want creases) steaming allows the fabric’s fibres to gently relax so that wrinkles quickly drop away allowing even delicate fabrics to drape as intended and without a tell-tale fold-line or packing crease in sight.
Not just hot air – steaming offers real benefits
– Steamers can be used on delicate materials such as napped fabrics, lace, silk, satin and polyester which an iron could simply scorch.
– Intricate detailing such as ruffles or cuffs that would otherwise be flattened by an iron can be smoothed out.
– Both the exterior of the garment and the underside can be smoothed (how often have you seen a garment look pristine on the outside while the inner lining has sustained severe creases in the ironing process?)
– You can even control the shape of a garment. Simply steam it and stretch it back into shape as the fibres relax.
– Steaming is great for quickly refreshing an item that has been returned by a customer.
What to look for in a steamer
Morplan, the UK’s leading retail supplier, has sold more than 30,000 garment steamers in its 170 year history so they know a thing or two about what retailers, seamstresses and tailors are looking for in an appliance. Clare Zammit, whose field of expertise this is at Morplan, notes that there are some key considerations to bear in mind when choosing the right steamer for your business:
– Duration of use – if you will be using the steamer for extended periods of time look for one that works for longer on one tank – Our mid-range priced Vitesse model can be used continuously for up to three hours
– Fabric – the heavier the fabric, the more power you need so look for higher wattage. The Pro-steam maxi 4 is our most powerful offering and produces 1750 watts so it gets the hottest and can tackle even the most stubborn creases with ease.
– Maintenance – low maintenance appliances do come at a price, they are at the higher end of the range, but if you frequently clean a cheaper model with Rydlyme you can benefit from the up-front cost savings.
– Hard water – if you are based in a hard water area do take advice about scaling. Morplan can send you a free hard water datasheet and test strip if you have any concerns.
– Where it will be used – varying cable lengths, castors, pole heights and collapsible options are available.
Clare urges anyone who is looking at steamers to contact Morplan for friendly, yet knowledgeable advice before purchasing. “With 20 steaming products available in stock we have something to suit everybody and our low price guarantee means you can be confident you are getting a good deal. Our entry level hand held steamer starts at just £26.95, but the all new Quicksteam 2, which is exclusive to Morplan, is proving extremely popular with a whole range of customers. Offering great value at just £80 it heats up in a minute and offers a high power steam output for up to an hour. It’s perfect for most independent retailers who need all the professional qualities of a high end steamer, but without the high-end price tag.”
For more information check out the range at www.morplan.com or call 0330 44 55 666.