As a seller of hundreds of football shirts every month I get loads of them that are creased. The worst offenders look like they've got damp and been left screwed up at the bottom of someone's gym bag for months. I've tried, and failed, with a few different ways and have now settled on this simple method that allows me to get shirts looking their best in no time at all.
Tip - Do not use an iron! Even with great proof paper for 2 reasons
1 - It is easy to slip and burn the shirt, as I found out with a Lingard 2015 long sleeve United away shirt!
2 - It is not the easiest method to achieve this. I've found ironing takes a while on heavily creased shirts and even washing and ironing while damp does not speed it up.
The best way - Use a steamer
A handheld steamer can be picked up from Amazon for around £30; that is exactly what I started using. I do not use a professional grade one due to the volume of shirts I steam every week.
How to steam a football shirt
1 - Get the stream set up and ready to go
2 - Get the shirt on a hanger with some space around it otherwise everything else will get steamed
3 - Gently pull the shirt so it is smooth. It does not need to be tight, it just needs to be easy to go over
4 - Start in the top left-hand corner and slowly work your way down. If it is a valuable shirt or material that gets pulls keep the steamer a couple of centimetres away from the shirt (Some will have a brush guard which is fine to use.
5 - Move across the shirt from left to right starting at the top and working down.
6 - Next repeat this with the sleeves, and pull them away from the shirt to get them smooth before starting.
7 - Repeat the actions from the front to the back.
8 - Hang the shirt somewhere it is free to air while it dries out. DO NOT put it in a garment or suit bag straight away as you'll trap the moisture!
Shirt steaming tips
I've steamed loads of shirts so here are my tips for getting the best results.
- Take your time at first, there is no prize for doing it quickly
- Have somewhere higher to hang the shirts to do the bottoms of them if they are large sizes as it's hard to keep them taught if they're down below your waist
- If you are nervous about a high-value shirt have a go at a couple of cheaper shirts first
- You can steam over the names and prints. This can be down from a few centimetres away from the print, if they are really creased go slowly
What you may find is your crease-free shirt now shows up more marks. This always happens and it's best to follow a careful wash cycle to get them out before steaming the shirt again. It will need a lot less steaming the second time you do it.
You can also use this technique for steaming cotton or other shirts for work, or nights out!