How to Remove Creases From Hemlines

A hemline might stand out with a crease, but not for the right reasons.

Photo: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Hemming your pants or skirts is a simple way to get the perfect fit, but sometimes the shorter look wears out its welcome. Releasing the hem restores length to the garment, but you're usually left with an ugly reminder of the hem that once was in the form of a stubborn crease. Ditching the unwanted crinkle is critical to create a look that's polished, so before you give up, take a multi-faceted approach to killing the crease.

Wash, Dry, Destroy

Your first line of attack against enemy creases is to properly prep your fabric for flattening. If your fabric is machine-washable, toss it through a regular cycle. Water will loosen the threads in the fabric and make your garment more amenable to flattening out. If you're dealing with a more finicky fabric that has never seen the inside of a washing machine, go the hand soaking route and just submerge the garment in lukewarm water to prep the threads. Either way, lay the item flat with a book over the crease to dry. You'll probably still see the crease, but the preparation gives you a head start for more aggressive methods.

An Iron Fist

You standard iron is you secret weapon against creases. Just as you'd use an iron to press a crease into your garment, you can use an iron to make the same crease disappear. Heat alone might get the job done, but you'll have better luck if you use some steam. If you don't have a steam function on your iron, slide a damp towel underneath the fabric before you press. Stick with the heat setting recommended for the fabric, and then hold the iron on the crease for several seconds. Check the crease and repeat the process until you've killed the entire crease.

Vinegar Tricks

Sometimes an iron is not enough to combat a truly stubborn crease. When a little heat and steam won't do the trick, check out your pantry for household items that can get the job done. At the top of the secret arsenal list is plain old white vinegar. Brush white vinegar onto the crease with a sponge, and then press out the crease with an iron. Stick to white vinegar -- a tinted vinegar can leave a stain. There might be some residual odor, so be ready to wash out clothes shortly after to get them back to smelling fresh.

Crease Camouflage

Some creases just won't budge, and if the crease has left a white line, you'll probably be competing with the discoloration, too. When the crease won't quit, it's time to pull out your special ops skills and go the camo route. You might not be able to ditch the crease, but you can hide it with some crafty stitching. Instead of letting the hem go entirely, let out the hem only halfway so that the new hem can be stitched along the old crease. If you want to get creative, go with a decorative stitch in a brightly colored thread to add even more distraction from the old crease line.

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