Case Study: 'The beauty of it is that it suits an awful lot of fabrics'
For Dublin-based stylist Irene O'Brien (pictured), maintaining the pristine condition of garments at shoots and fashion shows is an important element of her work. She uses an E8 Professional hand-held garment steamer (purchased on Amazon) because it's easy to tote around.
"The beauty of it is that it suits an awful lot of fabrics that maybe an iron wouldn't necessarily," she says. "In saying that I would warn that you do need to test a little corner as well. I would often turn the clothes inside out, especially if they have a satin finish but I do feel for heavier items, you can get the creases out of them in a much less cumbersome way than you would with an iron.
"But I would say that when you want something pressed, you're not going to get that from a steamer. You need the weight of an iron for that and I don't think a steamer replaces an iron."
When storing clothes she advises that they need to be immaculately clean and bone dry before they're put away, and to always use acid free tissue to separate items, to stop fabrics 'pulling' off each other.
"Dry cleaned clothes should be taken out of their plastic because clothes can 'sweat' in that," she says. "We hang a lot of things that we should be folding. With something like a wool jumper, even if it feels light, the weight is going to drag it down.
"It's really important to make sure that bags and pockets are empty before you put anything in storage, otherwise you risk ruining the shape of garments and accessories, and could also attract insects. And avoid storing clothing anywhere there is likely to be damp or mildew. It's best to store in clean, airy, dry spaces... and a sachet of lavender won't hurt!"