Pressing Methods and Equipment Used in Garment Industry

What is Pressing?
Garments are pressed to remove any creases and present the garment in an attractive condition suitable for sale. So, pressing or ironing is a very essential finishing process in garment industry. By pressing, appearance of garments become well. Garment presentation to the consumer is a vital step in the finishing of a product. The opinion of the customer is an integral step in brand recognition. A poorly presented product will have a detrimental effect on the brand’s quality and therefore product saleability. A badly creased garment will lower its retail value and thus the manufacturer’s sale margin. Pressing therefore is an important step in the production process.

Pressing should accomplish the following:

  • Removal of all manufacturing creases and wrinkles.
  • Clarity of pleats if there are pleats present (such as in skirts and trousers).
  • Uniformity of collars and cuffs if present.
  • Stabilizing the garment, particularly in the case of wool knitwear, to retain the desired shape.
  • Relaxation of any stresses induced during the garment manufacture.

In order to achieve good pressing quality, there are four basic parameters that need to be controlled to meet optimum performance, which include heat, moisture, pressure and finally cooling with a vacuum.

Pressing Methods and Equipment Used in Garment Industry:

Pressing equipment is used to press the garments to improve the aesthetic appeal of the clothes. The garments may be different in types, especially, different in design and garments materials. As a result, it needs different types of pressing for different types of garments and need different types pressing machine. There are different types of pressing machine or equipment are used which are given below:

Pressing iron:
The hand irons are the most common type of pressing equipment used by a household. These irons are heated electrically with the provision of steam supply and temperature control. There are various shapes of the irons and the weight ranges from about 1 kilogram to 15 kilograms. There are several types of pressing tables available for these irons, which may include a simple table or a table with vacuum arrangement to hold the garment or section of a garment in place and dry after pressing.

Features of Iron:

  1. At the ancient period, a small case, made by iron in which the heated coal and wood is used by burning and the garments are pressed by the lower smooth surfaces of case.
  2. At present, these coal and wood are replaced by electricity and this eclectic iron is widely used in household purpose.
  3. To control the temperature of electric iron, it is needed to control the regulator.
  4. For updating and to do easy, Iron is heated by supplying steam to the steam Iron.
  5. The steam inlet and outlet is controlled by a controlling switch provided in the Iron.
  6. For steam Iron, special air suction bed is used to control the unexpected crease on garments.
  7. This is triangular in shape and weighted from 1 to 15 kgs.
iron press
Figure 1: Iron press

Steam press / buck press:
Steam presses are used to assist in better shape retention and improve the efficiency of pressing. The steam presses can be of various shapes with automatic operations.

Features of steam press:

  1. This contains a static buck and a head whose are shaped with each other.
  2. The fabric is placed on the buck and the head is placed then on it and pressing is done by applying heat and pressure.
  3. The ironing bed is made by spreading the layers of fabrics on the buck which is placed in a frame.
  4. There is provided air suction and steam flow system through the buck.
  5. The table is placed around the buck on which fabric is placed.
  6. The head is placed down on the buck by scissor action and then pressure is applied.
Steam press
Figure 2: Stem press

Carousel press:
Carousel press is a new development in pressing operation in which a pair of bucks is provided that rotates between operator and the head. The head can be of single or double based on the bucks being identical or an opposite pair for pressing the left and right of a garment part. In this press, scissor action and vertically acting heads can be used. The operator is kept away from the steam in this press as he/she loads the garment onto one buck which is then moved away to be aligned under the head behind the screen thereby preventing the operator from steam. The other buck can be loaded when the machine carries out the controlled pressing cycle there by resulting in higher output. The typical carousel press is shown in Figure 3.

Carousel press
Figure 3: Carousel press

Steam air finisher:
Steam air finishers have separate steam and compressed air distribution system housed in a frame and a canvas bag pressing form in the approximate shape of the garment to be pressed. These finishers are also known as a ‘puffer’, a form press or a ‘dolly’ press. It is called as a finisher instead of a presser due to very less pressure exertion during pressing and the entire garment is pressed at the same time thus reducing the time in positioning and repositioning the garment.

Features of Steam air finisher:

  1. This type of garments finishing machine is known as puffer or dolly press.
  2. The dolly press contains a frame which contains form and the steam and compressed air are flowed by pipe through the form.
  3. The pressing form is generally made by heavy canvas fabric.
  4. There is no sleeve and the usable form size is made according to the size of body of garments.
  5. Steam and air are supplied for a predetermined time by using a timer.
  6. Normally, 8 seconds for steam supply and next 8 seconds for hot air supply.
  7. This type pressing is used for pressing T-shirts, jeans, pants, blouses, and sportswear and so on.
Steam air finish
Figure 4: Steam air finisher

Steam tunnel:
Steam tunnels are used for finishing knitted goods. They can be used for manmade fiber garments and their blends also. This garment finishing process involves no pressure application and reduced handling of garments in steam tunnel (Figure 5). In this finishing process, the garments are put on hangers and fed through a cabinet using a motorized rail.

Features of steam tunnel:

  1. In this process garments are pressed without any pressure.
  2. Garments are hung on hanger and pushed into a tanner containing separate chamber through a running rain.
  3. Garments are heated on first chamber and unexpected crease is removed from fabric by relaxation and gravitational force.
  4. Garments are dried by hot air in the 2nd chamber.
  5. This type of pressing is used for pressing T-shirts and knitted wears.
Steam tunnel
Figure 5: Steam tunnel

Pressing or ironing is a common method of removing unwanted wrinkles and reinforcing desired creases in garments. Many other types of pressing equipment are available that will enhance the final quality of the garments produced. Depending on the type of product being produced, different equipment will be required. Specially designed machines are available for creasing and pleating. Creasing equipment is used to press the edges of clothing components so that they are easily sewn.

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