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What is the difference between pressing and steaming? 

I am traveling for my wedding and won't be in town until two days before the wedding. I am trying to figure out if I should have the dress pressed before I travel or after. I am scared two days before the wedding is cutting it too close, but I'm scared traveling in a packed car will wrinkle the dress after being pressed. 

My dress has a few layers of tulle (outer layers) and a couple layers of organza. Can I steam the dress myself or should I leave this to the professionals? When I tried the dress on at my last fitting, it didn't look wrinkled at all, so I was wondering if paying a professional is worth the money? 

Just looking for opinions and advice! :)

Re: Pressing

  • Now, I am not a tailor or anything, but I believe "pressing" is the equivalent of "ironing" - the hot iron is used to actually press the item (it comes in contact with the material). Steaming uses a wand thingy and does not come in direct contact with the fabric; the steam goes into the material and gets wrinkles out without an iron touching it. Generally wedding dresses are steamed, since you do not want a hot iron touching potentially delicate fabrics.

    For example: You press slacks, cotton blend shirts, etc. You steam lace and tulle dresses.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2016
    Tulle is made of nylon.  It is not happy with being touched with a hot iron.  It can melt.  Polyester fabrics (most satin, taffeta, or organza is polyester these days) also has a low temperature tolerance and can easily scorch and burn.
    Steam them, or better yet, have it done by someone else.  Professional steamers have more power than those hand held portable steamers sold to consumers.
  • Great to know. Thanks! When I bought the dress the owner mentioned having it pressed so that's why I was thinking it needed to be pressed instead of having it steamed. Thanks so much!
  • Steamed is the way you want to go. There is a great Rowenta portable steamer that I use for everything and it works great.
  • I had a DW and forgot to have my dress steamed until the day before during my rehearsal. Luckily, my planner found a place in town that could rush it. I would do it after traveling as you'll want it hung and ready to go the morning of.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
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