There must be a better way to iron shirts at home (maybe a form?)

My wife won't iron, and I'm tired of dropping off a dozen 100% cotton dress shirts at the cleaners and paying $1.75 per shirt for what amounts to pressing.
I hate non-cotton dress shirts, so, it's either I press them or they press them. I can wash them, no problem, but the wrinkes and the creases are needed.
I would love a big fancy 'press' but I presume that's too expensive and bulky for home use and it may never pay for itself at $1.75 per shirt (one shirt per work day).
I'm currently using the classic full-sized ironing board, and while that works well, it seems such a waste of effort to iron first both sides of the sleeves, then the left front, the right front, the left rear, the right rear, the center rear, and the collar, in what amounts to ten separate steps.
Thinking ahead, I wonder ...
What do the most innovative of you guys do?
For example, would a wooden 'form' help? I'm guessing I could make a squarish plywood form with rounded shoulders, arms, and a neck area, then slip the shirt over that form, all buttoned up perhaps.
That way, I might be able to iron the front in one operation, and the back in the second operation.
What do you think?
Have any of you solved the multi-step problem of ironing shirts at home without switching to substandard materials?
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Fred James wrote:

There are tabletop ironing presses that reduce - but not eliminate - the work of ironing. Here's an example: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=tabletop+ironing+press&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7GGLL_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid 65512466667574768&sa=X&ei=tlC-TtrGK-LisQK9goCmBA&ved G4Q8wIwAQ#
Aside: They day after the couple returned from the honeymoon, the Southern bride rushed to her mother:
"Oh, momma, I'm leaving Beau! He's a beast! A beast, I tell you true!"
"There, there, Daisy. What's wrong? He seemed like such a nice boy"
"Oh momma. No sooner do we get back home but he starts using those awful four-letter words. It is just too horrid to take!"
"There, there, dear... What kind of four-letter words did Beau bother you with?"
"Oh momma, words like WASH and IRON and DUST and a whole bunch of others. It's more than I can bear!"
"I understand dear...
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<...snipped...>

I solved it by not ironing, around 40 years ago. Sure that won't work for you?
--
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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On 11/12/2011 8:25 AM, Larry W wrote:

I agree- get a life. Even all-cotton shirts are more than presentable if you hang-dry them and just just gently tug all the wrinkles out while they are damp. 'Snap' them like a blanket before putting on hanger, and just smooth out any remaining bumps.
And while all-poly shirts ARE a sin against nature, the 'mostly cotton' blends do work well and are quite comfortable. They also hang-dry with no apparent wrinkles.
Starch? Creases? What year does OP live in? Even rich people and fashion models don't dress like that any more.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

But people who want to become rich do.
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Yep. The trick is to hang them up while they're still a little on the damp side (modern dryers work wonders). A little misting with a squirt bottle can help, too.

>60% is good.

Military, maybe.
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The guys I used to see around (mostly ANG or reservists, I suppose) have creases.

Good point. ...or maybe a Windows logo. ;-)
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I think you need to learn to iron.
Find some enlisted GI. I bet he knows how to iron and can teach you everthing you need to know. I learned to iron uniforms in the service and later did it most of my life, my ex barely capable of inhaling and walking at the same time. Shouldn't take you more that 5 mins to iron a cotton dress shirt, with starch, on a std ironing board with a basic electric steam iron. Get one with a non-stick bottom.
nb
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Fred James wrote:

Answer:
Van Heusen wrinkle-free shirts. 60% cotton, 40% polyester.
Long sleeve and short-sleeve versions.
Also known as wrinle-free "poplin".
Wash them, dry them, take them out of the dryer and put them right on a hanger. Take them out of the dryer before they're completely dry. They will dry on the hanger with no wrinkles.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
These prices seem expensive.
I bought them maybe 5 years ago for $17 - $20 each, usually at those highway "Factory Outlet" strip-mall stores.
They seem to be skimping on the cotton. Mine are 60/40 cotton. These amazon ones are only 35% cotton.
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How's this for innovative?
I wash a week's worth of shirts on Friday or Saturday.
I hang them on hangers to dry - front load washer, high speed spin, they dry in a few hours.
Later in the weekend, I set up my ironing board in front of the basement TV.
I find some a sports, DIY or educational show.
I iron 5 shirts in a less than a 1/2 hour. I'm good for the week.
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Sequence is everything. I ironed my own clothes from age 10 onward, and can iron a dress shirt FAST. First, iron sleeves. Next, collar. Next the back of the collar that goes over the shoulders. Stretch it onto the pointy end of the board so you can do it in one pass, the whole yolk being flat. Then start at right or left chest, and pull the shirt on to the pointy end of the board at the neck. Flatten it out so you get the tip top point of the chest, and all down along the buttons. Do a rolling action, ironing a portion of the fabric that goes around you, a section at a time. Overlap a little so that it all gets good coverage.
Temperature and humidity are crucial. Steam irons are good.
It ain't rocket surgery.
I'll do a youtube for you.
How come you didn't learn this as a kid?
One of those little pampered boys, eh?
Steve
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Good, but not very innovative. Sorry.
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On 11/12/2011 12:36 AM, Fred James wrote:

Buying the best 100% Egyptian cotton makes ironing easier, but difficult to find....best I found was about 30 yrs ago, ladies tailored (like mens shirt) blouse from Gap. They were easier to iron than blends, with steam only. Next to commercial laundry, I'd try craigslist or a freebie group...must be some retirees willing to iron and $1.75 comes out to a really good hourly rate for basing the pay. Or even a cleaning lady...my babysitter used to finish up the dishes and do my ironing :o)
Check this out: http://www.unipresscorp.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id &Itemid%&phpMyAdmin&17a34dc63fae2e3e48d7fc0d6c39b5
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I don't know how innovative it was but once upon a time I found an elderly lady that pressed my (custom) shirts for $1. Can't remember where I found her, but it was probably the Thrifty Nickel or some similar local ad rag. -----
- gpsman
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wrote:

I once had a little mini ironing board that fit into the sleeves and made ironing them pretty easy. I guess I could make one out of a narrow triangle of wood and a bit of stuffing.
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Back in the 50's an appliance called the mangle, an automatic ironing machine, was popular. It apparently wasn't the time saver it was advertised to be and fell out of favor.
In the early 70's, I was cleaning my inlaws' gargage and came across a mangle, which they wanted thrown out. We took it up to the dump and were told where to toss it. When we got there, we saw three or four other mangles which had recently been disposed of.
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That sure is an organized dump!
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