How was ironing done in the past?

As the manufacturer of the well-known TUBIE shirt ironing machine, we are naturally interested in how people used to iron their shirts and trousers. It is clear that ironing shirts only works with heat and our TUBIE shirt ironing machine also works on the principle of hot air. But what did people do in the past, when neither steam irons nor ironing machines were available? We shirt ironers have once again researched for you.

As early as the time of Jesus Christ's birth, the Chinese were probably already ironing their silk garments, although not as we know it today, but with the help of so-called pan irons. The Chinese women filled a mixture of hot coal and sand, which was supposed to hold the heat better, into metal pans and thus smoothed their garments. Such ironing pans were heated on the cooker or fireplace. They often used interchangeable handles and as soon as one pan had cooled down, a new one was taken from the hearth.

Thefirst real irons are known from the 15th century and at that time ironing was also called ironing. These devices consisted of a solid metal plate with a handle that had to be heated on a hot stove plate.

Later, towards the end of the 17th century, hollow irons were used, mostly made of brass, into whose hollow space an iron plate heated in the fire was inserted and closed with a flap. Such irons were even used until the 19th century. This ironing technique was then developed further and irons were used where the plate could be replaced. While one was in use, the next one was heated up and replaced as soon as the first one had cooled down.

Then, at the end of the 19th century, coal irons came onto the market, into whose cavity glowing coals or briquettes were inserted. However, this method of ironing led to many burns. In addition, this method was of course anything but gentle on the laundry (by the way, a main argument for the TUBIE shirt ironing machine and ironing machine) and many garments were destroyed by burn holes, etc.

In the 19th/20th century, gas irons came onto the market, which were connected directly to the gas pipe via hoses. This method, however, was not entirely safe and was mainly used by ironing parlours, which, by the way, swear by our TUBIE ironing dummy all over the world today.

With the electrification of the household, the iron was finally also heated electrically. However, the first models did not have a thermostat and had to be tested for temperature with a wet cloth. However, the electric iron spread very slowly. The reason for this was certainly the cost of electricity at that time. It was only with falling energy costs and a more stable energy supply that the electric iron achieved its breakthrough.

Further development of the electric iron is the steam iron, or hot iron, ironing dummy, shirt ironing dummy, shirt ironing machine, automatic ironing machine, ironing machine, etc. With these great ironing devices, you can save a lot of time and the clothes almost iron themselves.

Good thing there's the TUBIE shirt ironing machine!


Photo: Pixabay