To achieve a crisply ironed garment, you need to use an ironing board. Almost 6 million ironing boards are purchased each year, according to Seymour Housewares Corporation.
Ironing has a long history. Originally, the "ironing board" was a flat board laid on a table or across two chairs. The clothing was laid on the board and pressed with a hot rock, or, later, a heavy cast iron implement heated in a fireplace or stove. By the 19th century, women in Europe and America were using wooden "ironing tables" with fold-down wooden legs.
Household irons have evolved from heavyweight chunks of metal to today’s lightweight plastic, steam-emitting, automatic shut-off models. But the ironing board hasn’t changed much, although there are several types.
Free–Standing Ironing Board
The free-standing ironing board made of wood is the earliest type. These fold-up ironing boards are now made with lightweight aluminium and feature cord guides and holders for steam irons. Some upper-end models have metal hanging racks at one end to hold freshly ironed clothes.
Ironing boards built into a wall recess were popular in the early 1940s and are in demand again today. They can be stored out of sight in an attractive cabinet until needed and then folded down from the wall.
These wall-mounted ironing boards are particularly convenient in small houses or apartments, where space is limited. They can even be installed in walk-in closets.
Many people prefer wall-mounted ironing boards, even in larger houses, because they are so convenient. They take only a few seconds to set up and put away. Some can even be swivelled out at an angle into the most convenient position.
Ironing centres are self-contained built-ins with compartments for storage of the iron, spray starch and other garment care items, such as a sewing kit. The large cabinet, which may be quite elaborate, is built into the wall and contains drawers, shelves and a swing-out ironing board.
Mini Ironing Boards
Mini ironing boards, about 3 feet long, are made to put on a table or dresser. Many college students purchase mini ironing boards to use in a dorm or small apartment. They are also sometimes used in hotels or motels. Since they're small and don't have legs, they are easy to store in a small space.
Door-Mounted Ironing Board
Another kind of ironing board is mounted on a door. It may hook over the top of the door, enabling it to be easily lifted off and moved, or it may be screwed into the top of the door. It flips down from the door when you want to use it. This option is a good space saver in apartments and small homes. It's easy to keep out of sight on the back of a bedroom or laundry room door.
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