Ironing clothes is a tedious but necessary household chore. However, it can be made easier by using a good quality ironing board and there is a huge selection on the market today.
An ironing board has a flat, padded surface, on which ironing clothes are placed, usually with a decorative cover made of heat-resistant fabric. The pad normally has ventilation “holes”, which allow steam from the iron to penetrate the clothes and escape from the bottom.
A good ironing board also has additional features to make ironing easier. These include ‘sleeves’, which are approximately 2 feet long and 6 to 8 inches wide, attached to the board, for ironing sleeves and small garments.
Another important feature is the footrest. It is usually located at the end of the board and is made of heat resistant material. A good iron stand is large enough to hold the iron securely, without the risk of it falling over.
Types of ironing board
There are three main types of ironing boards: portable, tabletop, and wall-mounted, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. To help you select the best type of ironing board for your needs, you need to consider how often it will be used, where it will be placed, how much space is available, and what price range you can afford.
Portable ironing boards are the most common in American homes. They have extendable legs, which fold flat for storage and fold flat for use. They can be moved to any room in the house where you want to iron and then put away when you’re done.
An advantage of portable ironing boards is the ability to adjust the height. For example, you may prefer to sit while ironing, rather than standing. And it helps to be able to adjust the height of the table easily, if the smallest members of the house want to iron clothes, portable ironing boards have the disadvantage, however, of being uncomfortable to install and cumbersome to move.
The second type of ironing board, the tabletop, has short legs and is designed to be placed on a table or counter. These ironing boards are easy to transport and fit in a tight space, making them popular with dorm students. But because they are so small, it is difficult to properly position larger items on the board, which can be annoying when ironing the sleeves or anything that needs to fit around the end of the board.
The third type of ironing board mounts to the wall and then unfolds when needed for ironing. These wall ironing boards are becoming more and more popular in modern homes. They have the advantage of saving space, which is a great advantage in a smaller house or apartment. They can even be installed in a walk-in closet or other confined space.
Even in larger homes, many people prefer wall-mounted ironing boards because they are so convenient. They only take a few seconds to fold and store, thus saving a lot of time. They also eliminate the need to carry the ironing board and unfold the awkward folding legs. The wall-mounted ironing boards are strong and sturdy, and can be rotated at any angle to the most convenient position for ironing.
Some wall-mounted ironing boards are designed to be easily installed by a common homeowner, without the need to call a dealer, and can therefore save you money on installation costs.
The history of ironing boards
Although we take ironing boards for granted today, it should be remembered that 100 years ago they were a great novelty and were just beginning to appear in stores in the United States.
For centuries, people used to iron their clothes on any available flat surface. For example, the Vikings in the 9th century used flat pieces of whale bones, over which women pressed their clothing using hot stones.
Later in Europe, it became common for people to iron their clothes at the kitchen table or on a flat board that rested between two chairs. This practice spread to North America and by the early 1800s there was a lot of advice in cleaning books about what size an ironing board should be, what it should be made of, and what kind of blanket or fabric it should be covered with. .
Around the same time, various ironing boards began to appear on the market, but there is some controversy over who invented the ironing board.
In 1858 W. Vandenburg patented what he called the ironing board, and about three years later Isaac Ronnie Bord of Georgetown, Delaware, obtained a patent for an adjustable flat horizontal surface for ironing underwear, clothing, and bedding.
In 1892, an African-American woman, Sarah Boone, patented an ironing board that was the forerunner of the modern folding ironing board with a narrow, curved shape, designed to facilitate ironing of shirts. (The term “iron”, of course, comes from the fact that the implements used for ironing clothes were made of heavy cast iron, which was typically heated at home or on a wood or charcoal stove.)
Improvements in ironing boards naturally followed the development of the iron, which was powered by electricity and was lighter. In 1940, manufacturers were producing all-metal folding ironing boards with tubular legs, and the basic design of ironing boards has changed little since then.